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,”

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PAM4, error correction bring 400GbE test challenges–error-correction-bring-400GbE-test-challenges?utm_content=bufferdf2dc&utm_medium=social&

    Earlier this year, IEEE802.3bs compliant, line rate 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) traffic via four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4) electrical lanes was successfully demonstrated for the first time at OFC 2017 in Los Angeles—proving that the higher-speed Ethernet ecosystem is here. Growing bandwidth requirements from increasing cloud adoption is making 400GbE and the faster networking speeds it entails an essential milestone in the drive toward true terabit Ethernet.

    What’s different?
    400GbE is the first Ethernet speed in which the IEEE standards governing body includes Forward Error Correction (FEC) as a hard requirement in all use cases. FEC is needed with the inclusion because of the PAM4-based electrical interface (Figure 1). Once FEC is required for one interface, it became a requirement for all. Before 400GbE becomes a reality, companies in the ecosystem need to test the technologies behind it.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Turning the Optical Fiber Network into a Giant Earthquake Sensor

    Optical fibers can do more than transmit data—they can actually sense what’s going on around them, including the earliest rumbles of an earthquake.

    For the past year, Biondo Biondi, a professor of geophysics at Stanford University, has used a 4.8-kilometer (or 3-mile) test loop of optical fibers installed on the Stanford campus to record vibrations caused by earthquakes, and distinguish those from vibrations caused by other sources, such as passing cars.

    Using optical fibers to monitor seismic events is not a new technology—it’s standard operating procedure for oil and gas companies. However, this involves first stabilizing the fibers by attaching them to a surface, like a pipeline, or encasing them in cement. Biondi’s project used loose fiber optic cables laying inside plastic pipes, mimicking a standard optical communications installation.

    “People didn’t believe this would work,”

    An “interrogator” installed at one end of the line sends pulses of laser light into the fiber and monitors the light that bounces back—the backscatter. Changes in the timing of backscattering occur when the fiber stretches and contracts—something that happens when the ground moves during an earthquake.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple and AT&T activate LTE Band 8 to give iPhone users in Puerto Rico cellular service by Loon Balloon

    Apple, AT&T, the FCC and Alphabet’s X division have all put into motion efforts to give residents of Puerto Rico more cellular connectivity.

    To improve what is a terrible connectivity situation there, it’s going to enable a provisional band of LTE that has been recently approved, but not activated in the US and Puerto Rico, where it has not been licensed. This will allow iPhones to connect to Alphabet X’s Project Loon balloons in the region, which were activated today.

    LTE Band 8 is a 900Mhz band, which means that it has much improved range over lower frequency bands. This will help devices reach further cell towers, distribute the load among those now accessible towers and penetrate buildings and other obstructions better.

    Apple says that users will be prompted to download the carrier settings this week. The service is already live.

    Though much of Puerto Rico is still without power, this should enable the currently operating cell towers to serve more users at a greater distance. LTE band 8 was recently approved by the FCC for use there.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Richard Lawler / Engadget:
    Project Loon providing limited LTE connectivity in Puerto Rico with AT&T just a couple weeks after getting FCC approval and about a month after Hurricane Maria — About a month after Hurricane Maria’s devastating landfall on Puerto Rico, and a couple of weeks after the FCC gave clearance …

    Project Loon’s LTE balloons are floating over Puerto Rico
    With AT&T, it’s bringing ‘limited’ connectivity after Hurricane Maria.

    About a month after Hurricane Maria’s devastating landfall on Puerto Rico and a couple of weeks after the FCC gave clearance, Project Loon is bringing wireless internet to people on remote parts of the island. Part of (Google parent company) Alphabet’s X innovation lab, the project uses balloons circling the Earth at high altitude to provide wireless connections. Now, it’s partnered with AT&T to light up “limited” internet connectivity with support for text messaging, basic web access and email.

    AT&T has been hard at work since the hurricane and says that it’s restored access to 60 percent of the population there, as well as 90 percent of the population in the US Virgin Islands. According to Project Loon, each balloon can provide coverage across up to 5,000 sq/km, so it hopes to cover most of the island. The access is provided using LTE band 8, and should work for AT&T customers using devices like most recent iPhones (they will need an update first), Galaxy devices (from the S6 on), Moto G, Motorola Z2 Force, plus the BlackBerry Passport and KEYone.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The evolution of modular plugs and device end termination

    Today most of the world follows ANSI/TIA-568 or ISO/IEC 11801 standards when it comes to structured cabling installations. Both standards were developed with the intent to support a range of current and future devices or applications that may appear in a building over an eight- to ten-year lifespan with permanent communication infrastructure. These standards have served the industry well, but they are now being challenged by modern technologies looking for faster, broader and more-permanent deployment within the building environment.

