Infinera pairs DWDM platforms with Lumentum’s white box optical line system

Infinera and Lumentum Holdings say they have successfully demonstrated the ability of the former’s Intelligent Transport Network DWDM platform line to interoperate with the latter’s white box ROADM optical line system. The test validates the ability of Infinera’s systems to operate in an open optical networking environment and opens the door for future collaboration, sources at the two companies said.

According to Pravin Mahajan, Infinera’s director of product and corporate marketing, and Madhu Krishnaswamy, Lumentum’s senior director, product line management, optical communications, the two companies demonstrated the compatibility of Infinera’s XTM Series (the platforms Infinera acquired along with Transmode), the Cloud Xpress family, and DTN-X family (including XTC and XT Series) with a Lumentum 20-port transport ROADM. The ROADM is part of the white box line that Lumentum unveiled at OFC this past March (see “Lumentum offers SDN optical white box line“). For good measure, the trials also included a pre-production version of Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (see “Infinera moves terabit optical networks closer to commercialization with Infinite Capacity Engine“). The two companies set up a simulated point-to-point metro fiber network, then ran various combinations of superchannels and modulation formats through the Lumentum white box optical line system. The variations included such modulation formats as quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK), 8QAM, and 16QAM. The tests showed the ability of the Infinera platform to run up to 19 superchannels through the 20-port ROADM. A fully loaded network using the Infinite Capacity Engine could support 24 Tbps, the sources said.

The two companies belong to the Telecom Infra Project, which aims to bring the open networking concepts of Facebook’s Open Compute Project to outside plant networks. As such, Krishnaswamy allowed that Lumentum likely will conduct similar trials with other platform vendors. Nevertheless, the two companies plan to join for other evaluations, particularly as more of Lumentum’s white box portfolio nears commercialization. Three of the four initial white box platforms, including the ROADM, are sampling, Krishnaswamy said. The future demonstrations also may include the ability to control the optical environment beneath a software-defined networking (SDN) umbrella, something the initial trial did not emphasize. Offering the white boxes alongside Infinera’s platforms as a joint solution appears to be something the two companies are considering as well.