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  • New Products, Research Unveiled at ECOC 2005
Oct 2005
GLASGOW, Scotland, Oct. 14 -- More than 3000 visitors and over 1000 conference delegates visited the 2005 ECOC (European Conference on Optical Communications) event at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre last month -– the largest, and, in its 31st year, the oldest conference on optical communications in Europe.

“ECOC 2005 was marked by the quality and quantity of visitors, and the Glasgow location also proved popular,” said Nexus Media Marketing Manager Simon Kears. “The spread of companies, from the largest international players to the latest innovative start-ups, gives ECOC its special status in the market and we are already confident that 2006 in Cannes will prove even more popular.”

Senior industry executives from Europe, the United States and Asia visited the five-day event for both the conference and the exhibition, where more than 300 companies were represented. A number of companies in attendance chose the occasion to introduce their latest products.

Milan's Pirelli Broadband Solutions chose the show to launch its new photonics division and product portfolio, including City8, the company's first metro access system equipment, which combines CWDM (coarse wavelength division multiplexing) optical technology with carrier class-level features for operators offering high-bandwidth managed services over a single fiber pair. Pirelli also introduced a dynamically tunable laser -- a continuous wave, external cavity laser for advanced optical networking systems. The company says it is designed to provide high optical output power and wavelength tunability over the entire ITU (International Telecommunication Union) frequency plan with very high spectral purity and frequency stability. Pirelli expects to initially release two models, one with C-band tunability and one with L-band tunability, both with 13 dBm output power.

“ECOC was the natural choice for the launch of our photonics division,” said Pierluigi Franco, senior vice president, marketing and product management-photonics products for Pirelli Broadband Solutions. “The show allowed us to demonstrate our capabilities in front of major industry players.”
Also making a product announcement at the conference was San Jose, Calif.-based JDSU, a provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for telecommunications service providers, cable operators and network equipment manufacturers. The company announced the qualification of its 5000 series undersea pump module, developed in response to the fact that core networks, including undersea cables, are supporting strong traffic increases resulting from widespread deloyment of broadband access technologies, and network operators are looking to reduce expenses while increasing services and performance. According to JDSU, the product uses a unique combination of the latest generation of proven chip technology and a proven packaging technology to offer optical power up to 400 mW and performance that exceeds Telcordia standards to meet the requirements for undersea deployment.
In addition to product announcements, some 500 papers were presented in a mix of plenary, invited, tutorial, regular and poster presentations. Bell Labs, the research and development division of Lucent Technologies, announced the first reported transmissions of 100-Gb/s Ethernet over optical, widely considered a significant milestone in the industry's move toward migrating to 100-Gb/s data networking.

"This work is a major first. We have broken through the ceiling in transmission rates and described two techniques that could help implement 100-G Ethernet over optical systems," said Bell Labs Director Martin Zirngibl. "With more and more enterprises moving to 10-Gb/s transmission, carriers are looking to implement 100-Gb/s Ethernet in the metro area network as a way to efficiently multiplex and transmit high amounts of data in its native Ethernet format."

Currently, Ethernet signals are transported over 10 Gb/s and, occasionally, over 40-Gb/s SONET connections. The Bell Labs research team reported that it was able to deliver a 107-Gb/s optical data stream, representing 100 Gb/s of data transmission plus a standard 7 percent overhead for error correction, using duobinary signaling, which require less bandwidth than traditional NRZ (non-return to zero) signals and enabled the creation of an optical 107-Gb/s serial data stream using a commercially available optical modulator (rated for 40 Gb/s), and a single-chip optical equalizer, which compensated for almost all intersymbol interference arising from modulator bandwidth limitations in an optical 107-Gb/s NRZ electronic time division multiplexing transmitter. As with the duobinary approach, Bell Labs researchers used a commercially available 40-Gb/s optical modulator in combination with the optical equalizer to generate a 107-Gb/s optical NRZ data stream.
Other papers presented during the conference discussed topics such as how photonic crystal resonances can be combined with dynamics to stop, store and time-reverse light pulses; advances being made in controlling light speed in semiconductors and their applications; and the implementation -- via photonic crystal technology and advances in integrated optics -- of ladder networks consisting of chains of 2 x 2 switches and delay lines in future optical communications.

ECOC is already expecting to attract more than 1500 delegates to next year’s event, to be held in Cannes, France, at the Palais des Festivals & des Congres between Sept. 24-28. Organizers say they are also anticipating increases in exhibitor and visitor numbers.

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