ACG Research analyst note: Ciena WaveLogic 3 Technology: “Moving the Goal Posts”


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Published March 1, 2012, this analyst note from ACG Research summarizes the analyst firm's key findings from Ciena's introduction of its WaveLogic 3 coherent optical processors.

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ACG Research analyst note: Ciena WaveLogic 3 Technology: “Moving the Goal Posts”

  1. 1. Technology Impact March 2012 Key FindingsCiena WaveLogic 3 Technology: “Moving the Goal Posts”  The WaveLogic 3 chip set enables 400G.Ciena has announced it will be delivering the WaveLogic 3 chip set that not onlyscales to 400G, but delivers on software programmable coherent technology.  Ciena now has a singleThe general idea behind this technology enhancement is increased capacity carrier 100Gand extended economic reach across metro, regional, long haul and submarine implementation.networks. For example, in the metro, additional ROADMs can be deployed with  Soft FEC, a next-the WaveLogic 3 technology at lower cost points. In the regional and long haul generation DSP RX, and asegment, Raman amplifiers no longer need to be used, and regeneration sites TX DSP all increasecan be removed (or fewer deployed) because distance is extended. bandwidth and extend reach.Enhancements to operate with additional capacity over existing submarine  Applications now rangecable are also key economic advantages of this new technology. This chip set is from submarine, metromore of a technology launch rather than a specific product launch; the and regional, and ultraWaveLogic 3 chip set will be used across multiple platforms in Ciena and will be long haul with thisavailable in the second half of 2012. variable chip set. 1
  2. 2. KEY TECHNOLGOY ENHANCEMENTS believe the company may also deployThe addition of soft FEC is one this technology in some parts of itsenhancement feature that most 100G long haul network.vendors are adding this year. Soft- MOVING THE GOAL POSTdecision FEC algorithms allow for Eve Griliches, Managing Partner Although some outsourced MSAs are egriliches@acgresearch.netmuch higher error correction already in the market (Acacia and theperformance than hard-decision FEC. NEL option), most of the chipCiena’s soft decision FEC is software packaging is the same as that of some Most operators would preferprogrammable and enables latency of the largest vendors supporting that multiple versions of 100Gand reach to be adjusted by operators 100G today. are not running in theirbased on their requirements. networks. They need cost- Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 supports a single efficient approaches forOperators can tune up the soft FEC to carrier DP-QPSK 100G transmission, installation that can cross fromincrease bandwidth and reach or tune moving Ciena from what was a dual long haul to the metro. Newit down to achieve latency carrier approach for 100G to a single generations of 100G offerrequirements for special high- carrier offering, which should be increased capacity andfrequency trading transmission. competitively priced because the extended reach, which weAnother enhancement is within the technology has fewer components. anticipate at a reduced price.DSP receiver (RX), which is now a The economies of scale for 100G are We agree with Ciena’s32nm CMOS process. The DSP RX has finally materializing with these types statement that it is "moving thesix times the processing capability of of approaches. Low-cost 100G will be goal posts." Most operatorsthe previous DSP, two times the PMD vital for large deployments. Shorter are concentrating on low-costmitigation and is lower in power. reach options such as single carrier 100G with these features.Faster DSPs are required to meet DP-16-QAM for 200G and dual carrier WaveLogic 3 100G delivers ahigher bandwidth solutions. DP-16-QAM for 400G are also single carrier, softwareThe addition of a transmit (TX) DSP, possible, doubling capacity results for programmable coherentwhich provides programmable a 50 percent gain in metro economics. technology that offersmodulation that supports 16 QAM, This technology may also drive higher modulation options, as well asoffers improved tradeoffs between bandwidth in the metro in some scaling to 400G. With thisreach and capacity for operators. The volume, thus helping to drive down technology Ciena has kicked aTX DSP also provides wave shaping to the cost of 100G. solid field goal.improve system margin and The chip set can support multipleprecompensation for higher capacity options and submarine long haul,over older fiber. which provides operators with aOperators, such as Verizon, that have broad choice of solutions. Sparing ofvery old submarine cabling and fiber hardware is a nonnegotiablein the ground that is beginning to requirement for operators planningmeet end-of-life parameters (20–25 large 100G overlays.years) really need these types of PROVIDERS SPEAKenhancements for their networks. Verizon, BT and AT&T have been, © Copyright 2012Although AT&T has not spoken publicly positive on Cienas ACG. Reproduction is prohibited unlesspublicly about its 100G plans we transmission evolution. authorized. All rights reserved. 2