Telecom and networking trends for 2017

It’s always interesting (and dangerous) to lay out some predictions for the future of technology, so here are a few visions:

The exponential growth of broadband data is driving wireless (and wired) communications systems to more effectively use existing bandwidth. Mobile data traffic continues to grow, driven both by increased smartphone subscriptions and a continued increase in average data volume per subscription, fueled primarily by more viewing of video content. Ericsson forecasts mobile video traffic to grow by around 50% annually through 2022, to account for nearly 75% of all mobile data traffic. Social networking is the second biggest data traffic type. To make effective use of the wireless channel, system operators are moving toward massive-MIMO, multi-antenna systems that transmit multiple wide-bandwidth data streams—geometrically adding to system complexity and power consumption. Total mobile data traffic is expected to grow at 45% CAGR to 2020.

5G cellular technology is still in development, and is far from ready in 2017. As international groups set 2020 deadline to agree on frequencies and standards for the new equipment, anything before that is pre-standard. Expect to see many 5G announcements that might not be what 5G will actually be when standard is ready. The boldest statement is that Nokia & KT plan 2017 launch of world’s first mobile 5G network in South Korea in 2017: commercial trial system to operate in the 28GHz band. Wireless spectrum above 5 GHz will generate solutions for a massive increase in bandwidth and also for a latency of less than 1 ms.

CableLabs is working toward standardization of an AP Coordination protocol to improve In-Home WiFi as one access point (AP) for WiFi often is not enough to allow for reliable connection and ubiquitous speed to multiple devices throughout a large home. The hope is that something will be seen mid-2017. A mesh AP network is a self-healing, self-forming, self-optimizing network of mesh access points (MAPs).

There will be more and more Gigabit Internet connections in 2017. Gigabit Internet is Accelerating on All Fronts. Until recently, FTTH has been the dominant technology for gigabit. Some of the common options available now include fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 over cable’s HFC plant, G.Fast over telco DSL networks, 5G cellular, and fiber-to-the-building coupled with point-to-point wireless. AT&T recently launched its AT&T Fiber gigabit service. Cable’s DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 are cheaper and less disruptive than FTTH in that they do not require a rip-and-replace of the existing outside plant. DOCSIS 3.1, which has just begun to be deployed at scale, is designed to deliver up to 10 Gbps downstream Internet speeds over existing HFC networks (most deployments to date have featured 1 Gbps speeds). G.Fast is just beginning to come online with a few deployments (typically 500 meters or less distance at MDU). 5G cellular technology is still in development, and standards for it do not yet exist. Another promising wireless technology for delivering gigabit speeds is point-to-point millimeter wave, which uses spectrum between 30 GHz and 300 GHz.

There are also some trials for 10 Gbit/s: For example Altice USA (Euronext:ATC) announced plans to build a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 10 Gbps across its U.S. footprint. The five-year deployment plan is scheduled to begin in 2017.

Interest to use TV white space increases in 2017 in USA.  The major factors driving the growth of the market include providing low-cost broadband to remote and non-line-of-sight regions. Rural Internet access market is expected to grow at a significant rate between 2016 and 2022. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global TV white space market was valued at $1.2 million in 2015 and is expected to reach approximately $53.1 million by 2022, at a CAGR of 74.30% during the forecast period.

The rapid growth of the internet and cloud computing has resulted in bandwidth requirements for data center network. This is in turn expected to increase the demand for optical interconnects in the next-generation data center networks.

Open Ethernet networking platforms will make a noticeable impact in 2017. The availability of full featured, high performance and cost effective open switching platforms combined with open network operating systems such as Cumulus Networks, Microsoft SoNIC, and OpenSwitch will finally see significant volume uptake in 2017.

Network becomes more and more software controlled in 2017.NFV and SDN Will Mature as Automated Networks will become Production systems. Over the next five years, nearly 60 percent of hyperscale facilities are expected to deploy SDN and/or NFV solutions. IoT will force SDN adoption into Campus Networks.

SDN implementations are increasingly taking a platform approach with plug and play support for any VNF, topology, and analytics that are instrumented and automated. Some companies are discovering the security benefits of SDN – virtual segmentation and automation. The importance of specific SDN protocols (OpenFlow, OVSDB, NetConf, etc.) will diminish as many universes of SDN/NFV will solidify into standard models. More vendors are opening up their SDN platforms to third-party VNFs. In Linux based systems eBPF and XDP are delivering flexibility, scale, security, and performance for a broad set of functions beyond networking without bypassing the kernel.

