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Big Bear crafts Kodiak 40Gbps transponder

Posted: 17 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:big bear networks? transponder? module?

Big Bear Networks Inc. has integrated proprietary silicon for multiplexing, demultiplexing, clock recovery, limiting amps and transimpedance amps into a production-volume 40Gbps transponder. The module meets the specifications of all 30-pin multisource agreement modules, including the Telcordia GR-468 testing specs.

Big Bear's Kodiak module will be offered in standard 40Gb OC-768 transponder speeds for data center and short-reach applications. The company will also offer a 43Gb version for metropolitan and long-haul applications, with the 3 extra Gbps reflecting the bandwidth overhead of performing error correction.

Founded in 2000 by DSP specialists from Texas Instruments Inc. and other companies, Big Bear offered dispersion-compensation silicon for 10Gb and emerging 40Gb networks, albeit in a subsystem form factor rather than as discrete ICs. The optical transport downturn early in the decade almost sunk the company, but its products' high performance and low cost in 10Gb applications helped make it a leading supplier for developers of lower-speed networking gear.

Applications are emerging for 40Gb links, both in test equipment markets preceding the network buildouts and in early higher-speed networks now under trial at MCI Communications, Deutsche Telecom and elsewhere, said Mark Thompson, CEO of Big Bear.

Big Bear's Kodiak module uses silicon germanium devices throughout, except for a GaAs modulator driver designed at Big Bear, and externally supplied continuous-wave lasers and photodiodes. The CMU/16:1 multiplexer device inside Kodiak operates at up to 50GHz and offers a SFI-5 interface compatible with Optical Internetworking Forum standards.

Jitter specs on the transmit side are typically less than one-third of the International Telecommunication Union's G.8251 spec for OTU3. On the receive side, Big Bear uses a low-noise photodiode with its own limiting amp, trans-impedance amp and clock/data recovery unit.

Both the 40Gb and 43Gb versions of the module are ready for volume shipment, though the company expects production volumes to be skewed heavily toward 40Gb speeds.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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