OFC 2017: latest innovations for networking world

OFC 2017Several telecom equipment and networking solution makers are exhibiting their latest innovations at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) from March 20-23 in Los Angeles, California.


Ixia partnered with Cisco and Foxconn Interconnect Technology to demonstrate 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) traffic with Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) via four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4) electrical lanes.

Ixia said the demonstration will include multiple companies working together to send and receive IEEE802.3bs compliant, line rate 400 GbE traffic via 50 Gbps PAM4 electrical lanes over the QSFP-DD form factor with passive direct attached copper cable.

“Cisco is pleased with the industry support behind the QSFP-DD, the form-factor of choice for 400 GbE pluggable transceivers and cables. In this early stage of the 400 GbE development, Ixia has taken a leadership role in recognizing the market demand for higher bandwidth solutions and setting a direction with the QSFP-DD form-factor,” said Bill Gartner VP/GM at Cisco.


EXFO launched FTB-4 Pro platform, a small platform for testing high speed and optical networks. The deployment of 100G requires test solutions to test 100G links efficiently.

The 4 slot modular FTB-4 Pro platform enables a combination for 100G commissioning, turn-up and troubleshooting which includes FTBx-88200NGE 100G Multiservice tester (with iOptics transceiver validation software) and FTB-5240S-P optical spectrum analyzer. There is no need to carry additional platforms or swap modules for transport and spectral testing on a single platform.

“The FTB-4 Pro delivers the processing power of a high-end platform in the industry’s smallest form factor for 100G commissioning, turn-up and troubleshooting. Its ability to support a wide range of modules makes it our most versatile platform,” said Stephane Chabot , EXFO’s Vice-President, Test and Measurement.

EXFO also launched the FTBx-5245 Series of optical spectrum analyzers (OSAs) dedicated to R&D labs and manufacturing promising better RoI to network equipment manufacturers (NEMs).

In addition, EXFO will be previewing its 400G solution for lab and manufacturing as well as for field deployments at OFC 2017.

EXFO will be demonstrating its new 400G test solution capable of addressing all new technologies in the 400G ecosystem, including 400GE, Flex-E, OTUc4 and Flex-O and CFP8.


Microsemi Corporation announced a mobile fronthaul solution, built on its DIGI-G4 family of Optical Transport Network (OTN) processors, that will enable high capacity fronthaul connectivity for converged 4G and 5G centralized radio access networks (C-RANs).

The solution extends 100G OTN into the RAN to aggregate Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI), 10GE and 25GE radio links. It enables up to a 10 times increase in capacity, while introducing innovations to address the need for low latency with automatic link equalization, and network security.

C-RAN deployments will grow at 23 percent annually through 2020, representing greater than 60 percent of all 4G RAN deployments, according to market research firm IHS.

As mobile operators continue to add new LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) features such as carrier aggregation and higher order multiple in, multiple out (MIMO), and densify with small cells over their existing 4G networks, the CPRI interconnect between distributed radios and centralized baseband needs to scale by a factor of four times to a 10G rate.

With the transition to 5G, fronthaul connections will need to scale up to 200Gbps, driven by dense 25GE Ethernet links from 5G radio heads.

“C-RAN is becoming the go-to network architecture as mobile operators address the need for increased capacity, but until now the lack of a cost-effective and fiber-efficient approach to building fronthaul networks impeded the industry’s transition to C-RAN,” said Babak Samimi, vice president and business unit manager of Microsemi’s communications business unit.

Fujitsu Network

Fujitsu Network Communications announced HSN8110A/D Pole-Mount Transport Multiplexer as the newest addition to its Smart CPRI Transport solutions.

The HSN8110A/D, optimized for outdoor small cell sites, provides CPRI fronthaul transport between remote radio heads (RRHs) and a centralized baseband unit (BBU) in Centralized Radio Access Network (C-RAN) architectures or serves as an Ethernet backhaul interface for distributed RAN architectures.