    The exponential increase in wireless access points and IP-based cameras coupled with the proliferation of the Internet of Things and its related applications have encouraged installers and end users to revisit traditional cabling approaches intended to support these relatively permanent devices. New end devices, like Power over Ethernet (PoE) LED fixtures, are being considered fixed or permanent, therefore not requiring the same flexibility that the standards call for.

    With these new technologies, we are witnessing the conversion of many commercial building devices and systems from analog, to digital, and now IP-addressable.

    Field termination of horizontal cabling

    With the addition of these more-permanent fixtures and devices within the building, we are witnessing a growing demand for adding a plug directly onto the end of horizontal cabling without the use of a patching field, such as a consolidation point or surface-mount box. While the TIA-568 standards do not support this yet, the TIA is currently evaluating this practice and developing the appropriate testing methodologies.

    The standards support plug termination onto horizontal cable, typically solid-conductor cable, only if it plugs into a modular consolidation point or onto cables coming from the back of a panel to plug into another panel.

    The TIA TR-42.7 subcommittee currently is working on a normative annex to the TIA-568.2-D standard to include direct termination of horizontal cabling with a plug, also currently known as “modular plug terminated link” or MPTL within the standards discussions.

    The most recognized field termination plug for four-pair cords is currently the eight-position modular plug, also known as the RJ45.

    The rise of IoT and new cabling

    As discussed earlier, there is an increasing demand for direct plug termination of horizontal cabling for use with more permanently connected devices. We are seeing the emergence of LED lighting and other building systems being powered and controlled with PoE switches and twisted-pair cabling.

    For example, Superior Essex’s PowerWise brand cable was built to reduce power loss that occurs within standard data communications cabling by using larger-gauge copper wires within the cable.

    If a technician wanted to terminate the cable, which uses 22-AWG solid copper wires, with a plug, it would be very difficult to do with traditional modular plugs.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IEEE802.11p ahead of LTE-V2V for safety critical applications

    Car-to-car communication is attracting significant attention as it promises to drastically reduce road fatalities, im
    prove mobility and enable a high-level of vehicle automation. Supporting safety critical applications is at the core
    of car-to-car communication, and for years, the technology of choice for V2X has been IEEE802.11p. Recently,
    a new standard addressing V2X applications has started evolving under the umbrella of 3GPP, whose focus is
    mobile broadband standardization. Because the safety of millions of road users will depend on the performance
    of these technologies, it is important to compare them.

    There are several relevant facts important to highlight when comparing IEEE802.11p to LTE-V2X:

    IEEE802.11p is ready now, LTE-V2X is not [4]. Today, IEEE802.11p-based products are available on the market
    from multiple silicon vendors. Some Tier1s have complete solutions available. In contrast, there is no LTE-V2X
    product available in the market today, and it will most likely take several years before a complete solution will be
    ready and tested. The promised 5G version of V2X will have an even longer time horizon;

    IEEE802.11p is already installed in cars on the road. An end-user can buy a vehicle (e.g. GM Cadillac
    ) equipped
    with IEEE802.11p technology today;

    The V2V NPRM has been published [1]. It clearly indicates that the US Government apparently has the intention
    to deploy IEEE802.11p as a technology thoroughly tested, validated and available for safety critical applications;

    IEEE802.11p mass deployment could begin soon. Volkswagen, one of the largest car manufacturers worldwide,
    publicly announced that from 2019 onwards, they will equip their first model series with IEEE802.11p technology

    The cellular community is advocating that V2X implementations should wait for cellular technology to be ready and
    tested, and disregard the investments and field tests done to validate IEEE802.11p for safety critical applications.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ethernet chip supplier Aquantia files registration statement for proposed IPO

    On October 9, Aquantia Corp. announced that it has publicly filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. Aquantia has applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “AQ.”

