Optical Transport

The Optical Transport Network provides the underlying fibre optical network infrastucture of communication networks that tie together Higher Layer Service Platforms or local networks over longer distances.

Key Application Domains for Optical Transport

Key application domains for optical transport are as follow:

  • Metro Optical Networks, that interconnect telco offices / DCs, customer premises networks, and larger enterprises
  • Optical infrastucture for Fronthaul / Midhaul / Backhaul networks of 3G / 4G / 5G networks
  • Data Center Interconnect networks for linking together data centers 

Transport Layer Network as Generic Server Layer for Client Services

The International Telecommunications Union-Telecommunications (ITU-T) publishstandards (recommendations) for transport networks.The main protocol is OTN, specified in recommendation G.709.FlexE (originally defined by OIF) is emerging as an alternative protocol.

A key characteristic of the transport network is the ability to aggregate multiple client signals- which may be of different protocols - on a single optical line signal while keeping the individual client signals (including their synchronization if necessary) independent. Protection against network failures can be added and line signals will have forward error correction (FEC) to enable long distance, error free transmission. The transport network can also provide low-latency encryption of services. 

Intel Technology for Optical Transport

Intel FPGAs are ideal for implementation of line cards in optical transport systems.

The figure illustrates how FPGAs from the Intel Stratix® 10 and Intel Arria® 10 device families can implement the core part of the transport functionality on a line-card of an optical transport system.
The key advantages of Intel's technology are as follow:

  • A wide span of sizes of FPGAs makes it possible in many cases to contain all necesseray functionality in a single FPGA

  • Intel FPGAs support up to 144 transceivers with the ability to reconfigure protocol, transmission rate, and NRZ/PAM4 modulation scheme at any point in time

  • Intel has a wide range of ready-made IP for transport applications, both stand-alone intellectual-property (IP)-cores that can be used by customers to build larger systems and full turn-key IP-solutions that turns the FPGA into an ASSP-like solution, but still with the option to add customization, now or later.

For examples on the types of solutions and IP that Intel FPGA technology can provide see