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Ciena claims industry first with 1.6 Tbps coherent optic service

WaveLogic 6 Extreme and WaveLogic 6 Nano products designed to meet critical network provider capacity and power efficiency needs

In a move that it claimed marks an industry first in coherent optics, networking systems, services and software provider Ciena has unveiled the latest generation of its WaveLogic technology, optimised for the high-capacity transport required with next-generation routing data paths and associated wholesale services.

As service providers grapple with the dual challenge of satisfying unabating bandwidth demand and cutting energy use, WaveLogic 6 is designed to support the capabilities and evolution paths needed to meet current and future network and business requirements.

Ciena said the industry-first performance achievements in the sixth generation of WaveLogic are made possible through unique expertise in coherent DSP and high-bandwidth electro-optics, using 3nm silicon technology to once again set the standard in optical innovation.

Jimmy Yu, vice-president of analyst Dell’Oro Group, said: “Ciena ups the ante in the delivery of high-performance coherent services, using advanced technology and high-bandwidth electro-optics, with WaveLogic 6, which is expected to be the first 1.6Tbps wavelength transmitted over a single carrier.

“We believe 1.6Tbps wavelengths will be a critical technology to enable operators to sustainably grow their networks as bandwidth demand continues to grow annually at 30%,” he said. “Hence, we anticipate that in five years over 50% of capacity additions will come from DWDM systems built with sixth-generation coherent DSPs.”

WaveLogic 6 can support up to 1.6Tbps single-carrier wavelengths for metro reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) deployments, 800Gbps over the longest links, and energy-efficient 800G pluggables across 1,000km distances, and what the firm called a 15% improvement in spectral efficiency compared with the previous generation.

WL6e is also attributed with delivering significant economic benefits, including a 50% reduction in space and power per bit compared with Ciena’s current 800G technology today. The first coherent optical offering operating at 200GBaud, Ciena sees WL6e as maximising coverage of 800Gb/s connectivity across networks.

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Ciena’s WaveLogic 6 will start to become available in the first half of 2024. WL6 will be supported across a range of Ciena’s optical and routing and switching platforms, and WL6 will be made available for use in third-party services.

“The past few years have irreversibly changed our expectations of networks, showing the critical importance of enabling greater connectivity to help fuel our digital lifestyles,” said Scott McFeely, senior vice-president of global products and services at Ciena. “At the same time, we all need to do more to help the environment.

“As the pioneer in coherent optical technology, and the first to bring coherent 40G, 100G, 400G and 800G to the industry, we continue to set the standard in optical transport and push the limits of innovation by creating solutions that significantly reduce cost per bit, improve network performance and drive energy efficiency,” he said.

Gaya Nagarajan, vice-president of engineering at Ciena customer Meta, said: “Network efficiency has been a big part of our DNA since we started designing our first datacentre facility in Oregon over a decade ago.”

“In 2021, we challenged the suppliers to deliver a 50% power/bit reduction and a doubling of bandwidth/channel in Gen 6 transponder by 2024/25. These advances are critical to support our future network expansions. Based on Ciena’s announcement, it looks like they are on track to meet these targets with WaveLogic 6.”

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