Mindspeed & SpiderCloud Get Small for Big Biz
Week News Abstract For Fiber Series in 10GTEK
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Mindspeed & SpiderCloud Get Small for Big Biz
SpiderCloud, of course, has nothing to do with Spiderman, or clouds. Rather, the company has developed an indoor 3G coverage system -- called the Enterprise Radio Access Network (E-RAN), but often referred to as a mobile network in a box -- that operators can sell to their large enterprise customers. (See Look Out – Here Comes SpiderCloud!)And much of what makes that product different is due to the joint development work SpiderCloud has done with Mindspeed, the companies claim. The two firms have been working together from SpiderCloud's beginning in 2007, when it was formed by some former employees from Flarion (which was acquired by Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) in 2005), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). At that time, though, the Mindspeed team would have worn Picochip badges, before Mindspeed acquired the femto chip specialist in January this year. (See Mindspeed Snaps Up Picochip for $51.8M.)Specifically, the companies say they have together developed a customized baseband processor that has scalable and self-organizing features. The E-RAN system uses SpiderCloud's software stack, including the firm's own physical layer software (PHY) implementation on Mindpeed's system-on-chip (SoC). The PHY, in particular, is what enables the system to handle fast hand-offs among the small-cell access points so that users don't lose connectivity when moving around their offices. Also, it makes the system capable of handing several thousand users.SpiderCloud has gotten the notice of Vodafone UK , for one, which has installed the E-RAN at several U.K.-headquartered businesses. And it has partnered with NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), which will resell the system. (See Vodafone, SpiderCloud Build Enterprise 3G Networks and NEC, SpiderCloud Team on Indoor Enterprise Small Cells.)Why this matters
SpiderCloud is an interesting startup to watch in the small-cell market, particularly as its system is so squarely aimed at the big business customers of mobile operators. But the fact that it is only now revealing details how its product was developed and with whom shows just how difficult the enterprise market has been to crack for small-cell companies.
Finisar Updates WaveShaper & 100G
AMSTERDAM and SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Finisar Corporation ( NASDAQ : FNSR ) today announced a demonstration of the new WaveShaper 2000S Polarization Processor and WaveShaper 4000S Fourier Processor to be held next week at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC). These introductions are particularly beneficial to researchers and developers of optical communication systems. They enable more thorough system testing as well as reduced development time for optical components and systems. In addition, Finisar will exhibit its 100GE CFP2 module based on the CFP2 MSA form factor. See the WaveShaper demonstrations and the new CFP2 module at the ECOC exhibition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 17 to 19, in Finisar's booth #500.The WaveShaper 2000S Polarization Processor allows users to emulate spectrally-varying Polarization Dependent Loss (PDL) and Differential Group Delay (DGD) by controlling the signal amplitude and phase, depending on the polarization of the optical input signal. The high spectral resolution of the WaveShaper 2000S also allows controllable emulation of Polarization Dependent Frequency Shift (PDFS) for narrow-band filtering components such as cascaded wavelength selective switches.The Fourier Processing capability is an additional function of the WaveShaper 4000S Multiport Optical Processor. This capability allows users to split an optical channel into multiple outputs and process these outputs independently. For example, multi-channel Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT) demodulators with arbitrary channel spacing can be created by programming the WaveShaper software. Development times are greatly reduced as the parameters of such devices can be optimized simply by reprogramming the WaveShaper."With the introduction of the new WaveShaper 2000S and the Fourier Processing capability of the WaveShaper 4000S, we are significantly expanding the WaveShaper family, in particular for developing coherent, phase-modulated and polarization-multiplexed systems and components," said Dr. Simon Poole, Director of New Business Ventures, Finisar Australia. "These exciting additions have been developed for customers needing to extend the unique spectral shaping and phase control of the WaveShaper instrument in applications of next-generation communication systems using advanced modulation formats."100GE CFP2 Module During ECOC, Finisar will also showcase its new 10km 100GE CFP2 module based on the CFP2 MSA form factor. This high-density, hot-pluggable optical transceiver offers a significantly reduced size compared to the first generation CFP and is optimally designed for standards-compliant 100GBASE-LR4 and OTU4 applications. The module has a power dissipation of less than 8W, enabled by its transmitter package based on 4x28G DFB lasers, and it is optically interoperable with our existing 10km 100GE CFP modules. Lower power dissipation is a very critical feature for high port-count line cards which will utilize the CFP2 form factor.
ClariPhy, Acacia Grow Optical Chips at ECOC
Coherent transmission is turning optical modules into an electronics game, as evidenced by two announcements coming out this weekend as ECOC 2012 opens in Amsterdam.Acacia is announcing that 500 of its AC100 modules for 100Gbit/s have been installed in networks as of June. Meanwhile, Clariphy, which sells chips rather than full modules, is pushing more 40 and is undaunted about its prospects for 100Gbit/s.Both companies are betting on the increased importance of electronics in coherent transport. Digital signal processing is applied on the receiving side, making the signal clean enough to be interpreted.Acacia's announcement is the first that explains the company's business, although CEO Raj Shanmugaraj basically spilled the beans at the OSA Executive Forum in March. Acacai says the AC100 was the first merchant (that is, not-owned-by-a-systems-company) module to conform to the 100Gbit/s framework defined by the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) .Aside from being the first merchant module on the market, Acacia claims distance as its hallmark. The company says its modules are being used in a 24-spa, 2,500km optical path that runs through nine ROADMs, ostensibly the longest 100Gbit/s path built anywhere so far.One key to Acacia getting to market was that it enlisted customers, with signed contracts, before the product was even ready. There were caveats, of course; customers could back out if the thing didn't work. The key was that systems companies bought into Acacia's idea."None of the traditional module vendors had in-house ASIC expertise," says Benny Mikkelsen, an Acacia founder and its CTO. "We saw that as a great opportunity to come at the module from an ASIC point of view."The chip side ClariPhy has been patiently chipping away at the 40Gbit/s market, with a 100Gbit/s product not due until next year.
That won't be too late for its customers, which include module vendors JDSU, NEC and Oclaro, to compete with Acacia, says Paul Voois, ClariPhy's chief strategy officer. "We plan to leapfrog the first generation of 100Gbit/s technology. We'll be coming out with more advanced CMOS technology and better power consumption."ClariPhy's customers are managing to find other ways into the 100Gbit/s market. Oclaro just announced its own 100Gbit/s line-side module, for example. (See Oclaro Lines Up Against Finisar, JDSU.)At ECOC on Monday, ClariPhy is announcing a version of its 40Gbit/s ASIC targeted at the metro market, rather than long-haul. The key is that it's beefed up the forward error correction (FEC) compared with the long-haul version of its 40Gbit/s chip. That would give signals a better chance of surviving interference from neighboring 10Gbit/s wavelengths -- a likely scenario in a metro environment.ClariPhy's metro 40Gbit/s chip is in trials with Tier 1 OEMs, Voois says.Acacia, meanwhile, has its eye on the metro. Next steps for the company would include 100Gbit/s metro products, as well as modules with adaptive rates and distances, Shanmugaraj says.
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