    Aquantia is a specialist in the design, development and marketing of advanced, high-speed communications ICs for Ethernet connectivity in the data center, enterprise infrastructure and access markets. Aquantia’s products are designed to cost-effectively deliver leading-edge data speeds for use in the latest generation of communications infrastructure to alleviate network bandwidth bottlenecks caused by the growth of global IP traffic.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AP580: 1Gb Ethernet with Optional Power over Ethernet

    The AcroPack® product line updates our popular Industry Pack I/O modules with a PCIe interface format. This tech-refresh design offers a compact size, low-cost I/O, and a rugged form factor. Combining different AcroPack module types on one XMC, VPX, or PCIe carrier allows for a simplified modular approach to system assembly.

    These modules provide a single port Ethernet which is capable of speeds of 10, 100 or 1000 Mbps data rates.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DSRC vs. C-V2X: Looking to Impress the Regulators

    New chipsets, reference designs, field tests, and position papers emerge as Wi-Fi and cellular-based solutions square off prior to government rulemaking.

    two technology camps vying to become an industry (or de facto) standard. A good example of the latter is the ongoing tiff between Wi-Fi-based 802.11p and cellular’s C-V2X technology, as they vie to represent vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications on a global basis.

    Currently, two key sets of standards for V2X communication exist, namely dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) in the U.S. and the Cooperative Intelligent Transport (C-ITS) standards in Europe. DSRC is a U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) project based on the Communications Access for Land Mobiles (CALM) architecture for vehicle-based communication networks. On December 17, 2003, the FCC adopted a Report and Order establishing licensing and service rules for the DSRC Service in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Radio Service occupying the 5.850- to 5.925-GHz band (5.9-GHz band).

    The ultimate vision of DSRC is a nationwide network that enables communications between vehicles and roadside access points or other vehicles (Fig. 1). DSRC utilizes IEEE 802.11p, an approved amendment to the IEEE 802.11 standard, to add wireless access in vehicular environments (WAVE). It permits low-latency (2-ms) communication of basic safety messages between vehicles and between vehicles and roadside infrastructure.

    The 802.11p standard also defines a way to exchange data through that link without the need to establish a basic service set (BSS), and in this way, without the need to wait for the association and authentication procedures to complete before exchanging data. The IEEE 802.11p equivalent in Europe’s C-ITS stack covering PHY and MAC is termed ITS-G5; like DSRC, it also operates in the 5.9-GHz band. In Japan, the DSRC equivalent operates in the 5.8-GHz spectrum.

    DSRC uses orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), a widely used multi-carrier transmission scheme, and relies on the widely deployed WLAN standard defined in IEEE 802.11, specifying the physical transmission (PHY) and medium access control (MAC).

    IEEE 802.11p/DSRC offers the possibility for vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-pedestrian (V2P) connectivity.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Who’s Hiring? (Amazon, McDonald’s, Lyft) Who’s Firing? (Cisco, Tesla, HPE)

    Tech jobs boom, bust, and move. In recent months, according to a sampling of tech expansions and contractions that made the news, it’s boom times for autonomous vehicles, bust times for networking hardware

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SFP optical modules: Legacy compatibility vs. improved performance–Legacy-compatibility-vs–thermal-management?utm_content=buffer85127&utm_medium=social&

    Communication and datacenter equipment manufacturers are looking to deploy 50 Gbps or 100 Gbps data links. These links, based on high-density connections with single or double 50 Gbps electrical channels, need I/O connections that go beyond the traditional small form-factor pluggable (SFP) port. Two new approaches have emerged that enhance SFP: micro quad SFP (microQSFP) and SFP-double density (SFP-DD). The one you select will depend on your design priorities.

    The defining characteristics on an I/O connector are data rate, signal integrity, and form factor. Signal integrity directly affects data rate. Form factor affects density and power dissipation.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The biggest change in PAM4: How do the eyes line up?–How-do-the-eyes-line-up-

    Many things change in the transition from good old baseband, logic-emulating non-return-to-zero (NRZ) signaling to 4-level pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM4): We get three eye diagrams instead of one, a signal-to-noise ratio that drops like a lead zeppelin, 12 distinct transitions instead of two, and six rise and fall times instead of one of each. Although we’ve been dealing with eyes, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and rise/fall times for ages, the biggest change is that now we have to worry about the relative positions and shapes of those three eyes.

