100-GbE demo conducted across 4,000-km live network

November 13, 2006 -- The demo, conducted by an optical networking industry group including Finisar, Infinera, Internet2, Level 3 Communications and University of California at Santa Cruz, shows that 100-GbE technology is viable and capable of implementation in existing optical networks with 10-Gbit/sec wavelengths.

November 13, 2006 -- A "first-ever" demonstration of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100-GbE) technology has been conducted by an optical networking industry group, including Finisar, Infinera, Internet2, Level 3 Communications and University of California at Santa Cruz.

The group says the demo shows that 100-GbE technology is viable and capable of implementation in existing optical networks with 10-Gbit/sec wavelengths. The group says the trial also highlights how next-generation technology can address the emerging bandwidth needs of network providers and their users as advanced Internet-based applications continue to proliferate.

The system in the demonstration successfully transmitted a 100-GbE signal from Tampa, Florida to Houston, Texas, and back again, over ten 10-Gbit/sec channels through the Level 3 network, representing the first time a 100-GbE signal has been successfully transmitted through a live production network, according to the group.

Finisar provided the optical transceivers for the demonstration, Infinera provided the DWDM system and project management, Internet2 was involved in developing the methodology and supporting the demonstration, Level 3 Communications provided the ten 10 Gb/s channels from Tampa to Houston, and UCSC designed and implemented the network interface including the packet resequencing scheme.

The demo encodes a 100-GbE signal into ten 10 Gbit/sec streams using an Infinera-proposed specification for 100-GbE across multiple links. A single Xilinx FPGA implements this packet numbering scheme and electrically transmits all ten signals to ten of Finisar's 10 Gbit/sec XFP optical transceivers, which in turn convert the signals to optics. These signals are then transmitted to an Infinera DTN DWDM system.

For the long-distance demonstration, the 100-GbE signal was then handed off to Infinera systems within the Level 3 network where it was transmitted across the Level 3 network to Houston and back. According to the companies, this pre-standard specification for 100 GbE guarantees the ordering of the packets and quality of the signal across 10 Gbit/sec wavelengths and demonstrates that it is possible for carriers to offer 100-GbE services across today's 10 Gbit/sec infrastructure.

"This successful demonstration shows that this concept of 100 GbE over 10x10 Gbit/sec DWDM works and provides a near future implementation path," says Dr. Daryl Inniss, vice president of Ovum-RHK's Communication Components research.

"This new approach to providing 100 Gig Ethernet service over long distances enables LAN Ethernet protocols in the WAN environment," adds Jack Waters, CTO of Level 3. "Compared to other methods that have been demonstrated, this is a practical, economical solution that operates over the wide area using existing DWDM technologies. We're pleased to have been involved with developing and testing this solution, and will be watching closely as it is commercialized."

The 100-GbE system will be on display from November 14 - 16th at the Infinera booth (no. 1157) at the SC06 International Conference in Tampa. The system will be transmitting a 100 GbE signal to the Internet2 booth (no. 1451) during the show.

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