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Infinera reaches 6.21 b/s/Hz – breaking spectral efficiency record

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Infinera, a provider of intelligent transport networks, has completed a number of successful submarine field trials over the MAREA, subsea cable.

MAREA is Facebook, Microsoft and Telxius's 6,600km, eight fibre pair, 160Tbps,submarine cable connecting Virginia and Spain.

The trials achieved new records for trans-Atlantic real-time spectral efficiency, peaking at:

  • 6.21 bits per second per hertz (b/s/Hz) over 6,644 km, translating to a fibre capacity of 26.2Tbps

  • 4.46 b/s/Hz over 13,210 km for 18.6Tbps fibre capacity.

“We were thrilled to have an opportunity to work with a major internet content provider to demonstrate Infinera’s leading innovation in spectral efficiency over the MAREA cable system,” said Dr David Welch, co-founder and chief strategy and technology officer of Infinera. “Infinera’s ICE4 technology has continually delivered in optical performance for our customers over the past year. This latest example, in a production platform, allowed upwards of more than 30% increased spectral capacity over other supplier technologies that are available today. We will continue to advance our large-scale photonic integration to maximise capacity and continue industry leading performance for the benefit of our customers.” 

The trials were conducted using Infinera’s fourth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE4) advanced coherent technology. In addition, the company employed several advanced technologies including precision, multi-carrier common wavelocking based on Infinera’s large-scale photonic integrated circuit (PIC), digitally synthesised subcarriers with “near Nyquist” pulse shaping, enabled by the ICE4 real-time coherent digital signal processor, and operation over a high-optical power, large-area optical fibre cable. 

The company says that bandwidth hungry applications and cloud-scale architectures are driving the need for increased subsea network capacity. As a result a combination of optical wet plant and real-time advanced coherent transmission systems is required to meet this demand. 

Back in March, Infinera announced the launch of its first optical device to work at 2.4Tbps, promising improved performance for cloud and deep fibre networks. The ICE5 device will carry data at 400Gbps per wavelength for distances of up to 1,400km.

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