Ciena’s stackable platform for data centre interconnect

Ciena is the latest system vendor to unveil its optical transport platform for the burgeoning data centre interconnect market.

Data centre operators require scalable platforms that can carry significant amounts of traffic to link sites over metro and long-haul distances, and are power efficient.

The Waveserver stackable interconnect system delivers 800 Gig traffic throughput in a 1 rack unit (1RU) form factor. The throughput comprises 400 Gigabit of client-side interfaces and 400 Gigabit coherent dense WDM transport.

For the Waveserver’s client-side interfaces, a mix of 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit interfaces can be used, with the platform supporting the latest 100 Gig QSFP28 optical module form factor. One prominent theme at the recent OFC 2015 show was the number of interface types now supported in a QSFP28.

On the line side, Ciena uses two of its latest WaveLogic 3 Extreme coherent DSP-ASICs. Each DSP-ASIC supports polarisation multiplexing, 16 quadrature amplitude modulation (PM–16-QAM), equating to 200 Gigabit transmission capacity.

The Extreme was chosen rather than Ciena’s more power-efficient WaveLogic 3 Nano DSP-ASIC to maximise capacity over a fibre. “The amount of fibre the internet content providers have tends to be limited so getting high capacity is key,” says Michael Adams, vice president of product and technical marketing at Ciena. The Nano DSP-ASIC does not support 16-QAM.

A rack can accommodate up to 44 Waveserver stackable units to deliver 88 wavelengths, each 50GHz wide, or 17.6 Terabit-per-second (Tbps) of capacity. And up to 96 wavelengths, or 19.2Tbps, is supported on a fibre pair.

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