Microsemi Enables Terabit OTN Switching Cards for Flexible Optical Networks

Microsemi (Acquired PMC-Sierra) announced announced a 1.2 Terabit capacity OTN framer/processor chip, no doubt designed to pair with the flood of 1.2T DSPs hitting the market during 2018. The device can support 400GbE clients as well as Flex-E and has onboard encryption.

“While 100G is prevalent in both metro and long-haul networks today, next-generation packet optical transport must scale beyond 100G and include features that eliminate excess margin and quickly deliver bandwidth when and where it is needed,” said Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst with Cignal AI. “With the DIGI-G5, Microsemi continues a long history of delivering market-leading OTN chipsets that are at the foundation of OTN transport and switching networks.”

China ROADM Deployment Outlook

After much of the world already transitioned to all-optically switched ROADM networks, Chinese network operators are preparing to follow suit. Most networks outside of China used optical switching as early as a decade ago, yet China chose to deploy massive electrical OTN switches instead, powered by technology from Huawei and ZTE. But now the writing’s on the wall; electrical switching can no longer scale to the sizes needed by China Mobile and China Telecom, and these operators are now moving forward with ROADM optical switching.

This transition will unfold with a different timeline than Cignal AI initially anticipated and we have updated our position on China’s 2017 ROADM deployment. Instead of pursing rapid deployment, Chinese operators will take a more conservative stand by minimizing the deployment of conventional ROADM architectures during 2017 and 2018.

In this report, Cignal AI examines what technology China has deployed to date, outlines changes in ROADM architectures, and explores the ripple impact on the optical component and semiconductor supply chain.
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