With OFC in full swing this week, Ciena has lifted the curtain on two new optical products. The target is the shifting needs of hyperscale and access infrastructure customers as the entire industry gears up for the next stage of communications technology.
Ciena’s new 8180 Coherent Networking Platform merges the company’s WaveLogic coherent optics with packet aggregation. That puts 400G wavelengths and 6.4Tbps of packet switching in the same package, and will likely be the foundation of a family of such products. Meanwhile the 6500 Reconfigurable Line System offers open and modular support for greater bandwidth in a smaller footprint, including support for the L-Band.
In combination, the two platforms are intended to empower operators to build out networks faster and deeper than ever before. Both solutions are on display at OFC, and are aimed to be generally available in the 2nd half of 2018.
Nobody is quite sure what the details of future networks built for 5G, AI, IoT, and whatever else is on the way are going to look like, but the broad strokes are increasingly apparent. The themes of massive scalability and programmability whether in the data center or at the edge are ones we are probably going to get tired of this year.
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