Windstream, Acacia Put a Terabit to the Test

March 6th, 2023 by · Leave a Comment

Now is the season for next generation equipment trials, and today we saw one of the first indications of the coming Terabit wavelength era. Windstream Wholesale put Acacia’s latest optical technology to the test, successfully demonstrating some big bandwidth on a live network.

The first trial successfully put a 1Tbps wavelength in place over a 541km link between Dallas and Tulsa with plenty of extra margin in hand. In fact, supposedly they went as high as 1.1Tbps as well on the same link. That was followed by looping back the link and trialing 800Gbps over double the span of 1082km. The trial also demonstrated 65% lower power consumption as compared to current technology.

Acacia, which is part of Cisco, supplied its 1.2Tbps pluggable, multi-haul CIM 8 module, which is in turn powered by the Jannu DSP. They expect to start shipping the technology toward the end of this year, which definitely puts them on the early side of the nextgen optical roadmap.

As the industry moves toward terabit wavelengths, we are definitely approaching the limits in terms of bandwidth per fiber. But there’s still lots of room to innovate on power consumption, automation, and other key operating characteristics.

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