Press Releases

Polatis Introduces 192 Fibre Single Sided All-Optical Switch for Datacentre and Telecom Networks

192xCC SDN-Enabled All-Optical switch with "any-to-any" connection capability provides a new level of flexibility that enables innovative datacentre and network architectures

Bedford, MA, Cambridge, UK and ECOC 2014, Cannes – September 22, 2014 -- Polatis, the performance leader in all-optical matrix switches, today announced general availability of its new 192-fibre reconfigurable single mode optical switch, providing non-blocking SDN-enabled connectivity between any pair of fibre ports with typically just 1dB of path loss. Conventional all-optical switches are dual-sided, making connections between a group of committed input ports on one side and a group of output ports on the other. This design limits configurability in advanced network applications where new, flexible any-to-any port configurations can enable better network performance and more efficient use of capacity. The 192-fibre customer-configurable (192xCC) single-sided optical switch uniquely presents fibre ports which are uncommitted to input or output groups, allowing users the flexibility to make non-blocking connections between any of the 192 fibres. Without rigidly-defined input and output ports, the same optical switch module can be used for any combination of symmetric (NxN) and asymmetric (NxM) switch configurations. "The combination of software control and any-to-any port connectivity brings a new level of flexibility and choice to our customers for optimizing their fibre assets," said Gerald Wesel, CEO of Polatis. "The 192xCC reconfigurable optical switch provides full fibre connectivity without affecting system budgets, opening up new possibilities in datacentre and telecom networks for optical layer provisioning, protection, monitoring and test." The 192xCC is the latest addition to the Polatis series 6000 family of optical switches, which are built using the patented, world-leading, Polatis DirectLight™ dark fibre optical switch technology. As a result, the switch makes fully transparent connections with low loss and no back reflection entirely independent of the colour, direction, power level or protocol of traffic on the fibre. This makes it ideal for fibre-lean environments that use bidirectional transmission, such as FTTx access networks and datacentres that employ single-fibre BiDi transceivers. "A 192-port single sided optical switch, with any port-to-any port connectivity, is a very versatile building block that increases the flexibility and graceful scalability of the overall metro node design in next-generation software-defined optical networks. These low-loss optical switches can be used in a multi-stage optical circuit switched layer to reduce costs and increase the scalability of future network core nodes," said Prof David Payne of Trinity College Dublin and Coordinator for the European Framework 7 collaborative project DISCUS. Polatis optical switches are ideal for software-defined network applications where connection loss, stability and reproducibility are critical. Visitors to ECOC 2014 in Cannes, France can check out the full line of OpenFlow-enabled Polatis products at stand #208, now including OpenDaylight support and can also see how Polatis helps to avoid elephants slowing down your software-defined network.

All-optical broadband...cheaper, faster and greener

All-optical broadband...cheaper, faster and greener

A European team of researchers is exploring new ways of using fibre-optic technology to deliver ultra-high-speed internet access to even the remotest locations in Europe, at less cost and with less impact on the environment. It is ambitious, but innovative solutions are needed to strengthen Europe's digital economy and provide jobs.

In January, an EU-funded team of researchers announced their intention to transform future communications networks in Europe. After a period of analysis, the plan is to (re)design and later demonstrate a “complete end-to-end architecture and technologies for an economically viable, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable future-proof optical network”.

“Simply put, the plan is to save Europe billions in broadband infrastructure costs, and provide cheaper, faster and greener access to job-creating internet services in areas where they are most needed,” explains project leader Marco Ruffini of Trinity College Dublin’s Telecommunications Research Centre (CTVR).

The 36-month project, entitled ‘Distributed core for unlimited bandwidth supply for all users and services’ (DISCUS), involves consortium partners from academia and industry, including leading telecom operators and equipment vendors such as Telefónica, Telecom Italia, Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia-Siemens.

DISCUS tackles head-on the challenge of growing demand in Europe for better- quality data transmission and services – bandwidth-hungry video applications, telemedicine, etc. – across super-fast, always-on broadband networks.

Irish Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte commented at an official launch of the project in Ireland: “Strengthening Europe’s digital economy by advancing areas such as a high-speed broadband roll-out is a priority for the Irish Presidency of the EU.” He added that this telecommunications project will provide concrete results for the benefit of both Ireland and Europe, as well as demonstrating the critical links between research and enterprise that lead ultimately to new jobs.

Clean slate

“The architecture will be ultra-energy efficient, simple to operate and robust to new technology introduction – in other words ‘future-proofing’ Europe’s networks,” says DISCUS project coordinator Professor David Payne, a co-principal investigator at CTVR.

But this means taking a “clean-slate” approach to the architectural design, using optical technologies throughout the fixed network – with no distinction between traditionally separated network nodes (i.e. metro, regional, core access points). “Using advanced optical technologies throughout will generate unimaginable bandwidth and flexibility,” predicts Dr Ruffini who is an assistant professor on optical network architectures.

A unique feature will be a “principle of equivalence” which gives all network access points equal bandwidth and service-level capability, with typical core bandwidths (10Gb/s to 100+Gb/s) delivered directly to the user.

That means, for example, that you would have the same high-quality online experience, capable of handling huge data loads, regardless of where you are – close to a core network in a city or in a remote village.

A further advantage of the DISCUS project’s all-optical approach is that it will enable seamless integration of wireless and fixed optical networks, providing cost-effective backhauling of mobile and wireless access network traffic, without sacrificing latency or bandwidth.

This pared-down, integrated approach will also enable a simpler, more competitive regulatory environment controlled by customers and users rather than network operators and service providers. This, in turn, supports the EU’s single digital market ambitions as communicated in its Digital Agenda for Europe initiative.

Project details • Project acronym: DISCUS • Participants: Ireland (Coordinator), Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom • Project FP7 318137 • Total costs: €11 722 067 • EU contribution: €8 112 824 • Duration: November 2012 - October 2015

European Research Headlines,17th May 2013

Trinity, UCC and Tyndall run €8m EU broadband grant

A new pan-European telecommunications project led by research teams in Trinity College Dublin, UCC and the Tyndall National Institute aimed at revolutionising broadband provision here and in mainland Europe has received €8.1 million in EU funding.

The 'DISCUS' programme will be co-ordinated by CTVR, the national telecommunications research centre headquartered at Trinity College and will explore new ways to use optical fibre to build a simplified broadband network to provide ultra-high speed internet to urban and rural areas.

Announcing the EU funding award, Communications Minister, Pat Rabbitte said: "Strengthening Europe's digital economy by advancing areas such as a high-speed broadband rollout is a priority for the Irish presidency of the EU.

"This pan-European telecommunications project led by researchers at CTVR at Trinity will provide concrete results for the benefit of both Ireland and Europe and demonstrates the critical links between research and enterprise that lead, ultimately to jobs creation" he said.

Total investment in this project is €11.7m, of which €8.1m has been contributed by the EU and the remainder is provided by the partners involved.

As well as UCC and Trinity, the project's partners include Alcatel Lucent, Nokia Siemens Networks, Telefonica Investigacion Y Desarrollo, Telecom Italia (Italy), Ason University in the UK, Interuniversitair microelectronica centrum in Belgium, III-V lab in France, Polatis, Atesio and Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan in Sweden.

"Leading such a top-tier international consortium is an endorsement of the strong international academic reputation that CTVR has earned and raises the profiles of Ireland and Trinity College Dublin as leaders in research and development of future broadband infrastructure".

"It is also a demonstration of the value to Ireland of continued investment in high quality research," said Patrick Predergast, provost of Trinity College.

Geoff Percival, Irish Examiner 9th January 2013

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