Networking suite may be light-years ahead

Networking suite may be light-years ahead

By William Jackson

GCN Staff

Corvis Corp. says it is about to transform optical networking from theory to reality with a suite of optical switching, transport and network management products.

The Columbia, Md., company's suite includes the Corvis Optical Router with 2.4-Tbps switching capacity, the Corvis Optical Network Gateway for node sites and the Corvis Add/Drop Multiplexer for access between nodes.

Corvis officials said the suite can transport 400 Gbps per fiber up to 3,200 kilometers'about 1,800 miles'without electrical regeneration of the signal.

Other components include an optical amplifier for bidirectional in-line signal gain and the Corvis Network Manager for network bandwidth provisioning.

Corvis boosts the bandwidth by creating channels over existing fiber via wavelength division multiplexers that break the optical signal into separate colors.''

In a conventional fiber network, the optical signal must be converted to an electronic signal each time it is added, dropped, switched or regenerated. In all-optical networking, each wavelength is switched separately within the network without being converted to an electronic signal and then back to light.

Method to mode

The Corvis network can have many logical architectures and can carry all kinds of traffic such as IP and asynchronous transfer mode voice, video and data, the company said.

Company president David Huber said the products will be available this year.

'We think we are a couple of years ahead of our competition in coming to market,' he said.

Test users of the network have not been named, however, and industry analysts have not seen a live all-optical network in operation.

But Corvis has 'executed on three fronts: transport, cross-connect and software,' said Mathew Steinberg, an analyst with Ryan, Hankin and Kent Inc. of Arlington, Mass. Steinberg said most optical transport systems are limited to distances of 600 kilometers without regeneration, so Corvis' suite would be a big step up at 3,200 kilometers.

Corvis also is offering 160-wavelength channels over one fiber through wave division multiplexing. Most other systems have 40 to 80 channels.

Prices were not announced, but the company says that eliminating costly electronic regeneration and add-drop equipment, plus the flexibility of wavelength provisioning over a network meshed at the optical layer, will cut the cost per bit.

Corvis' Web page is at

Contact Corvis at 877-926-7847.

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