Lumentum launches optical white boxes for software defined networks

Created April 4, 2016
Technologies and Products

Lumentum unveiled at OFC 2016 a new optical whitebox platform supporting an ecosystem enabling SDN within data centre and metro/edge DWDM transport. The initial products include a family of configurable rack-mountable optical whiteboxes: terminal amplifier, line amplifier, mux/demux, and ROADM.

“SDN and programmable networks offer the promise of accelerating service turn-up and pace of innovation, with benefits throughout the value chain,” said Doug Alteen, vice president, product line management, Telecom. “Optical whiteboxes are Lumentum’s contribution to the ecosystem in its collective pursuit of achieving this objective.”

Lumentum’s SDN optical whitebox platform is designed for simplicity and scalability, with open interfaces. This family of configurable building blocks will support the construction of networking solutions for varied applications based on specific performance and cost requirements. The platform supports open interfaces to ease the integration of whiteboxes into SDN controller/orchestrator layers, enabling system integrators and network operators to deploy and turn-up services. The initial products based on this SDN whitebox platform target simple point-to-point DCI applications, as well as ROADMs (for metro edge DWDM transport).

Optical Whitebox Products include the following four key functionalities:

Terminal Amplifier – The terminal amplifier whitebox and its associated mux/demux form the endpoints of a transport link. It supports two high-power variable gain EDFAs, OSC termination, optical channel monitor, and automatic line protection within a 1RU network element.

Mux/Demux – The mux/demux is a passive element that provides the entry/exit point for data transmission channels. The device requires no external power or management connections. Inventory data for the device is visible through its associated terminal amplifier.

Line Amplifier – The line amplifier whitebox is used to extend system reach beyond the single span limit of the terminal amplifier whitebox. It combines all necessary functions to support amplification in two directions into a single 1RU network element.

ROADM – The ROADM whitebox is used to support wavelength agility in meshed networks. It supports a TrueFlex twin 1xN (9-20+) or single 1xN (2-9) wavelength selective switch, two high power variable gain EDFAs, OSC termination, and optical channel monitor within a 1RU network element.

Madhu Krishnaswamy, Lumentum’s director, product line management, Optical Communications, commented, “SDN optical whiteboxes are another example of Lumentum partnering with customers to anticipate, construct, and deliver solutions they need to fulfill the relentless demand for higher performance, higher density, and lower cost. The platform is customizable and supports the addition of updated features for dynamic market conditions.”


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By Optical Connections News Team