FEATURE Annual technology forecast 2013
HIGH- SPEED TRANSMISSION applications
continued to dominate R& D
spending at many technology developers
in 2012, and test equipment
manufacturers reacted accordingly.
Instruments for coherent transmission
test and measurement
applications provided the most salient
example, with oscilloscope purveyors
playing “ Can You Top This?” with
each new bandwidth claim.
It would appear that technology
developers have access
to test equipment with enough
bandwidth to meet their foreseeable
needs, sources at one test vendor
recently told Lightwave . Now what
they want is price reduction.
Such lower costs not only would
be nice for R& D applications; they
will be essential for coherent technology
manufacturing and potential field
test requirements. In particular, 2013
should be the year someone from
the coherent- analyzer community
unveils a unit designed for field use.
Back in the lab, this year saw several
test vendors offer 32G bit- error- rate
test ( BERT) capabilities, especially
for emerging 4 × 25- Gbps requirements.
With 400 Gbps looking like
the next step in Ethernet’s evolution,
thoughts have already begun to turn to
what the necessary electrical interfaces
would need to be to support such
a data rate. A paper at ECOC suggested
16 × 25G for the first generation,
with 8 × 50G offered for a CFP2 equivalent
and 4 × 100G following. So it would
seem innovation in BERT for parallel
applications will have to continue.
In the field, it will be interesting to
see how well carriers take to Alcatel-
Lucent’s announcement of integrated
optical time domain reflectometry
capabilities in its GPON equipment.
Sources have already indicated
that systems houses have integrated
measurement capabilities for
turn- up of 100- Gbps wavelengths.
With test capabilities now appearing
in PON systems, we have to
wonder how many types of network
systems will appear with integrated
test capabilities that obviate the
need for standalone instruments.
Taming the price of test
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