For year 2016 it was predicted that gigabit ethernet sales start to decline as the needle moving away from 1 Gigabit Ethernet towards faster standards (2.5 or 5.0 or 10Gbps; Nbase-T is basically underclocked 10Gbase-T running at 2.5 or 5.0Gbps instead of 10Gbps). I have not yet seen the result from this prediction, but that does not stop from making new ones. So I expect that 10GbE sales will peak in 2017 and start a steady decline after 2017 as it is starts being pushed aside by 25, 50, and 100GbE in data center applications. 25Gbit/s Ethernet is available now from all of the major server vendors. 25 can start to become the new 10 as it offers 2.5x the throughput and only a modest price premium over 10Gbit/s.

100G and 400G Ethernet will still have some implementation challenges in 2017. Data-center customers are demanding a steep downward trajectory in the cost of 100G pluggable transceivers, but existing 100G module multi-source agreements (MSAs) such as PSM4 and CWDM4 have limited capacity for cost reduction due to the cost of the fiber (PSM4) and the large number of components (both PSM4 and CWDM4). It seems that dual-lambda PAM4 and existing 100G Ethernet (100GE) solutions such as PSM4 and CWDM4 will not be able to achieve the overall cost reductions demanded by data-center customers.  At OFC 2016, AppliedMicro showcased the world’s first 100G PAM4 single-wavelength solution for 100G and 400G Ethernet. We might be able to see see 400GE in the second half of 2017 or the early part of 2018.

As the shift to the cloud is accelerating in 2017, the traffic routed through cloud-based data centers is expected to quadruple in the next four years according to the results of the sixth annual Global Cloud Index published by Cisco. Public cloud is growing faster than private cloud. An estimated 68 percent of cloud workloads will be deployed in public cloud data centers by 2020, up from 49 percent in 2015. According to Cisco, hyperscale data centers will account for 47 percent of global server fleet and support 53 percent of all data center traffic by 2020.

The modular data center market has experienced a high growth and adoption rate in the last few years, and is anticipated to experience more of this trend in years to come. Those data centers are typically built using standard 20 ft. container module or standard 40 ft. container module. Modular data center market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 24.1% during period 2016 – 2025, to account for US$ 22.41 billion in 2025Also in 2017 the first cracks will start to appear in Intel’s vaunted CPU dominance.

The future of network neutrality is unsure in 2017 as the Senate failed to reconfirm Democratic pro-net neutrality FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, portending new Trump era leadership and agenda Net neutrality faces extinction under Trump. Also one of Trump’s advisers on FCC, Mark Jamison, argued last month that the agency should only regulate radio spectrum licenses, scale back all other functions. When Chairman Tom Wheeler, the current head of the FCC, steps down, Republicans will hold a majority.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet’s Next Life
    Why an old technology is still very much in demand.

    An ever-growing engagement with the Internet — where most of humanity and the ‘things’ we use are almost constantly connected and constantly storing, processing and retrieving data over a network — is increasing pressure to develop new standards, and much more quickly.

    Witness the timeline of Ethernet, and its humble beginnings as a standard protocol for moving data at 2.5 megabits per second inside a local-area network.

    “It took Ethernet about 25 years to come up with six standard speeds. We did that from around 1985 to 2010,” says John D’Ambrosia, chairman of the Ethernet Alliance and senior principal engineer at FutureWei Technology, the U.S.-based subsidiary of China’s Huawei. “Now, from 2015 to 2018, we will introduce six more.”

    The 400 Gigabit Ethernet standard is set to be ratified this year. D’Ambrosia has been a participant, and then leader, in IEEE 802.3xx study groups and committees for wired Ethernet for the past couple decades. In the last five years, he has witnessed a growing debate over standards activity as cloud giants like Facebook and Google came to the hardware communities with enormous challenges and huge budgets.

    “When you are trying to deploy 100,000 servers at once, things add up in a big way in a hurry,” D’Ambrosia says. “There was about a two-year period there where every single meeting would have something totally new. We’d say, ‘What’s going to come at us next?’ It was bedlam.”

    Big data has diverged along two distinct paths since then.

    “One part is moving from 25 to 50, 100 and 400 [gigabits per second],” says Venu Balasubramonian, marketing director at Marvell. “In mid-2016 they were at 10 Gbps. They’re now moving to 40 Gbps, with 100 Gbps on the aggregation layer. They will be running 100 Gbps to the spine, or 50 Gbps in single line. That’s one piece of the market. The other piece is the enterprise, which right now served almost entirely by copper. They’re running 10 Gbps.”

    Large cloud operations, meanwhile, have added photonics to move data back and forth between server racks and external storage, but the difference in cost is significant. The enterprise includes companies such as midsize banks, where the speed of moving data is not as critical. In addition, the amount of data that need to be moved is smaller.

    “With automotive there are more electronics, and bandwidth needs are growing significantly,” says Balasubramonian. “There are new standards being developed and a whole range of bandwidth options. You may see 100 Gbps. There is even talk about 2.5G in cars for video transmission from cameras.”

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Harris / Wired:
    Alphabet gets approval from FCC to fly 30 Project Loon balloons over Puerto Rico for 6 months, after Irma and Maria left 90% of the island without cell service — LAST FRIDAY, ENGINEERS on Google parent Alphabet’s internet-by-balloon Project Loon tweeted that they hoped to bring emergency connectivity …

    Alphabet Closer to Using Balloons for Telecom in Puerto Rico

    Last Friday, engineers on Google parent Alphabet’s internet-by-balloon Project Loon tweeted that they hoped to bring emergency connectivity to Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria left more than 90 percent of the island without cellphone coverage.

    Just seven days later, the Federal Communications Commission Friday gave the company a green light to fly 30 balloons over Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands for up to six months.

    If all goes to plan, Alphabet’s balloons will soon help replace the thousands of cellphone towers knocked out of service by hurricane-strength winds. The balloons would provide voice and data service through local carriers to users’ phones.

    The details of those arrangements aren’t complete. But in its application to the FCC, Alphabet included letters and emails from eight wireless carriers in Puerto Rico, in which they consented for Loon to use their frequencies for disaster relief and to restore limited communications. Two of those agreements were dated Friday.

    Alphabet has previously deployed Loon to provide emergency phone service, in Peru following flooding there earlier this year.

    In Puerto Rico, “things are a little more complicated because we’re starting from scratch,” an Alphabet spokesperson says. “Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner’s network—the balloons can’t do it alone.”

    With the FCC’s special temporary license in Puerto Rico, Alphabet plans to work along the same lines as in Peru. Thirty Loon balloons will float 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) above the earth in the stratosphere, relaying communications between Alphabet’s own ground stations connected to the surviving wireless networks, and users’ handsets.

    Each balloon can serve 5,000 square kilometers (1,930 square miles), so the fleet is expected to provide service over all of Puerto Rico and potentially parts of the US Virgin Islands. Alphabet said it would consult with networks in the British Virgin Islands to minimize interference there.

    Another issue is that Alphabet’s technology is still set up for Peru, so some handsets in Puerto Rico may need updates to use the balloon-connected service. Alphabet says it is working on temporary over-the-air software fixes for affected devices, which could include handsets from Apple, Samsung, and LG.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Mark Harris / Wired:
    Alphabet gets approval from FCC to fly 30 Project Loon balloons over Puerto Rico for 6 months, after Irma and Maria left 90% of the island without cell service — LAST FRIDAY, ENGINEERS on Google parent Alphabet’s internet-by-balloon Project Loon tweeted that they hoped to bring emergency connectivity …

    Alphabet Closer to Using Balloons for Telecom in Puerto Rico

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Telecommunications: An Industry in the Midst of Transformation

    Learn how Telco Central Office hardware is changing by adapting innovative new data center concepts. Rack-scale architectures based on Open Compute Project are poised to displace blade/chassis hardware offering efficiency and performance improvements.

    data center technology is being leveraged to transform the telco central office with the next generation of rack scale telecom grade hardware. Next generation demands will be met with an adaptation of OCP using the newly ratified CG-OPENRACK-19 specification

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:


    Ultra HD 4k TVs, on demand video,
    gaming and smart phones require ever
    increasing amounts of data. M2M
    connections that are forecast to reach
    1 billion by 2020 and will represent
    10% of all mobile connections, will
    add to the bandwidth needs.

