The journey to 1.6T: Why 1.6T and what’s in it for you
You continue to see double-digit annual growth in bandwidth demand from your customers, with no sign of abatement. You are constantly seeking ways of differentiating connectivity services amidst a fiercely competitive marketplace to retain and expand your customer base.
At the same time, you are looking to increase operational efficiencies and reduce costs with a more modern network that can quickly respond to new bandwidth demands with less deployed hardware. You have a fixed number of scarce resources – these include not only fiber, but real estate, rack space, and power limits that you need to adhere to. Your shareholders expect increased profitability, and your customers want higher capacity connectivity at lower costs. As an innovation leader, you need industry-leading technology to massively scale your network at the right cost points to drive your business forward. In addition, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced through your operations is no longer a nice to have; you have committed ambitious sustainability goals to your stakeholders that you need to meet.
Do these business challenges resonate?
These challenges are what spur new innovations from our engineers and scientists and drive our investment decisions as a leading coherent networking provider. We understand that the coherent technology you select today will determine how ready your network is to meet profitability targets, future networking requirements and will directly impact your ability to achieve and surpass sustainability objectives.
These challenges are what spur new innovations from our engineers and scientists and drive our investment decisions as a leading coherent networking provider.
This is why we are developing the world’s first 1.6 Terabit solution, using state-of-the-art technology, with WaveLogic 6 Extreme (WL6e). What does 1.6T and WL6e mean for your business? WL6e provides the efficient transport of 400G-800G connectivity required for network evolution and the step-level improvement in economics to justify the effort of new technology adoption, all in a design that allows for simple adoption in existing network assets.
Delivering the technology needed to address real-world networking requirements
Coherent technology evolution has enabled the scaling of networks over the past 15 years. Supporting more data throughput per wavelength means you deploy fewer transponders in the network to support capacity requirements.
In 2017, when we introduced the world’s first 400G solution with WaveLogic Ai, this enabled twice the capacity per transponder versus previous technologies, including 200Gb/s long haul transmission.
We followed with the world’s first 800G with WaveLogic 5 Extreme (WL5e) in 2020. Why 800G and not 600G? Because the networking requirement was an efficient vehicle to transport 100G and 400G rates, with 400G routers just starting to be deployed at the time. 800G supports an even multiple of 400G clients and enables ubiquitous 400G networking. (600G performance is suitable for ubiquitous 300G transmission, which falls short of the 400G objective.)
Fast forward a few years, and, because of the requisite performance it provides, 800G has become the new standard in performance optics. The impact of WL5e 800G technology is seen across networks with >75,000 WL5e modems deployed, many service providers around the world now offering innovative 400G services based on the technology, and 400Gb/s being the predominant connectivity speed of choice for large cloud providers. These examples include Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, Telstra, Aqua Comms, MOX, Southern Cross, and Colt.
Examples of customer press releases announcing innovative 400G services
based on WaveLogic 5 Extreme
So, what’s next? To successfully meet your needs the next generation of coherent optics will need to intersect the next-generation routing data paths at 800G and provide the ubiquitous 800G connectivity that is required for years to come. WaveLogic 6 Extreme 1.6T is designed to do just that. 1.6 Tb/s is also the obvious choice as it provides ideal mapping for any mix of 400G and 800G rates with support for complete multiples of 800G.
We know from global networking deployment experience that 95Gbaud 800G was required to achieve ubiquitous 400G connectivity. Thus, it follows that ~200Gbaud 1600G (1.6T) is needed for ubiquitous 800G connectivity. Real network modeling analysis reinforces this assertion. In the example below, analysis was performed across both a Pan-European network and a national European network. WL6e 1.6T supports 800Gb/s and higher wavelength speeds in >97% of network paths, with the majority of links running at 1T and higher speeds.
Just like WL5e enabled delivery of 400G services across ultra-long-haul terrestrial and submarine links, WL6e is designed to help you continue to lead in the market with innovative 800G wavelength services.
Why 1.6T vs 1.2T
Similar to 600G vs 800G, there was a choice our engineers had to make between 1.2T vs 1.6T. Use more common technologies or use state-of-the-art ones that deliver more substantial improvement in performance and reduction in space and power/bit. Settle for providing incremental networking improvement or deliver another optical world first and address true networking requirements with 1.6T.
Settle for providing incremental networking improvement or deliver another optical world first and address true networking requirements with 1.6T.
The choice was clear. The network benefits are clear. Analysis in a representative North American national network shows that 200GBaud 1.6T provides double the 800G coverage of a 135GBaud 1.2T solution while requiring 25% fewer transceivers and resulting in 25% reduction in energy consumption.
How can Ciena deliver 1.6T while others are talking about 1.2T? This technical achievement is possible because of our team’s unmatched coherent optical networking expertise, specifically, their ability to deliver the industry’s first 200Gbaud coherent DSP based on state-of-the-art lowest power 3nm CMOS, the industry’s first 200Gbaud analog and electro-optics, and unique high-speed packaging to connect these together and support reliable high-capacity transmission.
Want to learn more about the technology inside WL6e and what it means for both your network and business? Stay tuned for our next blog in the Journey to 1.6T series.