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Nortel widens telecom tubes with 40Gb/s optical cards

Thanks a heap, Star Wars kid

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Nortel is showing off some new optical networking gear for telecoms, made to push bandwidth-clogging applications at a blazing 40Gb/s without an infrastructure overhaul.

The Toronto-based vendor has fired up trials for its 40G (and eventually 100G) Adaptive Optical Engine cards that slot into the massive OME (Optical Multiservice Edge) 6500 switches. Nortel claims the cards can quadruple the current standard 10Gb/s bandwidth with only a relatively minor upgrade.

Getting a hold of roomier internet tubes is of course a top priority for telecoms. There's a digital media renaissance going on, and the world is demanding in one voice to see a cat playing the piano.

Danish telecom provider TDC and the UK's Neos Networks are the first customers to pick up the hardware. Nortel said it plans to formally launch its 40Gb/s products at the end of April. Customer testing for 100Gb/s gear is underway with production gear scheduled for a late 2009 release.

Nortel says the secret to 40G operations over a 10G network is "Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying with coherent detection." We smile and nod our heads. There's also advanced digital signal processing that eliminates the need for extra equipment to compensate for weakened optical signals at a 40G speed.

The company's latest spin aims to reverse course on dwindling demand for its traditional telecom gear. Reports last month indicate Nortel and Motorola are in talks to merge their wireless businesses in an attempt to help balance their budgets. ®

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