Juniper set to reveal photonic fruits of Aurrion acquisition

Prepares to unveil new 400Gpbs photo-electronics products

Juniper Networks is getting set to reveal, either late this year or early in 2019, a series of new 400Gbps photo-electronics products and routing/switching products to take advantage of these, CEO Rami Rahim has told Computerworld.

He said the photo-electronics products would represent the first fruits of Juniper’s 2016 acquisition of silicon photonics technology company Aurrion.

“A lot of the cost of networking has moved from the electronics into the optics, specifically optical interconnect. So we are taking a bet on silicon photonics as the next big push in transforming the cost of infrastructure,” Rahim said

The move to acquire Aurrion was announced by Juniper founder Pradeep Sindhu in an August 2016 blog entry that argued reductions in the cost-per-bit-per-second of the electronics portion of networking systems had not been matched by the optical components.

“Historically, the optoelectronic portion represented significantly less than half the cost of a networking system, especially for optoelectronics designed for short to medium distances,” he wrote. “If we fast forward to today, we see that things have completely reversed: the optoelectronics portion now represents significantly more than half the cost.

“And here’s the real problem — the explosive growth of video streaming, social networking and other bandwidth intensive applications such as data centre to data centre traffic means that there is no letup in the hunger for greater bandwidth at ever decreasing cost and ever increasing flexibility.”

Aurrion, he said, had invented breakthrough technology that combined the economies of scale pioneered by the silicon industry with the unique properties of light to carry information over long distances at significantly lower cost.

Rahim told Computerworld that Juniper’s first products exploiting the Aurrion technology would be released to support new combined switching/routing products aimed at the data centre market, which he said represented a significant growth market for the company.

“The data centre has become the modern high performance networking problem to solve and we gravitate towards high performance, so data centre has been a huge growth area for us, and we are only just getting started.

“We are about to launch a whole new wave of products to accelerate our data centre business, timed perfectly for the transition to 400-gig interfaces which are going to come out at the end of this year or early next year.”

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