ONI scales wavelengths downward

ONI Systems Corp. recently launched a low-end edge device designed to deliver wavelengths to end-users.

The company's Online 2500 system uses coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) to deliver optical bandwidth to enterprise campuses and high-rise buildings. CWDM is cheaper than dense wave division multiplexing because CWDM spaces wavelengths farther apart and does not require the more expensive cooled lasers used in DWDM.

Optical access is a new market for ONI, which up to now has played in the metro edge and core with the Online 11000, 9000 and 7000 platforms.

"The platform takes ONI's strong WDM capabilities down closer to the end user and rounds out the ONI portfolio to give the company a truly end-to-end metro/regional WDM vision," market researcher CurrentAnalysis says in a recent report. "ONI now has a full end-to-end metro/regional solution to compete with that most competitors can't offer, but the access box still needs to be proven. (However) the Online 2500 will have to undergo thorough testing of both its integration into the ONI management system and the ability to translate the CWDM signals into DWDM optics as it hits the rest of the ONI network elements."

The Online 2500 is a two-rack unit chassis designed to deliver Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel and traditional SONET services via CWDM to the enterprise. It incorporates the CWDM technology ONI recently acquired from optical component supplier Finisar Corp.

The Online 2500 supports up to 8 protected or 16 unprotected wavelengths per ring. It product performs service grooming as well as wavelength transport, ONI says, and features "rate and protocol tunable" interfaces that can be throttled to service rates between 100M bit/sec and 2.5G bit/sec. The platform also enables full bandwidth SAN service delivery at distances up to 6,000km by reducing protocol signaling delay, ONI says.

The Online 2500 will be on display at SuperComm 2001 next week. It ships in the US in June.

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