Category Archives: Product

Updates from Ciena

Pluggables: Their role in coherent technology evolution

By Patricia Bower – In the optical networking industry, pluggable client optical modules are a dominant trend for very short links within buildings and campus networks. Market economics that have driven the proliferation of these pluggables include factors such as simplicity, interoperability and volume-driven cost. And in the domain of short-reach (sub-10km), point-to-point fiber optic connections, the advantages listed above for using small form-factor, pluggable modules shine through.

This is particularly so in the case where transport of high-speed Ethernet client signals is the primary requirement. Connectivity within and between data centers has grown at a very rapid rate over the last few years, both from the perspective of transmission speed and number of connections. The use of optical signaling to transport these high-speed Ethernet signals has proven to be very efficient.

The optical networking industry has a well-established and large ecosystem of vendors bringing small form-factor client modules to market. Many of these are supported by MSAs (Multi-Source Agreements) which can be one of two types; those that define optical transmission specifications and those that define mechanical forms.

More recently, the data rates supported by pluggable form factors have increased.  The 100G Lambda MSA group, of which Ciena is a member, has exhibited live demonstrations of interoperable Ethernet modules from member companies.  The 100G Lambda MSA specifies 100Gb/s over 2km and 10km of single-mode fiber (SMF), and 400 Gb/s links over 2km of SMF.  These modules will be based on the use of PAM-4 coding to get to a data rate of 100Gbps per wavelength. more>


Updates from Ciena

The implications behind service and content provider requirements for coherent optical solutions
By Helen Xenos – In 2007, I was asked to write a white paper about this really cool new “coherent technology” our team was working on and explain how the coherent receiver would completely revolutionize optical networks as we knew them. As I tried to get started, I quickly learned that the only source for content were the engineers actually working on the project – my efforts of scrolling through pages upon Google search pages netted zero information.
The evolving coherent optical networking landscape: a deep dive

In the end, I wrote the paper by transcribing what a dear co-worker and mentor, Michel Belanger, who was one of the designers, patiently explained to me (it took several hours). He made sure I understood the significance of coherent technology and how it would change the game in optical networks.

Fast forward a dozen years – there is no shortage of information pertaining to coherent technology, and there are about a dozen coherent module and system suppliers. Coherent optical systems have become the networking foundation that underpins the digital economy that we know today.

Network providers are ubiquitously deploying coherent to scale networks for capacity, reduce transport costs and provide a better end-user experience to their customers. In fact, they are now looking at expanding the role that coherent technology plays in the network and deploy it in space and power/optimized applications in addition to traditional infrastructure, submarine and data center interconnect (DCI) build-outs.

As coherent technology plays an increasingly critical role for successful network evolution, we must step back and ask ourselves:

  • What do network providers need from their coherent solution partners to succeed?
  • What are the implications of the divergent customer and networking requirements to the suppliers of the technology?



Updates from Siemens

Why fulfilling airworthiness requirements means going digital
By Dave Chan and John Cunneen – Any organization that must consistently prove airworthiness requirements can relate to the frustrating tasks of locating and providing proof their products will perform in accordance with standards, rules and laws in a myriad of countries.

No more so is this appropriate than in the aerospace industry where everything is built on safety. Every rule, every design requirement has blood on it. These rules exist because someone was or can be hurt, a plane could crash, or any number of catastrophic incidents can occur.

This is why there are rigorous standards in place to ensure anything that can take off and land, from the smallest glider and helicopter to the largest commercial airliner and military jet, must receive and maintain an airworthiness certificate. The process of aircraft certification can be daunting simply because many organizations don’t take proactive approaches in the development phase through delivery to make it so. more>


Updates from Ciena

On the Submarine Network Horizon in 2019
By Brian Lavallée – The submarine networking industry is truly fascinating from technology, social, economic, political, and even historical perspectives. All of these facets are intertwined, as new cables are planned and deployed as well as when the unspeakable occurs, and they must be repaired.

The undersea cable network infrastructure is critical infrastructure, and given there’s no Plan B for this part of the global internet, associated technological innovation must continue to evolve at a frenetic pace to ensure the industry can not only maintain pace with voracious growth in demand, but also to ensure the enormous capacity being carried today and ever-increasing amount of tomorrow is protected and continuously optimized to ensure a stable and viable financial future for submarine cable operators.

Several technologies and visions at the forefront of submarine network innovation were hot topics of discussion in 2018 and will undoubtedly be even hotter in 2019. I highlight some notable examples below.

If submarine cable networks are to continue evolving alongside their terrestrial counterparts, these issues will continue to be critical topics of conversation in our industry throughout 2019. more>


Updates from Ciena

Hyped to Death: AI Must Avoid Becoming a Cliché
By Kailem Anderson – Artificial intelligence (AI) is in vogue. It’s almost impossible to read an article in any media outlet that doesn’t mention AI and the possibility it will reshape the world in which we live. In fact, according to research conducted by AT&T, AI has the potential to double GDP growth across geographies by 2035. Consumers are already interacting with a variety of low-level AI assistants, such as Siri, Cortana, and Alexa.

With respect to the telecom sector, AI – supported by machine learning (ML) – is fundamental to controlling and operating communications networks of the future. With AI, future networks will be more predictive and intelligent. They will be programmed to automatically make recommendations, implement policies and respond to changes instantly. However, it is essential to understand the characteristics of AI in telecom. Otherwise, it is likely to become another overused, overhyped, and underwhelming tech term that fails to deliver.