The new HSN8110A/D is used to transport CPRI and GbE services from a small cell site as a remote terminal for the other platforms in the Smart CPRI Transport family – HSN8500, HSN8300 and HSN8100.

The HSN8110A/D has its own outdoor enclosure for wall or pole mount, including an integrated four-port transponder for CPRI or GbE service delivery via CWDM or DWDM over dark fiber. The multi-protocol system has capacity up to four CPRI channels, each up to 10Gbps, or three CPRI plus one GbE channel.

“Wireless service providers and wireline operators need an infrastructure that will utilize the latest transport technologies and quickly support new revenue-generating services,” said Christine Podraza, head of the optical business unit, Fujitsu Network Communications.

Fujitsu Network Communications will introduce its Virtual Access Network (VAN) solution at the OFC Conference this week. The solution lifts the cost and time barriers to small-to-medium business (SMB) service deployment by eliminating purpose-built routing devices and manual provisioning, while utilizing any access technology to deliver services.

Fujitsu Network Communications announced the 1FINITY C200 Communications Integrator Series, allowing up to 36 of Fujitsu’s disaggregated 1FINITY Lambda and Transport blades to appear as a single network element. This simplifies site management, while maintaining pay-as-you-grow scalability and reducing operational costs for network operators.

“Our 1FINITY C200 Communications Integrator Series increases network flexibility while reducing complexity,” said Christine Podraza, head of the optical business unit, Fujitsu Network Communications.

Fujitsu Network Communications is advancing its data center interconnect (DCI) solutions with enhancements to its 1FINITY T100, a hyper-dense transponder, packaged together with the new 1FINITY T400, a 1 Tbps layer 1 aggregator.

By decoupling the transponder and the aggregator, Fujitsu offers customers greater architectural flexibility and industry-leading 10GbE to 100G aggregation density.

Designed for 100G and 200G coherent optical transport between data centers in point-to-point or ring topologies, the 1FINITY T100 Transport blade can be deployed independently, in conjunction with other 1FINITY blades such as the L100 Lambda series to provide ROADM capability, or over a third-party FOADM.

“Our data center interconnect solutions are designed to meet the needs of the country’s largest service providers and data center operators,” said Chris Podraza, head of the optical business unit, Fujitsu Network Communications.

Viavi Solutions

Viavi Solutions announced that the ONT-600 400G will be on display at OFC 2017. Viavi’s Gigabit Monitor shows the number of live gigabit deployments skyrocketing from over 350 as surveyed in June 2016 to over 570 in February 2017, covering over 167 million people.

Viavi ONT-600 400G has relevant applications and accessories to accelerate 400G deployment – from the early stages of developing and validating CFP8 FR8/LR8 modules to fully comprehensive Ethernet performance needed for system level and service validation.

At OFC, Viavi will also show the world’s first demo of FlexO technology, a core building block for future Optical Transport Network. The FlexO optical bonding enables flexible bandwidth capabilities as used in one part of FlexE as well.

“Using directly modulated DFB lasers, we have a device using 50Gb/s PAM4 lanes that is fundamentally low power and cost optimized with very good BER performance,” said Todd Swanson, EVP of Sales, Marketing and R&D at Finisar.

“We are delighted to work with the trailblazers at 400G to build a healthy and vibrant ecosystem that will help us deploy and scale 400G from the lab to the field,” said Paul Brooks, Lab & Production Business Unit, Viavi.


NI gave the world’s first demonstration at 28 GHz of a real-time, over-the-air prototype aligned with the Verizon 5G specification at the IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC) in San Francisco.

The system uses OFDM with eight component carriers in a 2×2 downlink MU-MIMO configuration with hybrid beamforming and a self-contained subframe, yielding a 5 Gbit/s peak throughput, and is scalable to over 20 Gbit/s with eight MIMO streams.

“Researchers can take advantage of the combination of hardware and software to rapidly prototype new wireless standards and iterate quickly to reduce time to results. They can prototype and test the Verizon 5G specification and move immediately to 5G New Radio once the standard stabilizes,” said James Kimery, director of RF research and SDR marketing at NI.