    Founded in 2011, OCP is an industry-wide
    initiative to share specifications, designs
    and best practices

    telecom companies
    developed standards such as the
    Network Equipment Building System

    In its
    standard configuration, OCP does not
    meet the requirements of NEBS in
    relation to shock and vibration
    resistance, temperature range and
    cooling performance.

    A new generation
    of OCP focused on the needs of the
    telecom industry is now available with the
    CG-OPENRACK-19 specification.

    built the Schroff Compute and Storage
    rack based on the concepts
    of OCP and the CG-OPENRACK-19

    The 800 mm wide rack has redundant
    3-phase power input cables that enter
    through the top cover of the rack, with
    each cable going to a separate PDU
    (Power Distribution Unit) in the sides of
    the rack.’

    The redundant PDUs feed AC
    power to the ToR Switches and power
    supplies. The bottom of the 800mm wide
    rack version holds 3x 1U power shelves
    that each accept 4x 2.5kW 12VDC
    front-end power supplies. The power
    supplies are in a 2x redundant N+1
    configuration so the system can support
    full operation even with multiple failures.

    The 12V DC outputs of the redundant
    PSUs are connected to 2x sets of power
    busbars that provide the power to the
    Compute or Storage sleds. The 600mm
    wide rack has the same power supply
    configuration as the 800mm rack

    The ToR (Top of Rack) contains 2x
    redundant 1U fiber optic data plane
    switches, each having 32x 40 Gb or 96x
    10 Gb + 8x 40 Gb ports. The ToR also
    holds 2x redundant 1U fiber optic
    Management switches each with
    48x 1 Gb + 2x 10Gb ports.

    there are 2 types of
    sleds available: a Compute sled and a
    Storage sled. The Compute sled is 2U,
    half width and 800mm deep. An example
    configuration holds 2x Dual-socket Xeon
    motherboards each equipped with up to
    256 GB (16x 16 GB) RAM. Each
    motherboard has 2x 10 Gb optical NICs
    for Data Plane, and 2x 1 Gb optical NICs
    for BMC and Management.

    Staying with the traditional U increment
    of 44.45 mm allows for the use of
    standard components such as 1U
    switches or 1U frontend PSUs. The U
    increment rack can also accept
    legacy 19” hardware in certain parts of
    the rack

    Compared to other Telecom standards
    like AdvancedTCA, the Schroff Compute
    and Storage rack has a much higher
    processing and/or storage density. The
    newest versions of ATCA chassis typically
    have a height of 14U. Three 14U ATCA
    chassis fit into a 42U rack. One chassis
    can hold up to 14 blades.

    The Schroff Compute and Storage
    rack is designed with a straight air flow
    from front to back, over the electronic
    components and heat sinks

    The RDC is
    controlled by the smart rack
    management controller, and can cool up
    to 50KW.

    Highly reliable system
    With traditional telecoms systems such
    as AdvancedTCA, each component is
    redundant to allow seamless operation,
    significantly increasing costs. The new
    Schroff Compute and Storage rack
    adopts an alternative redundancy
    concept. Instead of duplicating each
    component as in an ATCA shelf, the
    storage and processors in a Schroff
    Compute and Storage rack will be
    installed with as little as 10% overhead.

    s UL
    certified and is NEBS compliant. This
    means that it remains functional for 96
    hours at 55ºC, and is resistant to
    earthquake zone 2 for a single a rack, or
    zone 4 with a row of racks.

    Working with Pentair to specify and
    select a Schroff system provides the
    opportunity for extensive customization.

    While OCP designs
    offer multiple cost and performance
    benefits, CG-OPENRACK-19 solutions
    meet the specific requirements of the
    telecom industry.


  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    World record in optical data transfer

    The Japanese National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) has broken the world record of optical data transfer. The new multi-fiber link was able to transfer data at 53.3 terabytes per second.

    The new switch is capable of processing simultaneous data from seven optical fibers. The switching speed is obtained at 80 nanoseconds.

    The results of the research were presented last month at the ECOC conference on optical transmission at Gothenburg.