    Eye linearity comes in two flavors: compression and skew.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PAM4, error correction bring 400GbE test challenges–error-correction-bring-400GbE-test-challenges

    Earlier this year, IEEE802.3bs compliant, line rate 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400GbE) traffic via four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4) electrical lanes was successfully demonstrated for the first time at OFC 2017 in Los Angeles—proving that the higher-speed Ethernet ecosystem is here. Growing bandwidth requirements from increasing cloud adoption is making 400GbE and the faster networking speeds it entails an essential milestone in the drive toward true terabit Ethernet.

    400GbE is the first Ethernet speed in which the IEEE standards governing body includes Forward Error Correction (FEC) as a hard requirement in all use cases. FEC is needed with the inclusion because of the PAM4-based electrical interface (Figure 1). Once FEC is required for one interface, it became a requirement for all. Before 400GbE becomes a reality, companies in the ecosystem need to test the technologies behind it.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Teleste, Cisco Test Remote PHY Interoperability

    Teleste recently tested its remote PHY node technology in cooperation with Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), an initiator of the Open Source RPD development project with CableLabs. In the tests, the interoperability of Teleste’s remote PHY-enabled node, AC9100 Neo RPD, was demonstrated alongside Cisco’s cBR8 CCAP core.

    “Distributed access architecture (DAA) offers cable operators worldwide the ability to provide scale, flexibility and performance for their cable access networks,” said Daniel Etman, director of product marketing, Cable Access Business, Cisco. “Remote PHY is a foundational, standards-based architecture that enables a transition to virtualized access solutions and offers significant TCO benefits. We are pleased to work with Teleste within the ecosystem of OpenRPD to make sure that cable operators will be able to benefit from the incremental growth potential of this transformation.”

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ADTRAN Intros Remote OLTs with DPoE Support

    ADTRAN (NASDAQ:ADTN) has added environmentally sealed, 10G-EPON virtual remote optical line terminals (virtual R-OLTs) to its software-defined access (SD-Access) portfolio. The new elements are designed to support 10 Gbps FTTH, while integrating into existing DOCSIS back office provisioning and operational systems. The combination of DOCSIS provisioning of EPON (DPoE), native SDN integration and remote outside plant packaging are also intended to support distributed access architecture (DAA) deployments.

  31. 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.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Transition Networks adds fiber-to-the-desktop NICs supporting M.2 interface

    Transition Networks, Inc. (Minneapolis) has announced its M.2 Fiber Network Interface Cards (NICs), designed for use in small form factor PCs, such as micros, minis, and thin clients, that do not have space for external PCI or PCIe slots.

    Sold as a kit, the full solution consists of an M.2 NIC that installs into the small form factor PC’s M.2 interface, a fiber-optic adapter that installs into the PC’s option port, and a flat flex cable (FFC) that connects the NIC to the fiber adapter. The fiber-optic adapter is available with a fixed LC connector or SFP options. M.2 Fiber NICs are available for both Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet networks.

    Per the company, “Fiber-to-the-desktop (FTTD) is a growing cabling alternative in networks that need utmost security. Fiber cable offers physical layer security because it can’t be tapped without breaking the connection and alerting the network manager. The M.2 Fiber NIC joins Transition Networks’ wide assortment of PCI, PCIe, PCMCIA and ExpressCard NICs, Scorpion-USB Ethernet Fiber Adapters, and copper-to-fiber media converters in providing FTTD connectivity.”

    “Desktop PCs are being replaced by smaller computing systems, most of which have internal M.2 interfaces but do not have PCI or PCIe slots,” comments GlenNiece Kutsch

    The NICs are fully compliant with IEEE 802.3-2012 and are available for 100 Mbps or 1 Gbps data rate networks.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AFL launches FOCIS WiFi2 fiber inspection system

    AFL has launched its FOCIS WiFi2, the company’s next generation fiber-optic connector inspection system, which uses an Android or iOS wireless connection for enabling such capabilities as live image video streaming, auto-focus and more.

    The FOCIS WiFi2 utilizes AFL’s large portfolio of inspection adapter tips for both connectors and bulkhead sleeves, including all 2.5 mm (SC, FC, ST) and 1.25 mm (LC) ferrules, as well as multi-fiber connectors and bulkhead sleeves (MPO/MTP/MPO16). AFL also offers an adapter tip for high density LC PC/UPC optical distribution frames.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fiber-optic testing equipment (FOTE) market soars to $936 million by 2025: Report

    A new industry report covers the analysis and forecast of the fiber-optic testing equipment (FOTE) market on a global and regional level. The study provides historic data of 2016 along with the forecast for the period between 2017 and 2025 based on revenue (US$ Mn).

