Cisco adds 100G capabilities to core routers with nLight technology

Created November 21, 2012
Technologies and Products

Cisco has announced new optical capabilities for its Cisco Routing System (CRS) family of core routers.  This includes a programmable architecture that enables flexible provisioning of optical links carrying data rates of 100Gbps and above, as well as long-haul coherent 100G optical interfaces.

The new technology, called nLight, provides information sharing between the optical and packet layers, which is used to automate service provisioning and provide converged management of the optical and routing layers. Integrating the IP packet and DWDM optical layers provides the ability to optimize network designs and provide optical wavelengths in minutes or hours instead of months. nLight technology could save as much as 36% on the total cost of ownership, Cisco claims.
 
nLight is part of Cisco’s IPoDWDM architecture, which allows service providers to introduce 100 Gbps technology directly into their existing networks and deliver ultra-long-haul, high-speed transport services. The associated new hardware is a single-slot line card containing a 100Gbps coherent optical transponder.
 
The new interfaces adds coherent 100-Gbps transport capabilities over 3,000 km without regeneration – using similar technology to what Cisco demonstrated for its optical transport equipment (see Cisco shows off coherent 100G over 3000km). The company confirmed that the new capabilities are based on technology and expertise from the acquisition of CoreOptics in 2010.
 
Cisco has also announced that UK incumbent BT had carried out a “landmark trial” of 100G IP-over-WDM modules on the operator’s existing DWDM equipment.
“Using an IPoDWDM and alien wavelength solution whilst leveraging our existing DWDM investment allows BT to scale its network to a new level,” said Neil McRae, BT’s chief network architect. “Fulfilling demand for fibre broadband and reducing the unit cost for bandwidth at the same time allows us to invest for the future and is key to BT’s strategy. Working with Cisco on this trial has been highly productive in demonstrating the viability of this approach.”
 
The 100G coherent optical line cards for the CRS are available now, Cisco says.
 
By Pauline Rigby

See Also: 

Lightwaveonline: Details of Cisco elastic core, nLight offerings emerge 

Press release: New Cisco CRS Elastic Core Solution Improves Internet Efficiency with Programmability 
 
Press release: BT and Cisco Complete Landmark 100G DWDM Trial 

Pauline Rigby

This article was written
by Pauline Rigby