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Nokia pushes capacity limits with new optical chipset

Nokia has debuted the next generation of its Photonic Service Engine optical chipset, which pushes optical network capacity to the theoretical Shannon Limit to help telcos and webscale networks meet surging traffic demands.
Nokia said the chipset is the first to include the probabilistic constellation shaping modulation technique pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs, which intelligently shapes the signal to match the characteristics of optical fibre.
This generates wavelengths that are more resilient to noise and other impairments and increases capacity of currently deployed networks by up to 65%, Nokia said. The mobile network vendor said that will push fibre transmission capacity to ‘very near’ the Shannon Limit – the maximum theoretical capacity of a communications channel.
Nokia said the PSE-3 chipset also reduces power per bit by 60%, while reducing complexity and dramatically simplifying network operations. The chipset will also enable operators to extend the life of already deployed fibre by recovering latent capacity.
Sam Bucci, Nokia head of optical networks, said the chipset offered a breakthrough in how Nokia could maximise the performance of optical networks and, at the same time vastly simplify operations.
“By introducing this extreme and yet remarkably simple programmability, our customers can now maximise the capacity of every link in their network, whether that’s 10km, 10,000km or beyond,” Bucci said. “They will be able to keep their costs under control while handling the huge bandwidth demands that video, cloud and soon 5G will be throwing at them.”
New Zealand telco Spark is already eyeing up the PSE-3 technology.
Rajesh Singh, Spark New Zealand GM value management and procurement, said “Building on our 2012 introduction of 100G transport and 200G in 2017, the new Nokia Bell Labs powered PSE-3 technology will allow Spark to plan towards 400G and 1TB services supporting the significant predicted traffic demands of 5G, video, business services and IoT.”
Building a network using the PSE-3 chipset will require up to 35% fewer optical transponders, Nokia said.
Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst at networking communications market research company Cignal AI, said the PCS will address requirements not only of cloud and colocation operators, but also traditional incumbent and cable MSO providers.
The PSE-3 will be available across Nokia’s packet-optical portfolio.
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