    The study provides an in depth analysis view of the fiber-optic testing equipment market by segmenting it based on product type, application and construction. On the basis of product type, the FOTE market has been further segmented into optical time domain reflectometer (OTDR), optical light source (OLS), optical power meter (OPM), optical loss test set (OLTS), remote fiber test system (RFTS), and optical spectrum analyzers (OSA).

    On the basis of application, the fiber-optic testing equipment market is segmented into research and development, installation and maintenance, measurement solutions, safety and monitoring solutions. On the basis of construction segment, the fiber optic testing equipment market is segmented into portable/handheld and bench top/rack mounted.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    CableLabs Completes Full Duplex DOCSIS Spec

    CableLabs has completed its Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 specification, which is intended to enable symmetrical multi-gigabit services over existing hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) networks.

    Current DOCSIS 3.1 technology is asymmetrical, allowing for throughput up to 10 Gbps downstream and 1 Gbps upstream. Most DOCSIS 3.1 deployments to date have speeds of 1 Gbps downstream and 100 Mbps upstream.

    “In the United States, more than 90% of households are connected to an HFC network, and consumers typically have higher download speeds than upload speeds,” said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs. “By enabling Full Duplex DOCSIS, the upstream and downstream traffic can flow at up to 10 Gigabits concurrently, doubling the efficiency of spectrum use.”

    In current DOCSIS networks, spectrum is typically split between the upstream and downstream, or spectrum is shared between upstream and downstream traffic. Full duplex communication enables upstream and downstream traffic to use the same spectrum simultaneously.

    Full Duplex combines DOCSIS 3.1 technology, passive HFC network characteristics, self-interference cancellation technology and intelligent scheduling. The spec is designed for backward compatibility with previous versions of DOCSIS.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Modeling Data Transfers from THz Wireless Kiosks

    Wireless communications networks are handling increasing amounts of data, with each user depending upon their mobile communications devices as a form of starting point for daily activities. To facilitate data transfers from wireless networks to mobile devices, data kiosks are being developed for use at frequencies with wide available bandwidths, such as millimeter-wave and terahertz frequencies. Due to the small wavelengths at these high frequencies, channel modeling is essential to ensure high data rates between kiosk transmitter and mobile handset receiver.

    The researchers based their studies on the work of the IEEE 802.15.3 task group 3d (TG3d) and on an amendment of the standard for 100-Gb/s point-to-point data links operating at 252 to 325 GHz. The amendment of the standard applies to various wireless short-distance links, including kiosk terminals in airports and train stations.

    To acquire RT data for the models, measurements were performed with a commercial vector network analyzer (VNA) operating from 220 to 340 GHz in an anechoic chamber with commercially available horn antennas to determine radiation patterns.

    Channel modeling of terahertz data kiosks predicts the effects of different angles and distances between transmitter and receiver on data rates.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Is NFV Infrastructure (NFVI)? Definition

    Network functions virtualization (NFV) defines standards for compute, storage, and networking resources that can be used to build virtualized network functions. NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) is a key component of the NFV architecture that describes the hardware and software components on which virtual networks are built.

    NFV leverages the economies of scale of the IT industry. NVFI is based on widely available and low-cost, standardized computing components. The NFVI works with servers – virtual, bare metal, or other – and the software, hypervisors, virtual machines, and virtual infrastructure managers to enable the physical and virtual layer of the network.

    NFVI standards help increase the interoperability of the components of the virtual network functions and aim to enable multivendor environments.

    How an NFVI Fits Into NFV

    The NFV architecture comprises major components – including virtualized network functions (VNFs), NFV management and orchestration (MANO), and NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) – that work with traditional network components like OSS/BSS.

    NFVI is composed of NFV infrastructure points-of-presence (NFVI-PoPs) which are where the VNFs, including resources for computation, storage, and networking, are deployed by a network operator. NFVI networks interconnect the computing and storage resources contained in an NFVI-PoP. This may include specific switching and routing devices to allow external connectivity.

    NFVI is as critical to realizing the business benefits outlined by the NFV architecture as any other functional block. It delivers the actual physical resources and corresponding software on which VNFs can be deployed.

