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Infinera unveils data centre industry’s first 2.4Tb/s optical engine

14 Mar 2018

Infinera has unveiled an industry-first with its latest addition to the company’s family of Infinite Capacity Engines.

Deemed ICE5, the optical engine is capable of processing 2.4 terabits per second (Tb/s) and is targeted at Internet content providers (ICPs) scaling connections between data centres and communications service providers (CSPs) planning fibre-deep architectures including distributed access architecture (DAA) and 5G mobile backhaul.

Infinera asserts optical engines play a critical role in maximising both the technical and economic performance of optical network systems. Optical engine innovation ‘is on fast-forward’ at the company as they strive to introduce ICE5 on the back of ICE4 in metro, long-haul and subsea applications, while demonstrating an increasing cadence towards ICE6.

“Innovation is on fast forward at Infinera as we build on our success with ICE4 to introduce ICE5 - the industry’s first 2.4 Tb/s optical engine,” says Infinera founder & chief strategy and technology officer Dr. Dave Welch.

“With ICE5 we are bringing our leading-edge technologies to market faster than ever, enabling our ICP and CSP customers to respond quickly to explosive bandwidth growth and ultimately win in their markets.”

There is no doubt that there is plenty of demand for cloud computing, with Gartner anticipating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 percent through 2020, while the Ericsson Mobility Report expects total mobile data traffic to rise at a CAGR of 42 percent through 2022, accelerating demand for optical network capacity at ICPs and CSPs worldwide.

On the technical side of things, ICE5 integrates Infinera’s fifth generation photonic integrated circuit with a FlexCoherent digital signal processor (DSP) and fine-grain software control to deliver 100 to 600 gigabits per second per wavelength in the 2.4 Tb/s optical engine.

Effectively this unlocks unprecedented capacity, reach, spectral and power efficiency, designed for over 40 Tb/s on a single fiber within a fraction of a data center rack, increasing capacity up to 65 percent over currently deployed networks while reducing power by 60 percent.

The ultimate goal of Infinera Instant Network is to enable software automation of ICE-based platforms, which allows customers to pay for capacity as they need, hence matching expense to revenue and lowering total cost of ownership – more than 70 Infinera customers including the top three subsea customers and more than 60 percent of data centre interconnect customers use Infinera Instant Network.

“Cloud and fibre-deep architectures will accelerate the demand for optical network capacity,” says Dell’Oro Group vice president of optical transport and mobile backhaul Jimmy Yu.

“This means future optical DWDM systems will have to deliver higher single wavelength speeds sooner and be agile enough to be used in metro as well as long haul environments. Infinera’s plan for ICE5 fits well with our five-year projection that DWDM demand will grow faster in metro access and aggregation locations due to data centre interconnect, 5G backhaul, and fibre-deep.”

Infinera Intelligent Transport Network platforms with ICE5 are planned for availability in early 2019.

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