New AON Superblade Reduces Size and Power Requirements of Optical Components

JDSU today announced that it is creating a single-slot blade solution for delivering all major functions required for optical network transport, called the Agile Optical Network (AON) Superblade. The new platform will integrate major transport functions that used to require multiple blades onto a single blade, dramatically reducing size, cost and power requirements for network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and service providers.

The AON Superblade will include very small blocks of wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology that JDSU has invented called the Nano WSS, erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) technology, and an optical channel monitor technology into a single-slot device.

A special operating system designed by JDSU – called the AON Embedded Operating System - will support the architecture of the AON Superblade and ensure that it seamlessly integrates within network equipment manufacturer’s (NEMS) and service provider’s unique network environments. JDSU’s high level of vertical integration will also allow for flexibility during the individual design and manufacturing of each optical element.

There is growing demand among NEMs and service providers for smaller and lower-cost optical systems deployed closer to the edge of networks, or closer to consumers, who are flooding network capacity with increasing use of online video, voice and data applications. NEMs and service providers are under pressure to add new optical solutions that can manage this increased network activity in a cost-effective way, while maintaining their existing network infrastructures. They are also looking for solutions that provide higher density, or more functions within a line card.

“I like that JDSU is taking a very customer centric approach towards the development of its new AON Superblade,” said Eve Griliches, program director for Telecommunications Equipment at IDC. “The Nano WSS technology is also groundbreaking – it could allow for ROADM solutions that go to market faster and enable vendors to deploy optical solutions in new and flexible ways.”

“JDSU’s AON Superblade is leading an emerging trend in the Optical Communications market for smaller and more efficient subsystems that provide a high level of flexibility to the customer,” said Daryl Inniss, vice president and practice leader of Communications Components at Ovum RHK. “JDSU’s AON Superblade could help NEMs decrease their time to market, lower costs and reduce operational complexity.”

JDSU estimates that the new solution could be as much as 50 percent lower in cost compared to the total cost for all of the separate optical components currently used today. The AON Superblade will also be approximately four times smaller because all of the components will be integrated into a single-slot blade, compared to current solutions that can require up to four blades within NEM’s systems.

Additional key benefits of the JDSU AON Superblade include:

  • Lower cost solution – due to a highly consolidated assembly and test process compared to solutions with multiple discrete modules on multiple discrete blades.
  • Reduction in optical power loss – power no longer has to travel through numerous connectors and splices between blades.
  • Reduction in operational complexity – eliminates the need for multiple cards to be manually interconnected, which requires training.
  • Enhanced monitoring – includes control software that allows for faster response times to system variances and automated alarm and fault isolation.

“JDSU’s new AON Superblade is the key to extending the reach and capability of optical networks from the core all the way out to the edge,” said Jy Bhardwaj, vice president and general manager of Agile Optical Networks at JDSU. “Today, JDSU is the only vendor capable of designing a single-slot blade solution in a way that provides the highest performance, most flexibility and highest density to our customers – all at a reasonable cost.”

JDSU’s AON Superblade is based on a product development approach called “functional integration,” where size, cost, power efficiency and increased performance are all factored into the creation of new optical solutions.

JDSU expects to be shipping the single blade solution by the end of calendar year 2008.

The JDSU AON Superblade will be displayed at JDSU Booth #2021 during the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) in San Diego, CA from February 26 – 28, 2008.

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