    According to NICT, the growth in network traffic has led to the performance of a traditional single-mode fiber-based connection approaching its physical boundary. Spatial Division Multiplexing (SDM) exceeds these constraints when the optical link directly transfers smaller units, i.e. data packets.


  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Qorvo® 802.11ax Portfolio Provides Broader, Faster, Lower-Cost Wi-Fi

    Qorvo® announced an expanded portfolio of 802.11ax products for Wi-Fi gateways, set-top boxes, routers and enterprise access points. The high-efficiency portfolio of integrated modules and advanced filters improves Wi-Fi coverage, enables smaller end products, and reduces costs for consumers, service providers and manufacturers.

    “Qorvo’s advanced solutions are designed to help our customers maximize Wi-Fi capacity and data rates with 802.11ax, while reducing costs,” said Cees Links, general manager of Qorvo’s Wireless Connectivity business unit. “For manufacturers of high-performance Wi-Fi equipment, thermal issues can create significant design delays and additional expense due to the need to add heat sinks and fans. Our high-efficiency portfolio reduces the need for thermal management, helping our customers design smaller, more attractive products without internal fans.”

    Qorvo’s bulk acoustic wave (BAW) filters allow full power output across all Wi-Fi channels, helping consumers receive reliable Wi-Fi service through the entire home.

    802.11ax will greatly increase network capacity by supporting up to eight simultaneous data streams, each delivering up to 1.2 Gbps, to connect many more devices at greater speeds. Qorvo’s broad 802.11ax portfolio includes 2.4GHz and 5GHz front-end modules (FEMs) and BAW filters.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fluke Networks’ fiber video inspection probe takes Platinum -level honors in Cabling Installation & Maintenance 2017 Innovators Awards

    Fluke Networks (Everett, WA) announced that its FI-500 FiberInspector Micro and DSX-8000 CableAnalyzer were recognized by the judges of the Cabling Installation & Maintenance 2017 Innovators Awards program to be among the industry’s most innovative products.

    FI-500 FiberInspector™ Micro

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Supporting an Expanding Satellite Constellation

    Growing use of satellites for communications, navigation, weather, and other functions is boosting the demand for active and passive components.

    Satellites are being launched with greater frequency as they become more routine parts of communications network infrastructure. In addition to major systems for communications, smaller spacecraft (such as CubeSats) are being launched for research purposes, driven by initiatives from NASA. Global satellite communications (satcom) markets are projected to grow for many years.

    Satellites are also used for many other non-communication-related applications (Fig. 1), including for gathering weather and geological data (such as the Landsat system), as well as providing timing and navigational information (such as the GPS systems). Still, it is their capabilities to send and receive signals beyond ground-based physical and electromagnetic (EM) obstructions that make them attractive for communications links.

    The ViaSat-3 satellites will be the largest satellites in the industry. Operating at Ka-band frequencies, these first two will provide coverage for the Americas and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa), respectively, with a third ViaSat-3 satellite planned for the Asia Pacific region. The Ka-band bandwidth will enable tremendous flexibility and speed in terms of internet access and data transfers. Each satellite is expected to provide more than 1 TB/s network capability.

    The beauty of communications via satellite is that a system like a ViaSat-3 can reach users wherever they are, requiring simply a ground station in the form of an antenna and transceiver—the satellite is the rest of the infrastructure. There are no copper or optical cables to run along rough terrain and no wireless base stations and antenna towers to build, with limited coverage per base station.

    As with any technology, satellites have their tradeoffs, such as signal loss due to rainfall attenuation.

    Contractors for satellite-based systems rely on space-proven components that will provide high performance levels over a long operating lifetime.

    Waveguide is essential for satcom components, due to its durability and low loss at higher frequencies. As satellite systems move towards Ka-band and higher frequencies, waveguide interconnections and components help to preserve the signal power at those frequencies by combining low insertion loss with low return loss (low VSWRs) for reflectionless interconnections.

    L3 Narda-ATM Microwave, which supplies a variety of coaxial and waveguide components, is well aware of the growing need for satellite components at Ka-band frequencies: 27.5 to 31.0 GHz for the uplink and 18.3 to 20.2 GHz for the downlink.

