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Initiative looks to drive 40Gbps optical networks

Posted: 17 Jan 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical network? photonex? fiber-optic cable? corning? filtronic plc?

Component and systems vendors have allied to promote 40Gbps networking, hoping to convince carriers that the technology is feasible both in its economics and its complex physics.

The 40G Collaborative, launched Tuesday (Jan. 15), is led by systems vendor PhotonEx Corp., which claims to already have a 40Gbps box in trials with carriers. The 10 charter members of the alliance include fellow OEMs, optical component vendors, and fiber-optic cable supplier Corning Inc.

The group's primary task will be industry outreach. From an economic standpoint, the Collaborative will try to combat the lingering perception that 40Gbps networking has been killed off by the economy.

"I still think there's a good deal of confusion in the industrypeople say it'll never happen, that it'll be years and years," said Virginia Maxwell, director of product marketing for PhotonEx. "Forty Gbps is still a very active topic, if you talk to service providers."

The Collaborative also will promote technologies that combat the complex physics of 40Gbps transmissions, such as phase-mode dispersion, which becomes disruptive at that speed.

Rather than tout members' products, the Collaborative will aim for a system-wide point of view that incorporates "companies from all aspects of 40Gbps," Maxwell said, noting that carriers will have multiple options for deploying 40Gbps technology.

The Collaborative might sponsor white papers and discussion forums, but members don't seem interested in turning the group into a voting or lobbying bloc within standards bodies, Maxwell said.

Maxwell insisted that the Collaborative was not launched in reaction to the past year's economic slump. But most sources agree that deployment of 40Gbps technology has been pushed back by at least a year, meaning large-scale deployment might be stalled until late 2003 or beyond.

The Collaborative's first meeting was conducted by phone last week. Plans for future meetings are still being solidified, Maxwell said.

Charter members of the 40G Collaborative are Corning, Filtronic plc, JDS Uniphase Corp., LaserComm Inc., Lightwave Microsystems Corp., Microwave Concepts Inc., New Focus Inc., Onetta Inc., Optigain Inc. and PhotonEx.

Craig Matsumoto

EE Times





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