Infinera Creates Forum for XR Optics Push

Article By : John Walko

Infinera has stepped up its effort for industry-wide recognition of its point-to-multipoint XR Optics technology that uses coherent pluggable transceivers.

Infinera has stepped up its effort for industry-wide recognition of its point-to-multipoint XR Optics technology that uses coherent pluggable transceivers.

It has established the Open XR Forum, with the initial members including operators such as Verizon, Lumen Technologies, BT, Windstream and Liberty Global.

Interestingly, though the announcement suggests the Forum “is a consortium of network operators, equipment vendors, and component vendors,” to date it only includes operators.

The importance of other players and potential standardization of the technology was discussed in a recent feature where Infinera founder and now chief innovation officer Dave Welch talked of the importance of others in the food-chain being involved.

Infinera says the company anticipates systems and components/subsystems vendors will join in due course, as well as other carriers.

Welch said the Forum launched with a focus on network providers because the first step is to establish the use cases for XR Optics, as well as requirements for management plane integration and related software integration parameters.

Infinera developed the XR Optics technology and first publicly talked about the vision at the 2019 European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Dublin, Ireland.

Hub-and-spoke architecture versus point-to-point optics. (Source: Open XR Forum. Click on the image for a larger view.)

It is meant to solve the challenges faced by network operators as a consequence of the misalignment between network traffic patterns and the technology being deployed to transport that traffic. The company suggests XR Optics is the best potential solution to simplify network architectures and reduce operating costs.

In the recent interview with EE Times, Welch said trials by BT with a metro set-up showed that ”XR Optics could produce an amazing 70% in savings in capex over a five year timescale,” when compared with a reference architecture that relies on point-to-point optics.”

Discussions are said to be under way with numerous systems and sub-system companies, components suppliers, router and switch vendors that have shown interest in joining the Open Forum in due course. Lumentum and II-VI are already established partners of Infinera in photonics components.

Infinera is clearly optimistic as regards the prospects for the Open XR Forum, since its web-site says it is “a multi-source agreement working group for XR Optics”, and that the initiative’s mission is “to foster collaboration that will advance development of XR Optics-enabled products and services, accelerate adoption of coherent point-to-multipoint network architectures, and drive standardization of networking interfaces.”

Full details for the Forum are available here.

This article was originally published on EE Times.

John Walko is a technology writer and editor who has been covering the electronics industry since the early 1980s. He started tracking the sector while working on one of the UK’s oldest weekly technology titles, The Engineer, then moved to CMP’s flagship UK weekly, Electronics Times, in a variety of roles including news deputy and finally editor in chief. He then joined the online world when CMP started the EDTN Network, where he edited the daily electronics feed and was founding editor of commsdesign.com (which, over the years, has become the Wireless and Networking Designline). He was editor of EE Times Europe at its launch and subsequently held various positions on EE Times, in the latter years, covering the growing wireless and mobile sectors.

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