Company participates in initiative to reduce power consumption in optical networks
July 8, 2010.
In recognition that continued deployment of telecommunications networks drives a demand on power and energy consumption and that current energy levels may constrain future communications growth, ADVA Optical Networking has been selected to participate in a research project focused on the development of a new generation of photonic components that will reduce power consumption and reduce costs. Named “Colorless and Coolerless Components for Low-Power Optical Networks” (C-3PO), the grant-based project is focused on increasing communications network capacity for the next generation of optical-networking applications.
Recent studies have begun to look at the power consumption of optical networks, and initial conclusions indicate that today’s approach to networking is not sustainable for the future. Individual optical components consume a large amount of power, up to tens of watts per component, and making the components larger to accommodate future network capacity needs will only increase the level of power required. In addition, as components run hotter, the energy required to cool the buildings that house the infrastructure can increase power consumption by as much as a factor of six.
To address this problem, participants in the C-3PO project will undertake a disruptive approach to optical components by developing cost-effective, coolerless, silica-based integrated components that are not wavelength-specific (e.g., colorless), but that have high performance for Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) applications.
The deliverables at the end of the three-year project will include low-cost, photonic-integrated transceivers, which obviate the need for expensive, thermoelectrically cooled tunable lasers. An additional outcome will be an approach to electronics/photonics integration via novel electronic chip devices that are performance-optimized for low-power consumption and that imitate integration with the arrays of integrated optical devices. These new components are projected to deliver large savings on equipment in any given year, even into the hundreds of millions of dollars from data and switching-center applications alone.
“ADVA Optical Networking continues to drive innovation. Our participation in the C-3PO project is a strong example of how we push advanced technology to bring constant and continued innovation into the network,” stated ADVA Optical Networking’s chief technology officer, Christoph Glingener. “The components that result from C-3PO will be integrated into our FSP 3000 platform, which will enable our customers to automatically benefit from lower power consumption and operational expenses (OPEX). We will continue to pursue all opportunities to assist our customers in driving efficiency into their operational model. We look forward to great cooperation with the C-3PO project partners.”
In addition to ADVA Optical Networking, other participants in the project include:
- University College Cork/Tyndall National Institute (Ireland)
- CIP Technologies (United Kingdom)
- Interuniversitair Micro-Elektronica Centrum (IMEC) (Belgium)
- POLATIS (United Kingdom)
- CONSTELEX (Greece)
C-3PO is a three-year project focused on metro and access networks that kicked off in June 2010 and is supported by the European Commission’s (EC) Seventh Framework Program (FP7). As part of that larger EC initiative, C-3PO is housed within the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) program’s photonics efforts. The total budget for the project is EUR 2.6 million, with EUR 2 million of that coming from the European Union.