OTN Processors: Service Providers Need Flexible, High-Capacity, and Secure Networks

With over 50 years of experience in the optical networking business, ECI has more than 250 active customers worldwide, operating in more than 70 countries across 5 continents. ECI’s customers include leading Research and Education Networks, critical Utility Networks, and some of the world’s largest Service Providers. The latest entry in ECI’s innovative optical network product portfolio is the Apollo™ line, which offers traditional optical networking as well as Layer 2 and OTN switching solutions that rely on Microsemi’s DIGI OTN processors to provide a comprehensive feature set and allow a scalable architecture to drive the mass deployment of 100G.

Service Providers Need Flexible, High-Capacity, and Secure Networks

To meet the varying needs of global service providers and data center customers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as ECI need to find ways of optimizing their R&D resources to create a wide range of products that are competitive in the marketplace. Many service providers are deploying OTN switching solutions to groom their traffic and optimize wavelength usage. Within these deployments, there will be cases where low-capacity switches are required and others where high-capacity switches are required. Service providers and data center operators may also be looking for non-switch-based solutions, such as transponders and muxponders to provide point-to-point connectivity.

Within each of these applications, there will be varying requirements for the client rates and protocols supported, as well as potential encryption requirements for network security. The only economically feasible way to address this wide range of requirements is to leverage R&D efforts across the designs, which is why ECI chose Microsemi’s DIGI family of OTN processors. As the pioneer in enabling OTN switching over packet fabrics, Microsemi’s DIGI family of OTN processors are globally deployed in service provider and hyperscale data center wide area networks (WANs) today. The DIGI family enables a single flexible hardware and software silicon platform for OTN switching and OTN transport product lines, thereby reducing R&D investment while ensuring
a consistent feature set.

The DIGI OTN processors provide a flexible development platform that form the foundation for a number architectures and applications, including:

• Dense 100G and 400G capacity client and line-side cards for P-OTPs
• Multi-terabit OTN and packet/MPLS switching
• Cost-optimized fabric-less switching platforms for the metro
• Dense 100G transponders and muxponders
• Wavelength and sub-wavelength level encryption solutions

ECI and Microsemi have worked together to develop and implement each of the described solutions, all based around a single DIGI device. This has enabled ECI to have optimized solutions for a large range of service providers and data center operators, helping them with deployment efforts and reducing operating costs.

ECI’s Apollo™ family of packet-optical transport systems provide scalable, high-density, and efficient solutions to access, metro, and core networks. The Apollo platform enables service providers to deploy highly cost-effective, multi-service/multi-rate, and flexible OTN transport/OTN switching optical networks. ECI’s Apollo platform enables high performance and low latency OTN transport and switching with software-configurable adaptability and agility for maximum efficiency and network performance.

The Apollo OPT9600 family can support a maximum line and client capacity of up to 9.6T with a variety of OTN-enabled transponders, while the Apollo OPT9900 family includes native OTN switching fabrics with up to 16T of capacity.

ECI has released the Apollo OPT 9932, a high-capacity switching platform supporting up to a 16T hybrid OTN/packet switching fabric to address the needs of service providers. In addition to the large switching fabric, the OPT 9932 employs client cards that support a wide range of protocols and line cards that can aggregate the traffic and connect to other parts of the network with high-capacity optics. In order to build these client cards and line cards, Microsemi and ECI worked together to create several ground-breaking solutions around the DIGI family of OTN processors. Microsemi’s DIGI platform—differentiated by power, density, security, and software—has the scalability to enable mass deployment of 100G+ packet optical transport networks.

ECI has selected Microsemi’s DIGI OTN processors with multiple generations of field-proven, carrier-grade software API libraries and successfully implemented numerous client and line card designs, applications, and flexible equipment platforms while reducing the development costs and accelerating the time to market.

Read the full ECI and Microsemi case study on Optical Transport Networking (OTN) Processors.

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