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Bell Labs puts 100 Gbps Ethernet to the test

Bell Labs demonstrates 100 Gbps transmission with Verizon and Deutsche Telekom

Accommodation of the global explosion in traffic can only be assured by implementation of the most advanced high capacity optical metro/core transport network technologies. Most of the optical technologies are based on 10 Gbps per wavelength (channel), and this capacity needs to be increased by a factor of 10 per channel to cope with the anticipated demand, giving an outcome of 100 Gbps per channel.

This made the recent demonstration of 100 Gbps transmission at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs (with participation of Verizon and Deutsche Telekom) that much more impressive.

According to Bell Labs, to get from here to there, several challenges associated with development and operation of ultra-high speed components and systems for serial 100 Gbps optical transmission had to be overcome. These included stronger transmission signal impairments associated with the upgrade of data rates due to chromatic dispersion (CD) and polarization mode dispersion (PMD) which had to be compensated or mitigated efficiently. Alcatel-Lucent has also improved the complex integrated circuits for digital signal processing (DSP) and the development of new very high speed components using state-of-the art electronics and photonics.

Soon networks based on next generation 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) transport technologies will predominate and they will be based on standards currently under preparation by several standards organizations (e.g., IEEE, ITU-T). Trials by Alcatel-Lucentís Bell Labs have demonstrated that it is possible on an optical network originally designed for 10 Gbps to run 100 Gbps on that platform.

In a 500km trial with Deutsche Telekom on a live optical network between Darmstadt and Stuttgart they were able to transmit in parallel, 8 channels each at 100 Gbps.

Additionally, in another field trial with Verizon conducted between its Tampa and Miami markets over an existing 504 km optical network, Bell Labs transmitted live High Definition (HD) TV at 100 Gbps. These results were achieved using high capacity Nx100 Gbps optical transmission over long-haul fiber links without dispersion compensation units (DCU) using conventional 10Gbps DWDM platforms with narrow channel spacing (50GHz) corresponding to a spectral efficiency of 2 bit/s/Hz. This advancement will enable service providers to keep up with the demand for HD Video on Demand where customers 'want it now' and are not prepared to wait for a lengthy download.

by Kendrick Struthers-Watson

Wed. December 17, 2008




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