This week’s blog post comes from Shawn Esser, Director of Product Marketing for CATV Products at Finisar.
Last week Finisar demonstrated the industry’s first 1 GHz RF-modulated, widely-tunable optical transmitter in a Small-Form Factor module at the Cable Tec-Expo trade show in Orlando, Fla. The Cable-Tec Expo, organized by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), is the cable industry’s engineering show of the year and drew about 9,200 people. The active demonstration of wavelength-tunability showed a new tool for cable operators to route video and data services in the cable access network. The demonstration included two televisions, two different movie streams, and two wavelength-tunable XFP-RF transmitters. Using Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), the video content showing on the televisions was swapped by changing the wavelengths of the transmitters. Customers saw how bandwidth, and thus services, could be dynamically increased to serving areas that have high contention with this new wavelength-tunable capability.
The product was very well-received by visitors to Finisar’s booth. Visitors were also impressed that Finisar’s XFP-RF transmitter is the first 1GHz RF-modulated optical transmitter packaged in a Small Form Factor pluggable optical module. The XFP module is commonly used in 10Gb/s digital applications today. Finisar combined its high-volume Small-Form Factor module capabilities and its extensive experience in CATV optics to significantly reduce space and energy of transmitters for cable access networks. The XFP-RF transmitter can be designed into existing broadband optical platforms today to double the density and halve the power consumption of transmitters in Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) networks. It can also be plugged directly into next-generation infrastructure equipment, such as Converged Cable Access Platforms (CCAP) currently under development, to further reduce costs for cable operators.
Finisar was also displaying its Small-Form Factor Pluggable ONU (EPON Stick) that converts standard GE media convertor into EPON Optical Network Unit replacing the need for a standalone ONU. This enables MSOs to use the same premise equipment with a pluggable port (SFP) that they use to deploy business services over point to point Ethernet and WDM to be used over EPON. Mike Holmes, Finisar Director, presented DPOE DAC (Demarc Auto-Configuration) along with Kevin Noll of Time Warner Cable, Curtis Knittle of Cable Labs and moderator Rammy Bahalul of Omnitron. Their presentation explained the DPOE DAC benefits highlighting the EPON Stick, Demarc features and the successful Time Warner Cable DAC testing.
The process by which the trade show goes from an empty hangar to the clean, professional environment that greets the attendee when it opens, never ceases to amaze me. The Finisar booth (#500) is right in front of the show entrance and has undergone its usual transformation from an ugly duckling on the Sunday before the show to the beautiful swan that it is when the show opens. As with all swans, the graceful exterior hides the frantic activities below the water and it is a credit to all the engineers who have put in huge efforts to get the demos all working come opening time.
At the Finisar booth we’ve a range of demonstrations and product releases (read our ECOC 2012 show announcements). On the WaveShaper front, we’re demonstrating a range of new capabilities as discussed in previous posts – polarization processing, power splitting, etc. as well as demonstrating the WaveSketch app for quick generation of simple filters. There is also a demonstration of the capabilities of Finisars Board Mounted Optical Engine (or BOA) which is designed for high-speed optical interconnects both between chips and between circuit boards.
The biggest demonstration, however, is a demo of a 2x1xN two-slot ROADM line card with Flexgrid(TM) capabilities. This includes a high port-count WSS together with a high speed multi-port Flexgrid Optical Channel Monitor. This isn’t immediately visible from the booth entry, but have a chat with our friendly booth staff to schedule a chance to see this excellent piece of engineering.
I managed to fit in a few talks amongst the days customer meetings and general meet and greets. Highlight of those that I saw was the review by S J Ben Yoo from UCD on his groups work on arbitrary waveform generation – a real technological tour de force with over 1200 active optical devices integrated onto a single 3″ InP wafer.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more reports from the technical sessions!