Talk to people in the telecom industry, and each one will give a different answer of what AI means to them. The fact of the matter is, AI does not have a single purpose or meaning. While AI in a basic sense can help describe what is currently happening or going to happen, a more mature level can identify why it is happening and take corrective action.

A clearer purpose of AI in the telecom industry makes it easier for businesses, decision-makers, and customers to determine how useful the technology will actually be, and how it could help them accomplish their goals. This presents an opportunity for those leading the charge to define certain AI standards and definitions. more>


Updates from Siemens

Product Data Management for Consumer Packaged Goods
Siemens – With today’s packaged consumer goods industry more cost-competitive than ever, manufacturers must increase efficiency wherever possible. A lifecycle approach to process and data management is critical for this.

Our solution centralizes technical information and keeps it up-to-date and accessible. This creates efficiency gains that will improve how you manage change, execute work processes, drive quality, and connect to external suppliers and customers.

The consumer product business has never been more competitive making the need for agility and resilience at the enterprise level essential. That’s hard to achieve when information your company relies on is stored in many uncontrolled locations, and often in incompatible formats.

Whether you produce home or office goods, or make sporting goods and toys products, a lifecycle approach to managing technical information will improve the way your people work. Our lifecycle management solution enables you to consolidate and connect the output of existing systems so that people spend less time looking for what they need. Their ability to execute more efficiently results in faster, better-informed decisions across your entire enterprise. more>

Updates from Ciena

The evolving coherent optical networking landscape: a deep dive
By Helen Xenos – Over the past decade, network providers have used coherent technology to increase traffic carrying capacity by orders of magnitude over existing assets.

These new initiatives, in turn, are generating new and divergent requirements for coherent optical solutions beyond the need to efficiently scale for bandwidth growth.

In order to retain and grow their customer base, service providers are investing to offer innovative services – like delivering original video content (AT&T acquiring Time Warner) and enabling connectivity of “smart” devices both in the home and in a mobile setting (Bell’s managed security IoT service).

They are also evaluating and upgrading to new, simpler, scalable access architectures, to be able to offer new services unlocked with 5G. One notable example of spending shifting to the edge is Verizon’s announced $1B spend over 3 years for fiber from Corning, as well as their purchase of WOW’s Chicago fiber-based infrastructure.

Challenged with a multi-vendor infrastructure consisting of various technology generations, service providers are working to streamline operations and increase network automation to accelerate service delivery and improve customer satisfaction. At the same time, they are looking to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs with a more open, programmable infrastructure that can quickly respond to new bandwidth demands with less deployed hardware.

Consistent among all network providers is the need for a more responsive, automated, and self-optimizing network. Technologies such as advanced coherent optics, alongside a flexible photonic layer and open application programmable interfaces (APIs) play a starring role in making this possible. more>


Updates from Siemens

Digital Enterprise Industry Solutions for Automotive Suppliers
Siemens – Mechanical, electrical and software systems of modern cars are often developed by suppliers and bring increasing integration challenges.

For suppliers, greater program complexity also increases the risk of quality issues and penalty costs associated with product failures are huge. Today’s automotive suppliers must deliver innovative technologies and solutions across a global delivery footprint without compromising any of the quality, cost and timing requirements of their customers.

Program success depends on collaboration between automakers and suppliers. Our solutions help suppliers digitalize planning, design, testing and manufacturing by breaking down barriers between engineering functions and providing real-time access to information through an open PLM platform. more>


Updates from ITU

New ITU standards bring broadband to places as remote as Mount Everest
ITU News – New ITU standards aim to bring high-speed broadband services to rural communities with lightweight, terabit-capable optical cable that can be deployed on the ground’s surface with minimal expense and environmental impact.

The standards are giving developing countries the confidence to consider the roll-out of optical networks in some of the world’s most challenging conditions.

Nepal, for example, has highlighted its intention to use ITU-standardized lightweight optical cable to connect places as remote as Mount Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Trekking Trail.

Why lightweight optical cable?

Satellite communications are characterized by high latency, struggling to support the interactive services associated with broadband. Radiocommunications can provide ‘last-mile’ connectivity. But in the broadband era, optical infrastructure is indispensable – rural communities are often many, many kilometers away from core networks.

The Editor of the new standards, Haruo Okamura of Waseda University, offers a compelling example: “Optical cable is becoming an absolute must for telemedicine. Only optical cable provides capacity high enough and latency low enough for the live transmission of HD medical imagery to remote medical professionals.”

The installation of ultra-high speed optical networks, however, comes with a great deal of cost and complexity.

“Today the costs of optical cable installation are typically 70 to 80 per cent of the entire CAPEX of the network,” says Okamura. “The designs of conventional optical cables are specific to their installation environment – whether duct, directly buried, lashed aerial or submerged – with installation methods relying on specialized machinery and skilled labor.”

This challenge is made even greater by the low densities of remote rural communities, where fiber roll-outs demand a disproportionate level of initial capital investment relative to the potential return on such investment.

New ITU standards aim to change that equation by providing a low-cost ‘do-it-yourself’ solution able to be deployed in even the world’s most remote areas. more>


Updates from Siemens

Digital Transformation for Retail
Siemens – Retail is in a state of constant fluctuation, changing at a rate so rapid, many retailers cannot maintain the pace.

Technology solutions are becoming pervasive in every part of a retailers operations. It is critical that the solutions drive digitalization of a retailer’s processes and that the software itself can be validated, but also be configured at the pace of change in the industry.

Our focus on providing real-time collaboration via patented, digital solutions are helping retailers prepare for the future by recognizing that delivering innovation requires a broad ecosystem of partners is the key to long-term success. more>