Infinera Aims to Give Undersea Fiber Networks a Makeover

Infinera (s INFN) has been one of the optical industry’s disruptors, helping to boost capacity and lower the costs of both inter- and intracity networks. Now the company is turning its attention to subsea networks, as evidenced by its demo of a photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based DTN system that transmitted data over a 4,000-kilometer, third-party subsea network. Infinera DTN has 25 Gigahertz (GHz) channel spacing vs. 50GHz spacing on the pre-existing equipment — in other words, double the network capacity.

Subsea systems typically have subsea optical amplifiers and submarine line terminal equipment (SLTE) located in terrestrial landing stations and connected to the either end of the amplifier chain. With its new DTN system, Infinera has replaced the pre-existing SLTE systems. With bandwidth demand continuing to grow at about 50 percent a year, innovations like these are what’s necessary to keep our digital lives humming.