    NFVI creates a virtualization layer that sits right above the hardware and abstracts the HW resources, so they can be logically partitioned and provided to the VNF to perform their functions.

    The NFVI Market

    The current market for NFVI varies greatly, and there is even debate among vendors as to what constitutes an NFVI component. Vendors have differing interpretations of how to implement the ETSI VNF definitions.

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fluke Networks Video
    OptiFiber® Pro OTDR with SmartLoop™ Bi-Directional Averaging

    Test fiber right and fast. SmartLoop™ tests two fibers in both directions, and averages the measurements as required by TIA-568.3-D in seconds – without taking the OTDR to the far end. You get accurate, compliant certification in a fraction of the time.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5 crucial trends in data center cabling

    1. New data centers designed for modularization – “Whether you need standard modularization or an actual modular solution, the data cabling infrastructure is the foundation for both.”

    2. Network infrastructure optimization – “A common approach to an optimized network infrastructure involves standardization in components such as fiber and copper cabling, cabinets, racks, and data center designs.”

    3. Seamless cloud initiatives – “There’s little argument that a seamless cloud solution allows a scalable alternative in which physical layers can be added (or removed) in a phased approach for rapid deployment (or scaling back).”

    4. Network Convergence culture – “Henry Jenkins coined the phrase convergence culture as where old and new media collide.”

    5. Virtualization services – “Virtualization has an effect on cabling as cabling has an effect on virtualization. With shared storage, web servers commonly connect to a network using a Fibre Channel, iSCSI, SAN or NAS file system. Robust cabling is required for uptime and to support many virtual networks for routing and forwarding using simple network cabling links.”

    Five Trends in Data Center Cabling

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Home> Community > Blogs > Brian’s Brain
    Is it time to upgrade to mesh networking?

    Take latest-generation 802.11ac, which regularly receives well-deserved scathing critiques from the folks at SmallNetBuilder. As another SmallNetBuilder tutorial post documents in great detail, all but the lowest-level foundation 802.11ac performance flavors requires one or multiple of the following:

    40 Mhz “multi-channel bonding” in the 2.4 GHz band (which will make you a persona non grata with your neighbors attempting to use that same spectrum swath, due to channel overlap and resultant destructive interference)
    Similar (and even wider) “multi-channel bonding” in the 5 GHz band
    Simultaneous dual band mode … even though each LAN client is only able to use one band at a time
    Multiple simultaneous 5 GHz radios … even though each LAN client is only able to tap into one of them
    Multiple simultaneous spatial streams, not supported by all LAN clients
    Exotic modulation schemes … again, not supported by all (or even, dare I say, most) LAN clients
    Inclusion of the incremental bandwidth potential of the short-range 60 GHz band for emerging 802.11ad-supportive routers … currently supported by very few (or even, dare I say, any) LAN clients

    When you pay big bucks for a router with a big number next to the “AC” designation on the box, only to realize that you’re not getting speeds any faster than you were with your old “N” router, might you decide not to repeat your mistake next time? And might you also share your disappointing experiences with family, friends, and co-workers? Just sayin’ …

    The combination works passably, but is admittedly something of a pain in the ass. Each wireless broadcast source needs to have a different SSID name, so that I can differentiate them from each other. Wireless-connected clients that roam about the house, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, stubbornly continue to cling to a now-weak broadcaster after I move them away from it, versus automatically searching for and reconnecting to a now-stronger alternative. The access points communicate with the router in a “dumb” manner, solely consisting of requesting IP addresses and subsequently shuttling data packets back and forth. And the access points don’t communicate with each other, either.

    This all changes with mesh networking, a relatively recent development (at least in the consumer networking space), and one that for the first time in a long time promises to bring real value to the upgrade process, thereby resulting in the earlier-exemplified price “crash” for alternative traditional convention networking gear.

    That particular delineation is pretty much a non-issue in my particular situation, since the router is located in the center of the house, with the access points arrayed around it in a hub-and-spokes arrangement.

    Other differentiators between vendors’ mesh network alternatives include their degree of support for bonded channels, multiple spatial streams and advanced modulation schemes, all translating into varying peak bandwidth claims. Only a few mesh product options support directly tethered network storage and/or printer resources via USB; similarly, in most cases you’ll need to supplement the router or access point with a separate multi-port switch, since the mesh device itself only offers a single Ethernet port intended for LAN clients’ use. And in some cases, a distinct 5 GHz “backhaul” radio between access points (and between each access point and the router) is supported, while in other cases, the “backhaul” traffic is merged with normal LAN client traffic (a wired Ethernet option for connecting access points to the router is also offered; that same Ethernet port at the router acts as the WAN connection to the broadband modem).

