The availability of Wavelength Selective Switches (WSS) supporting 100 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s data rates enables network operators to significantly increase bandwidth capacity in DWDM optical networks with substantial CAPEX and OPEX savings. Moving to such higher data rates, however, requires a shift from the continuing trend of implementing narrower optical channel spacing given that data rates beyond 100 Gb/s cannot fit within a 50 GHz channel….
Download Finisar’s latest WSS white paper from our website (see blue downloads box): Balancing Performance, Flexibility, and Scalability in Optical Networks
Finisar’s DWP range of Wavelength Selective Switches, with their unique Flexgrid™ dynamic channel bandwidth technology, form the centrepiece of a new exhibition at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum. The exhibition, which highlights Australia’s leading engineering success stories, was opened by Brendyn Williams, Engineers Australia Sydney Division President and Matthew Connell, Principal Curator, Physical Sciences & IT, Powerhouse Museum on the February 1, 2012. The opening was attended by engineers from the Finisar Australia team that developed the Flexgrid technology, together with 150 guests. Located in the entrance area of the museum, the exhibition will run until the end of 2012. More information can be found here.
Photos: Marinco Kojdanovski
Reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Finisar Australia’s Flexgrid™ technology has won another award – a National Engineering Excellence Award from the Institute of Engineers Australia. Fresh from winning the coveted Bradfield Award for best engineering project from the Sydney division of the IEAust, Flexgrid™ was one of only 6 national awards presented this year. The award was received by Steve Winnall, Director of Product Engineering, at a black-tie awards dinner in front of 600 guests at Parliament House in Canberra last month.
To quote the judges: “With the exponential growth of data capacity on the internet, the demand for more flexible and efficient optical network services from telecoms carriers is ever increasing. Finisar has met this demand with its new Flexgrid technology. Flexgrid is a unique software enhancement which allows telecommunications carriers to deploy bandwidth, flexibly and dynamically in their networks. Well ahead of their global competitors, Finisar have overcome several engineering challenges and have now successfully launched Flexgrid to the market.”
A video of Steve’s acceptance speech can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPvnMeLIJdI
Finisar was also represented at the ceremony by Andrew Bartos, Steve Frisken and Simon Poole, who, along with Steve Winnall and the MC for the evening, Sally Dominguez from the New Inventors TV Show, are shown in the photo below.
Congratulations to all involved in the Flexgrid™ program – and thank you for your hard work and dedication which have made the project so successful.
When I joined Finisar nearly nine years ago, I was told repeatedly by customers (paraphrasing):
• Make sure your module exactly meets the standards and relevant MSAs (Multi-Service Agreement).
• Don’t try to do anything outside of the MSA or standard.
• God help you if you try to differentiate your product or do any “funny business” like that!
Indeed, it was a difficult time. The entire optical market had just crashed, and everybody was focused solely on efficiency and reducing costs.
Probably the most depressing statement I heard was during a speech at a celebration dinner in 2003 for the ratification of the XFP MSA. I had been with Finisar for only a month, and as we were celebrating the fine work that had been put into completing the XFP MSA, an individual from a system OEM (who shall remain unnamed to protect the innocent), stood up and said “I would like to see optics become a commodity – not a commodity like gold, but a commodity like rice.”
Fortunately that viewpoint is changing. Many of our customers, the systems manufacturers, are in a position where it is increasingly difficult to differentiate their systems. In addition, next generation optical technology has become increasingly difficult to develop. Datacenters are demanding reaches outside of those specified in the standards. Parallel optics are enabling system densities that were unheard of a few years ago. ROADMs are increasingly ubiquitous in telecom networks, all based on WSS’s (wavelength selective switches). The line-side of telecom has become increasingly more complex with differing modulation formats; and trade-offs between reach, bandwidth and spectral efficiency are becoming a reality as we move to higher data rates.
As such, customers are now seeing that aligning with specific optics vendors that can provide differentiated optical technology can go a long way to helping them improve their margins and market position.
I believe this is a very positive trend in our industry and increasingly allows us to challenge our intelligent and creative people to develop innovative ideas for meeting the demands of next generation networks. At Finisar, we continue to work on developing products that enable our customers to be successful and we certainly hope to see this trend continue.
Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
This week’s post comes from guest blogger, Dr. Simon Poole.
Us Australians are well known for being quiet, shy, retiring types, so it was great to get a chance to celebrate when Finisar Australia won the prestigious Bradfield Award at the Engineering Excellence Awards held in Sydney last month. The J.J.C. Bradfield Award is presented to the overall winner of Sydney Division of Engineers Australia Excellence Awards. It recognises an accomplishment of exceptional engineering merit and was presented to Finisar for the development of the Flexgrid™ capability for the DWP family of Wavelength Selective Switches.
Finisar’s FlexGrid™ is a flexible software enhancement within the company’s range of Wavelength Selective Switches (WSS) which allows telecommunications carriers to re-route signals throughout their network.
“A FlexGrid WSS can be used for instance if someone digs up a cable by accident. The telecommunication provider can use it to re-route traffic of phone and internet so phones don’t drop out. It can also be used on occasions like Mother’s Day when capacity goes up – carriers can use the Flexgrid to add more capacity to their network,” says Dr Steve Winnall, Director of Product Engineering at Finisar Australia.
“There are problems with the current legacy system which telecommunication provider now use. For example, in situations like the City-to-Surf (a major fun-run in Sydney attracting over 35,000 competitors) people couldn’t make a mobile call because there were so many people in one location. Our product helps to alleviate that and provide a better quality of service. This is a great success story in terms of manufacturing and innovation in Australia as 99 per cent of our sales have been through export, so it is a device that is being used all over the world.”
The judges said the Flexgrid is an innovation that “overcomes the current constraint associated with fixed channel plans used in current optical networks. It is a unique and world leading product in optical fibre telecommunications.
Finisar also won two other categories for its WaveShaper and DWP products and the Flexgrid product was also highly commended in the Innovations and inventions category.
The black-tie presentation dinner was attended by 10 Finisar employees who are pictured with the award below.
All three Finisar winners on the night now advance to the national finals to be held in Canberra in November.