Telecom operators will soon have a simpler option for upgrading optical networks directly to 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) thanks to technology developed with funding from the European Union. Field trials of the HECTO (high-speed electro-optical components for integrated transmitter and receiver in optical communications) project’s technology have demonstrated that 100GbE networks can be deployed that are less complex than before.
In the HECTO project, which was funded by a European Union grant, Nokia Siemens Networks partnered with component vendors, academic institutions and non-profit research institutes from Denmark, Germany, Greece and Sweden.
The key benefit of the HECTO project is a method that cuts the number of transceivers – the components that send and receive pulses of information carrying light – for 100G network links of less than 40 kilometers by 75%. With HECTO, operators can provide short-haul 100GbE using only one transceiver on a single wavelength, rather than four transceivers at four separate wavelengths. This alone can reduce the complexity of 100GbE transmission providing a cost-effective way to upgrade optical networks.
“100GbE is the next big step in the networking world, bringing the additional capacity that will be needed for new bandwidth-hungry applications and the widespread adoption of smart devices,” says Rainer H. Derksen, senior research scientist at Nokia Siemens Networks. “The HECTO approach is ideal for short-haul transmission because it does not require the complex transceivers needed for longer distance network links. At the same time, it meets the increased capacity demands in the metro and access portions of the network. This landmark project fits well with our vision of using innovation to help operators upgrade to 100GbE without major network investments.”
Nokia Siemens Networks led the HECTO project’s activities surrounding the assessment of component specifications and technology. Nokia Siemens Networks drew on its experience in high-speed transmission trials in both systems evaluation lab experiments and field trials. In addition, the company served as the interface between the consortium and standardization bodies.
HECTO project partners to Nokia Siemens Networks were from Sweden (Photonics and Microwave Engineering department of the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Acreo AB and Syntune AB), Germany (Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and u2t Photonics AG), Denmark (DTU Fotonik) and Greece (the University of Peloponnese).