In a paper presented to the European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) in France, Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies, announced the first transmission of 10 channels of 107 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) data over 2,000 kilometers of fiber—a significant enough distance to prove the technology’s viability for the majority of networks where 100G Ethernet is a sought-after technology.

In the paper, Bell Labs researchers also announced the successful transmission and reception of electronically multiplexed and demultiplexed 107 Gb/s traffic, using hardware similar to that used in today’s 40 Gb/s networks. By employing differential quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) at 107 Gb/s, the high-speed electronics and optoelectronics used were required to have a mere 25 percent speed increase compared to those used in today’s 40 Gb/s systems. The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) and Sumitomo Osaka Cement Inc. provided a prototype of the fully integrated lithium niobate DQPSK modulator. The use of technology similar to commercially available products is a significant step toward realizing the viability of manufacturing and installing 100 Gb/s-based networks at a reasonable cost per transmitted information bit.

“Our breakthroughs in both transmission distance and the use of commercially viable components prove that 100 Gb/s serial is a viable technology for transmitting data traffic in its native Ethernet format,” said Martin Zirngibl, director, Bell Labs.

Today, data traffic is carried over the wavelength-division multiplexing backbone at rates of 10 Gb/s and occasionally 40 Gb/s using SDH/SONET or optical transport network connections. This Bell Labs research is aimed at developing the technologies and architectures to enable carrier-grade wide area transport and switching of 107 Gigabit Ethernet data streams (100 Gigabits of data plus additional 7 percent overhead for error correction).

 The paper is available from the ECOC at www.ecoc2006.org.          EC