Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

See-through networks

April 22, 2010
ICT Results
Promising faster, more efficient and cheaper computer networking, transparent networks are the paradigm of the future. But thanks to European researchers, they are on their way already.

Promising faster, more efficient and cheaper computer networking, transparent networks are the paradigm of the future. But thanks to European researchers, they are on their way already.

Related Articles

Transparent networks are all-optical systems data transport systems. Touted as the solution to future networking needs, they nonetheless present a difficult technical challenge.

To make the network truly transparent, it must be optical throughout the transmission, from end to end. That raises many tricky conversion issues as the network changes speed and wavelength, to mention just two of the variables. This requires new photonic technology, primarily optical switches, capable of tying heterogonous network elements together.

The envisaged future scenario of the TRIUMPH project (http://www.ihq.uni-karlsruhe.de/research/projects/TRIUMPH/) posits transparent connectivity between core/regional-metro rings supporting data rates up to 160 gigabytes per second (Gbit/s) and metro-access rings supporting up to 40 gigabytes per second. Considered until recently to be a future networking technology, their feasibility has already been shown thanks to the work of the TRIUMPH project.

Just in time, too. Network demands are overtaking the capacity of traditional metro systems to cope. Internet traffic growth is unpredictable; users are deploying new, high-bandwidth applications, and content delivery needs are exploding as the internet begins to take over from television.

Agile and see-through

With all this unpredictability, networks need to handle very large capacities and be able to adapt very quickly. Agility is the key requirement to respond to fluctuating needs, but current metro network technology imposes heavy limitations.

Transparent, all-optical networks offer a solution. Up to now, transparent networks were limited to traffic at the same speed. Now the TRIUMPH project has proven that it is possible to create all-optical networks across widely varying bandwidth, wavelength and communication protocols.

It sounds simple, but it is anything but. It requires a high degree of innovation in network architectures and needs state-of-the-art photonic switches capable of tying together the access, metro access, and core metro networks together. This tie-up is particularly difficult because they all run using different speeds, wavelengths and protocols.

TRIUMPH stands for Transparent Ring Interconnection Using Multi-wavelength Photonic switches and the team worked on all aspects of the problem, starting with network architecture.

The team specified the requirements and then studied the technology options, applying value analysis and benchmarking to each system. TRIUMPH sought commercially viable solutions at each stage.

Once the architecture was defined, the team worked on optical switching nodes for Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) at rates between 10Gbit/s and 130Gbit/s. CWDM is a way of adding capacity to a network by using different 'colours', or frequencies, along a single optical fibre.

Clean signals

The team also developed a 're-amplifying and reshaping' (2R) multi-wavelength regeneration device for cleaning up distorted signals. It is an important device providing signal integrity in the core network.

Signals also had to be mapped from lower bit-rate Wavelength Division Multiplexing networks, typically used on access networks, to high-speed Optical Time Domain Multiplexing networks such as may be used on core networks. For this the team developed non-linear optical modules.

These modules delivered a compact, energy efficient optical switch of enormous technical ingenuity, capable of optical grooming and aggregation as well as signal regeneration.

Grooming is the name given to a family of optical network design and resource allocation algorithms that can enable cost-efficient use of both network bandwidth and electronic switching. Combined, this functionality makes for an incredibly sophisticated switch.

Finally, the team developed a testbed and demo to validate their technology, as well as a manufacturing plan for the commercialisation of the platform.

Flexible, powerful, economic

This was a key aspect of the project, which featured a European who's who of optical network experts. TRIUMPH's technology responds to real problems that exist now and that call for new solutions.

The upshot is a flexible, powerful and economic system capable of coping with the emerging demands of modern networks.

"The switches developed by TRIUMPH are compact and very low power compared to the non-optical switches currently in use, and this is an added attraction for network operators," explains Juerg Leuthold, coordinator of the TRIUMPH project and a professor at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

It all means better networks in the future, and world-class expertise for network component manufacturers in Europe.

The TRIUMPH project received funding from the ICT strand of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ICT Results. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Cite This Page:

ICT Results. "See-through networks." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422085549.htm>.
ICT Results. (2010, April 22). See-through networks. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422085549.htm
ICT Results. "See-through networks." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100422085549.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Computers & Math News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Jaguar Unveils 360 Virtual Windshield Making Car Pillars Appear Transparent

Buzz60 (Dec. 17, 2014) Jaguar unveils a virtual 360 degree windshield that may be the most futuristic automotive development yet. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

BlackBerry Launches Classic Smartphone

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) BlackBerry is returning to its roots with a new smartphone called the Classic, featuring a traditional keyboard at a time when rival Apple and Android phones - and most smartphone customers - have embraced touch screens. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

The Future of Work, Skills & Careers in a Digital World-Dr. Tracy Wilen

Working Mother (Dec. 16, 2014) 2014 Worklife Congress Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Tech Companies Make Holiday Shopping Easier Than Ever

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) Innovative new services allow consumers to shop with their smartphones, split bills and even haggle. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins