With the emergence of 2017, so too came the emergence of DWDM Optical Transport Solutions with the ability to carry signals of 400G and higher. Proof of its development comes from companies such as Nokia, Huawei, Adva and Ciena, who all made industry announcements of 400G deployments and capabilities.
However, as signal rates grew to 400G and 600G, a compromise began to bubble between the required signal bandwidth and the quality of the optical parameters that are dictating its maximum reach. What does this mean for the industry’s DWDM Optical Multiplexing solutions?
Simply put, more solutions (and substantial variety and availability amongst them).
Here are some highlights:
All WSS FlexMux
A fully flexible and colorless architecture, the first FlexMux solution exclusively employs Wave Selective Switches (WSS) and may integrate Optical Channel Monitors (OCM) and Optical Supervisory Channel (OSC) facilities. The architecture is often described as “future proof” due to its full grid flexibility, that offers up to 128/160 interfaces (8 x 16/20). Alas, with high flexibility, comes even higher cost, and this solution is no different.
WSS with passive splitters/combiners FlexMux
Integrating the same Optical Channel Monitors (OCM) and Optical Supervisory Channel (OSC) facilities, this solution uses splitters and combiners to reduce cost. Each WSS interface carries up to eight channel wavelengths. It takes advantage of Coherent Receivers’ capabilities to identify and lock on their wavelengths, out of a shared DWDM trunk. The downside? Since it’s an active solution, it has lower reliability versus a completely passive one. Plus, the high costs strike again with the amount of flexibility it offers.
40-channel MUX/DeMUX 400G-600G wide bandpass
Returning to simpler, passive AWG technology, the third solution, offers improved or expanded bandpass (think a data channel bandpass of 85-90+GHz in the 100GHz C-Band Grid). This is perfectly suited for 400G and 600G signals bandpass requirements. The new wide bandpass offering builds on MRV’s standard 40-channel MUX/DeMUX solution, and may be expanded to 48-channels at 100GHz for full C-Band coverage and fiber link bandwidth maximization.
Because MRV’s solution is fully passive, it is also the lowest cost, with no power required, while offering the highest level of reliability. Impressed yet?
The new emergence of DWDM Optical Transport solutions demands unique multiplexing solutions. Both the Flexible Grid Optical Multiplexing (FlexMux) and Wide Bandpass Passive solutions play a role and cater to their own applications and market segments. The most cost-effective option that allows users to prepare for the future and preserve investments, though, is the AWG Optical Multiplexing solution. Although colored, it offers the simplicity of a passive solution but does not require provisioning and comes at regular passive solution cost.