OFC Showcases Networking Speed and Efficiency

Carl Weinschenk

Faster and more efficient connectivity are always the evolutionary aims of networking vendors. If anything, however, those goals are even more in the limelight as the Optical Networking and Communications Conference & Exhibition (OFC) convenes this week in Los Angeles.

Much of what is new revolves around 100 Gigabit per second and 400 Gbps networking equipment. Testing is a big part of this. RCR Wireless reports that EXFO will preview testing technology for the lab, field and manufacturing. It will also demonstrate its FTBx-5425 series optical spectrum analyzers, which were introduced last week. They are aimed at the lab and manufacturing utilizations.

The story offers a quick round-up of important items being introduced or displayed. Keysight Technologies is introducing the Anite SAS Interoperability test platform, which supports Cat M1 Internet of Things (IoT) testing. Anritsu’s SpectraVision is offering software for its MS2710xA device. Ixia is introducing the IxLoad LTE XAir2 test platform and, finally, GAO Tek is adding to its line of optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) testers with a wide dynamic scale OTDR device.

The Ethernet Alliance is using the conference to demonstrate member equipment interoperability from 1 Gbps all the way up to 400 Gbps. The consortium's press release says that two demonstrations will be offered. One focuses on 1 Gbps interoperability. The second integrates live 400 Gbps video from the Ethernet Alliance's booth to four member companies on the conference show floor. The entire ecosystem, including switch, network interface cards, servers, cabling, fiber and test equipment, will be included. In all, 16 organizations will be included.


Nokia’s press release on its conference introductions does a nice job of putting things into context. Simply, the rise of the cloud and increase in distributed services means that more complex operations are occurring at distributed locations. This, along with the growth of data volumes overall, means that aggressive increases in networking capacities and speeds are necessary.

Nokia said it will display three new optical products related to its 1830 family at the conference: The 1830 PSD is a carrier-class demarcation device that supports Ethernet and wavelength services. The 1830 PSI integrates “super coherent” Photonic Service Engine 2s (PSE-2s) into a data center physical and operational form-factor. Finally, the company is offering new 100G line cards for the 1830 Photonic Service Switch.

OFC is an annual highlight of the optical networking calendar. The goal is always to showcase fast and efficient equipment and approaches. That’s never been a more important theme.

Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at cweinsch@optonline.net and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.


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