With the OFC conference on tap for this week, Infinera has offered a glimpse into the next generation of its underlying optical engine, ICE5. The new capabilities that the engine will offer are being aimed at the twin towers of demand on the horizon: the scaling needs of big content and the cloud and also the arrival of big capacity out toward the edge and even into access networks.
ICE5 will improve upon ICE4 by integrating a FlexCoherent digital signal processor with the company’s PIC technology and leveraging both 64QAM and 66GBaud capabilities. The result will offer up to 600G wavelengths in the short haul and 400G with reach up to 1500km, as well as 400GbE built in. As a whole, the new, integrated 2.4T optical engine will support over 40Tbps on a single fiber, up 65% with a 60% power reduction.
Those are some pretty big promises, and it should be interesting to see the new products they roll out on the engine. Those are due to be announced later this year and hit the market early in 2019. Meanwhile, they are also talking about ICE6 already, which will bring 32QAM and 100Gbaud to bear, with 600G, 800G and perhaps 1Tbps wavelengths on the menu.
Meanwhile, Infinera also has a few new tricks up its sleeve for ICE4. There they have some new L-Band capabilities, doubling the overall capacity per fiber to above 50Tbps for fiber-constrained networks. They report also that ICE4 has apparently been helping carriers with aerial fiber to handle outages from lightning strikes, managing 100% protection for all observed events.
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