JUNE 19, 2008 -- Polatis (search for Polatis),
a manufacturer of high-performance, low-loss optical switches, has
introduced its ExpressLight wavelength-selective switch (WSS; search
switch) family of products, which the company is billing as the
industry's lowest-loss WSS system. The WSS is integrated with
optical channel monitoring and channel equalization functions in a
small-form-factor 1RU shelf, and enables rapid time-to-deployment
for operators and network equipment manufacturers in core and metro
DWDM networks, says Polatis.
Polatis has worked closely with carriers in developing the
ExpressLight WSS product, including undertaking a London Regional
Network Study to quantify the impact of lower WSS loss.
"We have conducted studies for our operational networks that
clearly demonstrate the advantages of low-loss optical switching
components," explains Andrew Lord, who leads BT's optical core
R&D. "Ultimately, what is preventing us from rolling out many
more WSSs is the entire network cost. A WSS with half the loss of
traditional technologies can save thousands of decibels in optical
amplification, avoiding unnecessary regenerations throughout our
network, and hence reducing significantly those costs."
The ExpressLight WSS product has been developed as a core
component of a carrier ROADM strategy, providing the ability to
remotely reconfigure any or all wavelengths and enable a
cost-effective means of remote optical network management. The
entire family of products offers up to 50% the loss of competing
technologies, according to Polatis, at less than 3 dB of express or
drop loss. Operators can manage up to 42 wavelengths at 100-GHz
channel spacing, provide colorless and hitless add/drops, and manage
the network through the integrated channel monitoring and
equalization capabilities of the shelf. The combined ultralow loss,
wide passband, and high OSNR ensure maximum ability to cascade
"The Polatis WSS serves an unmet market need in the DWDM ROADM
network today," claims David Lewis, Polatis CEO. "The dramatically
lower loss solves the 'pinch points' in the network where low loss
is critical, and enables new architectures for active add/drop,
ring-to-ring, and multidegree transparency in the network."
The WSS, which leverages Polatis's proprietary piezoelectric
beam-steering engine, is designed to allow easy integration into
existing DWDM transport systems or as a managed element in an
operator network. The WSS is suitable for dynamic wavelength
switching and service provisioning; ring-to-ring and multidegree
network connectivity; scalable wavelength crossconnects; network
restoration; and adding remote reconfiguration to existing
point-to-point fixed DWDM networks.
The first ExpressLight
WSS product is available in a passively cooled shelf, offered as a
1x9 configuration (one common line, nine add or nine drop paths).
The core technology is scalable and will allow for 1x5 through 1x20
configurations. Real-time optical channel monitoring and power
equalization of the downstream wavelengths is integrated. Interfaces
include SNMP, Telnet, and a Graphical Element Management Interface.
All products will provide less than 3-dB express or add/drop loss,
and are protocol- and bit-rate-independent up to 40 Gbits/sec and
A live demonstration of the ExpressLight 1x9 WSS product will
take place on the Polatis booth (#SL1306) at NXTcomm08 in Las Vegas