    For example, a compact X-band LNA developed for 10.9 to 11.7 GHz measures 1.5 × 1.5 × 2.4 in. with WR-75 waveguide input and SMA output connector. It provides 45-dB small-signal gain with +15-dBm output power at 1-dB compression across the frequency range.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Japan’s NICT notches world-record 53.3 Tb/s optical switching capacity for data center networks
    October 9, 2017

    ECN magazine is reporting that Japan’s primary national research institute for information and communications, the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, president: Hideyuki Tokuda, Ph.D.) “has successfully demonstrated a world-record for switching capacity of 53.3 Tb/s for short-reach data center networks. This demonstration makes use of spatial division multiplexing (SDM) over multi-core optical fibers (MCFs) and a newly developed high-speed spatial optical switch system, enabling full packet-granularity.”

    In this work, NICT developed a high-speed 7-core-joint optical switching system that can switch all the cores of a 7-core MCF simultaneously with an ultrafast switching speed of 80 ns. The system consists of multiple electro-absorption (EA) optical switch elements with several nanoseconds switching speed. It also contains a switch controller, capable of reading the destination address of packets and controlling multiple EA switches simultaneously.

    This testbed used 64 wavelength channels, modulated at 32 Giga Baud with polarization division multiplexing (PDM) quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK). This delivers a nominal capacity of 53.3 tera bits per second. In the testbed, three MCF segments were used: a 19-core 28 km fiber, a 19-core 10 km fiber, and a 7-core 2 km fiber. On each fiber, 7-cores were used in this demonstration to carry information signals.”

    The World-Record 53.3 Tb/s Optical Switching Capacity For Data-Center Networks

    The National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT, President: Hideyuki Tokuda, Ph.D.) has successfully demonstrated a world-record for switching capacity of 53.3 Tb/s for short-reach data-center networks. This demonstration makes use of spatial division multiplexing (SDM) over multi-core optical fibers (MCFs) and a newly developed high-speed spatial optical switch system, enabling full packet-granularity. We believe this newly developed data-center network provides a significant improvement of network efficiency and end-to-end energy consumption per bit compared to today’s optical circuit, fully-electronic packet switching networks.

    Due to a continuous increase of network traffic demand, the capacity of optical networks using standard single mode fiber (SMF) is approaching its physical limits. SDM technology, including MCFs, has been proposed to alleviate the capacity limits imposed by SMFs. Furthermore, it is also important to reduce the granularity of optical networks.

    This testbed used 64 wavelength channels, modulated at 32 Giga Baud with polarization division multiplexing (PDM) quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK). This delivers a nominal capacity of 53.3 tera bits per second. In the testbed, three MCF segments were used: a 19-core 28 km fiber, a 19-core 10 km fiber, and a 7-core 2 km fiber. On each fiber, 7-cores were used in this demonstration to carry information signals. The results of this work were presented as a post-deadline paper on the prestigious 43rd European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC), held in Gothenburg, Sweden, from September 17, 2017 until September 21, 2017.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Time-sensitive networking’s benefits for the IIoT and manufacturing

    Technology Update: Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is moving from the idea stage to deterministic networking and the result of widespread adoption will lead to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

    Time-sensitive networking (TSN) is finally moving from the idea stage to the main stage of deterministic networking. The IEEE TSN working group has completed the core set of standards required to implement TSN, the industry has developed the first products to support the technology, and simulations and demos are taking place. Widespread adoption of these technologies is the full-blown Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) revolution that has been talked about.

    Full TSN implementation will take place over several phases. Because the switch to TSN requires a phased approach, companies won’t be able to just retrofit the technology into legacy systems. While companies won’t be able to immediately replace the existing machines, they must change infrastructures in a way that allows machines to communicate with each other more effectively. Many manufacturers have seen the benefits of standardized Ethernet within operations, and with TSN disparate networks aren’t needed to support time-critical and best-effort Ethernet traffic.

    Standard Ethernet

    The promise of TSN is twofold. First, it’s based on standard Ethernet. The traffic found on standard Ethernet, such as video and HTML, can share the physical network with high-priority deterministic Ethernet, such as motion control. This is important because those industrial products that need deterministic services are now part of the network, requiring attention to latency and jitter. With TSN, all devices that are connected to the network can be part of a validated architecture, rather than being siloed.

