- Soaring data demand is rapidly outpacing network capacity
- ADVA now coordinating R&D initiatives to advance space division multiplexing technology
- Projects will develop solutions to drive down cost per bit and sustainably scale up capacity
ADVA (FSE: ADV) today announced that it’s playing a key role in three research projects focused on significantly increasing the capacity of optical networks by using space division multiplexing (SDM) technology. Partly funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the initiatives aim to transform optical transport systems by utilizing several parallel transmission paths. The research will focus on new ways to tackle the exponential rise in data traffic while continuing to reduce cost per bit. Running for three years, the projects will develop and demonstrate solutions to enable the next generation of high-performance networks.
“With new data-intensive applications such as automated driving, smart cities and IoT services, a paradigm shift is needed in the architecture of backbone networks. Annual growth rates in internet traffic are predicted to exceed 25%. That means digital infrastructure will have to handle three times as much traffic every five years and a hundred times as much in just two decades. Our role in these projects will help to massively increase network capacity in an economical and energy-efficient way,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA. “SDM technology will be key to tomorrow’s transport infrastructure. By combining time, frequency and space division multiplexing, we can tackle the bottlenecks that are already emerging and support the digital transformation of our society.”
SDM techniques will be fundamental to the next stage in the evolution of the data landscape.
The projects feature a consortium of industry and research partners working to harness the potential of space multiplexing in fiber optic networks. That requires solving challenges and developing novel solutions in several key technology areas. These include a new generation of terminals to light up large chunks of capacity in a “rack-and-stack” fashion, optical switching nodes and amplifiers tailored to handle a large number of parallel signal paths, as well as disruptive innovation on new fibers. ADVA is leading the “Scalable terminal architectures and subsystems for fiber optic space multiplexing (STARFALL)” project, aimed at highly-integrated terminals for data center interconnects, as well as the “Wavelength selective switches for optical space multiplex (WESORAM)” project focused on novel optical switch architectures. ADVA’s team will also play a central role in the “Multi-core fibers and amplifiers with the highest capacity (Multi-Cap)” project, which will advance fiber transmission and optical amplification for SDM applications.
“These partner initiatives are a crucial step in confronting the mobile data crunch and enabling the continued digitalization of all areas of our lives. The solutions we’re developing here will empower operators to keep pace with enormous traffic growth while facilitating autonomous, zero-touch operations,” commented Jörg-Peter Elbers, SVP, advanced technology, ADVA. “SDM techniques will be fundamental to the next stage in the evolution of the data landscape. They provide an opportunity to sidestep the Shannon Limit and ensure our networks won’t be outstripped by the pace of innovation in other areas. Once again, our team is at the forefront, leading the way towards scalable and sustainable optical networks of the future.”