[San Francisco, USA, March 12, 2014]: Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, today showcased wavelength-based multidimensional all-optical cross-connect technology at the OFC 2014 Conference. The 8-dimension (80 waves per dimension) optical cross-connect prototype implements a free cross-connect of 640 x 640 waves. This is a technical breakthrough in the all-optical cross-connect field.
With the explosive increase in data traffic, direct cross-connect of large-granularity services at the optical layer is inevitable. Currently, an N-dimension optical node consists of 2xN independent optical modules. For example, an 8-dimension optical node consists of 16 wavelength selective switches using 64 pigtails, resulting in a complicated structure, high cost, low integration, and poor flexibility. Huawei’s optical cross-connect prototype uses an industry-leading optical engine that enables a programmable million-pixel array to be integrated into a 1 cm2 silicon wafer. This is like integrating a million tiny mirrors into a space no larger than a coin; the engine can then control the cross-connect directions of the wavelengths by manipulating these “mirrors”.
In addition, the prototype adopts a leading optical design that allows it to implement the functions of 16 independent optical modules and support bidirectional free cross-connect of 8-dimension 640 x 640 waves, significantly improving integration and reducing cost. The prototype supports a spectral width of 12.5 GHz, but can also support a minimum spectral width of 2 GHz (which is 4% of the 50 GHz currently supported by mainstream product) and 16 dimensions.
The wavelength-based multidimensional all-optical cross-connect technology is an important step in the evolution from transport networks to all-optical networks. In recent years, Huawei has been striving to achieve technical breakthroughs in the all-optical cross-connect field. It released the Petabit Photonic Cross-Connect (PPXC) prototype and the all-optical cross-connect network architecture, which can be applied to all topologies to support the application of the optical cross-connect technology, assisting customers to efficiently handle the upcoming digital flood.