World’s first MEMS wavelength switch

Network Photonics claims that its first two products, the CrossWave 1200 and the CrossWave 2200 all-optical wavelength switching subsystems, are the world’s first MEMS-based wavelength switches.

Network Photonics, today announced the availability of its first two products – the CrossWave 1200 and the CrossWave 2200 all-optical wavelength switching subsystems. The company claims that these subsystems represent the world’s first commercially available MEMS-based wavelength switches.

Network Photonics’ CrossWave 1200 and 2200 subsystems are designed for OEM DWDM system providers. Applications for the products include reconfigurable OADMs (R-OADMs) and wavelength cross-connects (WXCs) in today’s linear and ring networks as well as emerging mesh topologies.

The subsystems are based on Network Photonics’ CrossWave technology that enables the dynamic switching of DWDM wavelengths by integrating demultiplexing, switching and multiplexing into a single, purely photonic operation. The result is a reduction in system cost, power and space requirements by eliminating the need for external DWDM multiplexers and unnecessary O-E-O conversions.

Compared to the conventional approach of combining DWDM terminals and optical cross-connect systems (OXCs) to perform wavelength switching, CrossWave technology performs the equivalent function at less than 1/20 the cost. CrossWave technology is scalable and offers extensibility to higher port count configurations as applications move from simple linear R-OADMs to larger degree-N switches.

Network Photonics has been testing its subsystems in the labs of six of the world’s 10 largest DWDM system OEMs in North America, Asia and Europe. In addition, three of the largest North American carriers are testing CrossWave subsystems in their labs.

Network Photonics CrossWave 1200 is a four-port wavelength switch for reconfigurable all-optical add/drop (R-OADM) applications in long-haul, ultra long-haul and metro-core DWDM networks. The CrossWave 1200 allows each of up to 96 wavelengths of a DWDM signal on the input port to be independently directed to either the drop port or the output (express) port. The switch provides complete flexibility, with no restrictions on the number or combination of add/drop wavelengths.

Network Photonics’ CrossWave 2200 is the first product in a family of scalable wavelength cross-connect (WXC) subsystems for all-optical wavelength routing in long-haul, ultra-long-haul and metro-core DWDM networks. The CrossWave 2200 is a 4-port all-optical wavelength switching subsystem in a 2×2 (degree-2) configuration that provides 192×192 wavelength cross-connection. Each of up to 96 DWDM wavelengths on the input ports can be independently switched to either (or both) of the output ports. The CrossWave 2200 is designed for wavelength management applications including DWDM ring interconnection and ‘Hybrid XC’ switches. In a Hybrid XC, the WXC subsystem is combined with a SONET/SDH digital cross-connect (DCS) or O-E-O grooming OXC to create a low-cost system which optically routes wavelengths and electronically grooms sub-wavelength services from some of those wavelengths. With a switching capacity of 1.92 Terabits in a 3 RU chassis, the CrossWave 2200 is the world’s highest density optical switch.

Common features to both the CrossWave 1200 and 2200 subsystems are switching optics integrated with an embedded controller in a rack-mountable 3 RU chassis which is designed to be NEBS and ETSI compliant. Designed for use in 50 and 100 GHz DWDM systems with up to 96 wavelengths, CrossWave offers low insertion loss, wide flat-top passbands, low PDL, high extinction and fast switching times while consuming only 8 watts of power. The CrossWave 1200 and 2200 are bit rate and protocol transparent and their performance allows for the cascading of many units with minimal signal degradation.

The subsystems are dynamically reconfigurable and any number of wavelengths (0 to 100%) can be switched to any output port, eliminating the restrictions of banded and fixed systems. The CrossWave 1200 and 2200 are controlled through a choice of digital interfaces including a command-line interface (CLI), C-language API, or web-based interface (HTTP) for easy integration into OEM systems.

Network Photonics CrossWave technology consists of an all-optical wavelength routing element (WRE) that tightly integrates 1-D MEMS and a wavelength-dispersive grating to perform demultiplexing, switching and multiplexing in a single, purely photonic operation. The 1-D MEMS technology is a single, linear row of digitally controlled micromirrors, requiring only one mirror to switch each wavelength. The 1-D MEMS design does not require complex closed-loop servo control systems to accurately position the micromirrors. This powerful design results in a dramatic reduction in size, cost and power consumption compared to 2-D and 3-D MEMS optical cross-connect systems, while increasing system reliability and optical performance. Network Photonics combines its WREs in various configurations to create wavelength switching subsystems for specific applications. The technology was developed in-house at Network Photonics and the company has over 35 patents pending.

Network Photonics’ CrossWave 1200 and CrossWave 2200 subsystems will be displayed at Supercomm June 2-6 at Network Photonics’ booth 12945.

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