Infinera demos 400Gbit/s integrated circuit

Infinera demos 400Gbit/s integrated circuit

Could help more cost-effective SOAs, according to Infinera

Optical network vendor Infinera has announced test results for a photonic integrated circuit (PIC), which it said could deliver aggregate data rates of 400Gbit/s down optical fibre. If proven, the technology would represent a major advance on the speed currently available via traditional copper infrastructure.

The new PIC combines ten 40Gbit/s streams using so-called differential quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) modulation. Infinera said: "This PIC integrates more than 100 optical devices on a single chip, more than double that of today’s 100 Gbit/s PIC."

Photonic integrated circuits are analogous to the electrical circuits used in standard copper network interface cards, but data is moved by electromagnetic radiation in the visible and far infra red spectrum, whereas data over copper moved using different electrical voltages.

Currently enterprises use optical transceivers to achieve high data transfer rates - normally 10Gbit/s over optical fibre. Carriers and service providers can currently use 40Gbit/s transceivers, which are available from vendors such as Infinera and Ciena.

Infinera also demonstrated data transfer speeds of 100Gbit/s over 320Km, with a PIC using on-chip semiconductor amplifiers (SOAs) in the S-band, at a wavelength of 1490 nanometres.

“Photonic integrated circuits enable cost-effective use of SOAs and thus offer the possibility of scaling optical networks across the full fibre spectrum. As we look for ways to economically scale network capacity to respond to increased demand from IP traffic, this significantly expands the current WDM tool kit,” said Steve Grubb, optical systems director at Infinera.