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    10 Gigabit Broadband For Everyone?

    Average broadband rates are still modest and are not enough to share the services of the next 4K television and other data chips. At London University College, however, technology has been developed to increase broadband speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second in each household.

    According to UCL researcher Dr Sezer Erkilinçi, here, a new receiver technology can be introduced to bring the wavelength of its dedicated light to each fiber contact user. Such a receiver is called a coherence receiver.

    These receivers already exist, but so far they have been very expensive. Therefore, the equipment is mainly reserved for the use of terrestrial connections between countries. The research presented in Nature Communications now describes a new, simple and inexpensive coherence receiver.

    To maximize the efficiency of fiber connections, the data is transmitted at different wavelengths, i.e. with the colors of light. The coherence receiver gives each user their own wavelength, so the speed of the connection does not depend on the number of users. In the new structure, for example, light-emitting is needed only a quarter of the previous one.

    A simpler receiver was obtained by introducing a coding technique that was originally developed to prevent the loss of a wireless signal. This allows the same fiber connection to be used both upstream and downstream in the data link.

    The results are promising. Erkilinc’s team succeeded in moving data to 37.6 and 108 kilometers for eight users at least 10 gigans per second.


  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The biggest change in PAM4: How do the eyes line up?–How-do-the-eyes-line-up-

    Many things change in the transition from good old baseband, logic-emulating non-return-to-zero (NRZ) signaling to 4-level pulse-amplitude modulation (PAM4): We get three eye diagrams instead of one, a signal-to-noise ratio that drops like a lead zeppelin, 12 distinct transitions instead of two, and six rise and fall times instead of one of each. Although we’ve been dealing with eyes, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), and rise/fall times for ages, the biggest change is that now we have to worry about the relative positions and shapes of those three eyes.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    A Dual-Mode Error-Correcting Code Solution For 50Gbps Ethernet

    Why a Reed-Solomon Forward Correction Error in the Ethernet PHY can help limit area and power.

    The increase in bandwidth is driving more innovations in the Ethernet physical layer technology to combat numerous challenges like channel loss, inter-symbol interference and more importantly error detection and correction. It is imperative to have a mechanism in place to detect and correct errors as data is transmitted and received, while maintaining small silicon area and low power consumption. One technique is the forward error correction (FEC), which detects burst errors and corrects them at the receiver without the need for data retransmission, which is costly and adds to inefficiencies and latency. FEC is based on error-correcting codes written by Reed-Solomon and is now known as Reed-Solomon Forward Error Correction (RS-FEC). The IEEE 802.3 standard has since defined different RS-FEC modes supporting today’s 25Gbps Ethernet and the evolving 50Gbps Ethernet speeds.

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    San Francisco Just Took a Huge Step Toward Internet Utopia

    Last week, San Francisco became the first major city in America to pledge to connect all of its homes and businesses to a fiber optic network.

    I urge you to read that sentence again. It’s a ray of light. In an era of short-term, deeply partisan do-nothing-ism, the city’s straightforward, deeply practical determination shines. Americans, it turns out, are capable of great things—even if only at the city level these days.

    You might think: Big deal, San Francisco is our tech capital, the last place that needs this. But for years, San Francisco has had a major problem. True, it’s the tech capital of the country and a progressive leader among US cities, but before last week it had no plan to ensure that it had world-class data connectivity for its residents at a reasonable price. Techies frequently bemoan this fact, showing one another screenshots of spinning wheels. San Francisco’s dilemma is a compact form of the crisis in communications facing the rest of the country: Although fiber is the necessary infrastructure for every policy goal we have—advanced healthcare, the emergence of new forms of industries, a chance for every child to get an education, managed use of energy, and on and on—the private sector, left to its own devices, has no particular incentive to ensure a widespread upgrade to fiber optic connections.

    Comcast dominates access in the city, but has no plans to replace its cable lines—great at downloads, not so great at uploads, no opportunity to scale to the capacity of fiber thanks to the laws of physics, and expensive to subscribe to—with fiber.

