Oclaro has unveiled an add/drop routing platform aimed at next-generation colourless, directionless, contentionless (CDC) and flexible grid ROADMs. The platform can be tailored to a system vendor’s requirements and includes such functions as crossconnect switching, arrayed amplifiers and optical channel monitors.
After working with system vendors on various line card designs, Oclaro realised there are significant benefits to engineering the complete design.
“You end up with a controller controlling other controllers, and boxes that get bolted on top of each other,” said Per Hansen, vice president of product marketing, optical networks solutions at Oclaro. “If we make the whole thing, we can integrate in a much better way.”
The increasingly complex nature of the add/drop platform is due to the dynamic features now required. “You have support for CDC and even flexible grid,” said Hansen. “You want to have many more features so that you can control it remotely in software.”
A consequence of the add/drop’s complexity and automation is a need for more amplifiers. “It is a sign that the optics is getting mature; you are integrating more functionality within your equipment and as you do that, you have losses and you need to put amplifiers into your circuits,” noted Hansen.
Oclaro typically designs four- and eight-degree nodes; with four and eight signifying the number of fibre pairs emanating from a node.
“Depending on what features customers want in terms of amplifiers and optical channel monitors, we can design these all the way down to single-slot cards,” said Hansen.
Vendors can then upgrade their platforms with enhanced switching and flexibility while using the same form-factor card.
By Roy Rubenstein