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Lucent highlights laser networking system

10Gbps throughput set for summer 2000 release

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Lucent today introduced a new laser-based optical networking technology under the WaveStar OpticAir brand. The system, which will ultimately see commercial light of day around March 2000, connects sites using lasers of a single wave frequency. That provides, claims Lucent, data throughput rates of up to 2.5Gbps. However, using what the company calls Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology, the system will eventually operate at 10Gbps for distances up to five kilometers. The 10Gbps version should be released commercially in the summer of 2000. DWDM essentially means using multiple light frequencies to provide multiple data channels through the system. Lucent is aiming the technology at locations where standard fibre optic cabling is impractical, either through cost or geographical constraints. The system works in the open air, and Lucent is keen to stress its "environmental friendliness" -- birds and other fauna are presumably not going to get fried should they inadvertently pass through the beam. ®

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