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Are you still providing 1st-generation solutions to 3rd-generation problems? Joe Berthold discusses how Ciena’s new WaveLogic 3 platform will change the way our customers compete, by providing the industry’s first totally user-programmable coherent optical engine. WaveLogic 3 allows you to optimize your network for distance, capacity or latency and is scalable to 400G. It’s the competitive edge you’re been looking for.

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JOE BERTHOLD: Hi. I'm Joe Berthold. I'm Vice President of Network Architecture in the CT office at Ciena. I'm here to talk today about WaveLogic 3. WaveLogic 3 is our third-generation coherent optical processor. But what's really exciting about WaveLogic 3, it's the industry's first totally programmable coherent optical engine. Ciena has always had intelligent, coherent optical processing. But with WaveLogic 3, we've increased that. WaveLogic 3 allows network operators to optimize their networks for a number of different applications. They can optimize for distance and go a maximum unregenerated distance. They can optimize for capacity. And they can also optimize for latency.

All coherent technology uses a digital signal processing engine on the receiver. But what makes WaveLogic 3 unique is that we also make the transmitter programmable. With the programmable transmitter, we could use BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, or anything you like.

So what does that mean? So with BPSK, we can span Trans- Pacific distances, the longest submarine routes on the earth. With QPSK, we get 100 gigabits in a 50 gigahertz window. With 16-QAM, we could go two different ways. One is that we could fit 100G in a 25 gigahertz window. Another thing we could do is put 200G in a 50 gigahertz window.

With WaveLogic 3 we could also shape the spectrum. And shaping the spectrum is extremely important, as you want to pack optical channels very close together. A number of ROADM deployments have a variety of different filters. By being able to shape the spectrum, we can fit through a much longer cascade of ROADM filters. One of the added benefits of the spectral shaping that we get with our programmable transmitters in WaveLogic 3 is that we could squeeze the signal into a smaller amount of bandwidth. With that, we can get 20% to 30% more capacity in a given optical fiber. So what does that mean if you have WaveLogic 3 in your network? You get more capacity in the same spectrum, which means you can carry more signals on the same fiber, generate more revenue for the same fiber.

With WaveLogic 3, we've made use of the latest generation of CMOS technology-- 32 nanometer. This has allowed us to make the optical engine six times more powerful that what we had in WaveLogic 2. With the much larger number of gates that are possible with 32 nanometer CMOS, we also included soft decision forward error correction. Forward error correction is essential to extend the distance and improve the sensitivity of optical transceivers.

One other great feature of WaveLogic 3 is that it adapts to a wide variety of different fiber types. We had this already with WaveLogic 2. But we extended our capability quite a bit. For instance, in WaveLogic 3, we can handle much, much more polarization-mode dispersion in optical fiber, which means we can reach back and deal with problems in much older fiber.

Another thing we can do with WaveLogic 3 this collect information about the characteristics of the fiber. We can use that information to populate optical routing tables. Optical routing tables enable us to dynamically reconfigure optical channels throughout a network. WaveLogic 3 allows networks to be much more dynamic. Not only can you swing wavelengths around networks, going from one destination to another, coupling WaveLogic 3 with ROADMs to adapt to the new optical path, you could also change the bandwidth.

When we were developing WaveLogic 3, 100G wasn't good enough for our engineers. They had their mind fixed on 400G. So they built the hooks within WaveLogic 3 to have it serve as a platform for 400G, because we knew our customers were going to need it before too long.

So WaveLogic 3 is programmable. It's got great performance. It forms a platform for 400G. And the combination of all three of those things changes the way our customers compete.