    TSN isn’t bogged down by always having to go at the set speeds at all times because it is part of the Ethernet. Instead, precise scheduling is used to speed up or slow down, and prioritize the delivery of whatever packet of information needs to be delivered. It also offers no jitter, even in an atmosphere where it can accommodate more devices. Instead of treating every packet the same, it can receive and interpret all data at once, calculate the maximum amount of time that can be expended before transmission, and disseminate all the information where it needs to go, seamlessly.

    This technology is essential because as more devices come onto a network, the need for that central “hub” to direct all the trains—and ensure they come in on time—becomes more important.

    One of the most important concepts of Industrie 4.0 is the need for standard technologies that all vendors can operate.

    The first step in this line of disruption will be the continued adoption of OPC Unified Architecture (OPC-UA). Once OPC-UA integrates functionality into one framework, it should carry TSN with it.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New optical interface standard aims at 5G

    By now, you may have seen the announcement from the AXIe Consortium, the VITA trade organization, and six companies endorsing a new standard called the Optical Data Interface (ODI).

    ODI is a new high-speed interface for instrumentation and embedded systems. It breaks speed and distance barriers by relying on optical communication between devices, over a standard pluggable optical fiber. With speeds up to 20 GBytes/s from a single optical port, and speeds up to 80 GBytes/s through port aggregation, ODI is designed to address challenging applications in 5G communications, mil/aero systems, high-speed data acquisition, and communication research.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia Virtualizes DAA Node

    Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has introduced a virtualized version of its Unified Cable Access node for Distributed Access Architecture (DAA). The virtualized solution is designed to support both remote PHY (R-PHY) and remote MAC-PHY (R-MAC-PHY) devices within the same network and switch from one to the other based on network requirements and strategic direction.

    R-PHY moves the DOCSIS signal generation (PHY) to the access node; R-MAC-PHY moves both the PHY and DOCSIS processing (MAC) to the node. Nokia’s solution is based on technology from Gainspeed, which the company bought last August.

    In other Nokia news, the company has introduced Nokia Wi-Fi, a managed service provider solution designed to extend gigabit connectivity to every corner of the home. The portfolio consists of a new line of gateways and extenders, and also features WiFi interference detection and identification.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nokia offers WaveLite line for private optical networks

    Nokia has unveiled a line of optical transport platforms designed to meet the needs of enterprises who want their own fiber-optic networks. The portfolio aims to provide simple, low-cost transport when paired with dark fiber.

    The 1RU WaveLite systems, all currently available, include three multiplexing transponders (the Metro 20 and Metro 200 as well as the Access 200 muxponders), an optical amplifier, and the 16-channel Mux 16 wavelength multiplexer/de-multiplexer with integral amplifier. The family includes options to accommodate 10-Gbps and 100/200-Gbps colored optical modules (the latter CFP2-ACO optical transceivers) as well as QSFP-28-based grey optics. The systems are designed for easy turn-up via a smartphone app. They also support AES-256 client- and line-side encryption.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Edgecore Networks offers ASXvOLT16 whitebox PON OLT design to Open Compute Project

    Edgecore Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corp., says it has contributed the hardware design package for its ASXvOLT16, a disaggregated 10G PON optical line terminal (OLT), to the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation. The company sees the whitebox OLT has playing in applications of Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD; see “ON.Lab, The Linux Foundation establish CORD as formal project”) and access network architectures of a similar bent.

    Based on Broadcom StrataDNX switch and PON MAC SoC merchant silicon, the ASXvOLT16 design supports 16 XFP ports for either XGS-PON or NG-PON2 applications as well as four 100-Gigabit Ethernet QSFP28 uplinks. Edgecore says the design conforms to the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1RU OLT specification the service provider contributed to the OCP Telco Project. AT&T has announced its intention to trail XGS-PON using open systems (see “AT&T plans field trial of open system, cloud-based XGS-PON”). The service provider also just released its Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) 1.0 open access software platform into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF). Edgecore says the ASXvOLT16 supports the use of VOLTHA as well (see “AT&T releases VOLTHA to ONF for XGS-PON software-defined access”).

    “Edgecore has made important contributions to OCP, including 15 hardware design contributions to the OCP Networking Project of data center switches, modular network platforms, Wi-Fi access points, PoE access switches and service provider edge switches,”


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