Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI


World's first all-optical router claimed to move 10 times today's Internet traffic in 1 s

26 Jan 2000 Analogue, Mixed Signal, LSI

Lucent Technologies has unleashed a new era of communications networking by introducing the industry's first all-optical router - capable of directing 10 times the traffic of today's Internet in 1 s.

Based on the Lucent WaveStar (OpticRouter) it uses a series of microscopic mirrors to instantly direct and route optical signals from fibre to fibre in the network, without first converting them to electrical form as done today. Service providers can save up to 25% in operational costs and enable them to direct network traffic 16 times faster than electrical switches.

"Optical wavelengths are the true building blocks of next-generation networks, and Lucent will be the first to make all-optical networks a reality," said Gerard Glanville, Regional Manager at Lucent Technologies Global Commercial Networks southern Africa. "In the 21st century, all-optical networks will deliver vast amounts of information literally at the speed of light, unimpeded by the bottlenecks of conventional transport systems. Lucent is the first to offer a completely optical router with virtually limitless capacity, enabling its customers to economically and incrementally expand their networks as traffic increases."

Lucent's OpticRouter is based on Bell Labs' breakthrough MicroStar technology, which will help carriers reduce cost while performing transmission functions with less space and increased efficiency. Within the WaveStar router, tiny micro-mechanical mirrors are positioned so that each is illuminated by a single wavelength. The mirrors are tilted so that an individual wavelength can be passed to any of 256 input and output fibres. All 256 mirrors are fabricated on less than one square inch of silicon. This compact switching fabric provides more than 32 times greater switching density than electronic fabrics today says Lucent.

The MicroStar technology was first demonstrated at last year's Telecom '99 show in Geneva and is being brought from lab to market in 15 months.

The WaveStar Optic-Router's modular, large-scale optical switching fabric will take in any voice, data or video signal and each of the initial 256 channels will support wavelengths at SONET/SDH or OC/STM speeds up to 40 Gbps - 16 times faster than today's electrical switches. By adding circuit packs, the OpticRouter will support in-service upgrades to higher capacities claims Lucent.

For further information contact Gerard Glanville, Regional Manager, Lucent Technologies Global Commercial Markets, (011) 709 0600.





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