    And its planned enhancements to its cable lines have, in other cities, resulted in a product costing $150 per month. AT&T will say it’s upgrading to fiber in San Francisco, but so far its work in many other US cities has been incremental

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Future of FTTH

    DOCSIS 3.1 and Full Duplex rightly have received significant attention among cable operators as approaches to gigabit service delivery now and multi-gigabit in the future. However, work continues on all-fiber options that could not only match but exceed the capabilities of Full Duplex. These efforts complement a drive among telcos to implement software-defined networking and network functions virtualization (SDN/NFV) principles in the access network – an effort that cable operators could leverage as well.

    What’s currently available for symmetrical 10 Gbps FTTH
    The upcoming FTTH technologies that will surpass Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sckipio Demos 3 Gbps Gfast over Twisted-Pair

    Sckipio says it broke new performance records at the Broadband World Forum by demonstrating speeds of more than 3.1 Gbps downstream and 900 Mbps upstream on production silicon using Gfast bonding running at 212 MHz.

    The new Amendment 3 Gfast solution runs on two bonded pairs of CAT-3 wiring (regular twisted-pair copper telephone wires). The demonstration uses Sckipio’s SCK23000 chipsets, Civica WanStaX software and the Microsemi WinPath network processor.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Connectors: Not just schematic symbols–Not-just-schematic-symbols

    According to Brench, EMI is low on the priority list when it comes to high-speed system design. He listed typical design priorities:

    Signal integrity

    Brench started by explaining that when data rates exceed 20 Gbps (10 GHz clocks), as they do at 28 Gbps NRZ and 56 Gbps PAM4 (14 GHz clocks), EMI became a problem because of the short wavelengths relative to connector size. Today’s backplane connectors designed to handle data rates of 56 Gbps have shields around each pair to minimize crosstalk. They are also made of lossy materials that absorb some radiated energy. “Plastics are not well behaved at high frequencies,” Brench noted. Thus, you can’t rely on them not to emit energy.

    Connectors such as those in the SFP family have their own set of problems. They have active components such as transmitters and receivers. Their size can cover the wavelength of multiple bits. At frequencies over 5 GHz, a backplane connector can be one wavelength in size. Under those conditions, connectors become radiators

    Even though the SFP family of connectors mount into shielded cages, they need EMI testing. “We have no control over what passes through the connectors,” said Brench. Unfortunately, frequencies in the range of 20 GHz to 30 GHz are in a transition area where enclosure shielding is no longer practical because of thermal issues. “When data rates exceed 30 Gbps,” noted Brench in a slide, “EMI must be considered in backplane connectors and measurement now go to 70 GHz. Connectors are no longer points on a schematic.”

    Front-panel connectors such as SFP and its derivatives contain active components that are inherently radiators of RF energy. In addition, they generate heat that must be managed. To cool those components, connector designers add fins (Figure 2). Unfortunately, this kind of design also drives RF current that can result in radiated emissions.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Elisa already switches to gigabit speeds in Finland

    Elisa is the first in Finland to offer its top-of-the-range 1 gigabit mobile broadband network. The operator has built a giga (1 Gbps) mobile broadband connection in the heart of Tampere and the Elisa Kulma store in downtown Helsinki during the autumn.

    The construction of a single gigabit mobile broadband mobile broadband in Tampere is part of a large-scale mobile network renewal project where Elisa builds a network with 5G capability in Tampere and its neighboring areas.

    - Building a high-speed mobile network is another step towards the 5G high-speed, where we are among the forerunners in the world. The additional capacity for the base stations of the Tampere center will allow the giga mobile broadband connection, and it will immediately provide speed to all current network users, says Sami Komulainen, Senior Vice President, Mobile Services, Elisa.

    In Helsinki, at giga’s mobile speeds, you can surf the Elisa Kulma store in Aleksanterinkatu.


  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why RFOptic’s Programmable RFoF Solutions are the Perfect Replacement for Coax

    RF over Fiber is gaining in popularity as a great alternative for replacing coax (copper), especially in the defense, broadcasting and telecom sectors, for various reasons:

    Since deploying fiber technology is complicated, RFOptic has developed RFoF solutions that are customizable to enable maximum flexibility for its customers. One of our customers, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), tested RFOptic’s programmable RFoF and compared it with the performance of copper.

    U.S. Naval Research Laboratory Concluded the Successful Testing of RFOptic’s Programmable RFoF Solutions


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