Published by Ciena.
For a decade now, the submarine network industry has benefitted from the arrival of coherent-based modems allowing cable operators to upgrade their submerged assets to previously unthinkable total information-carrying capacities. Channel speeds initially increased from traditional 10Gb/s On-Off Keying (OOK), where laser light was shuttered on and off to represent digital ones and zeros, to 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s per channel, to recent single-wavelength 500Gb/s success over vast transpacific distances, all based on coherent technology.
Submarine cables deployed many years ago are now supporting an order of magnitude increase in total information-carrying capacity. The exact total capacity of an upgraded cable depends upon its unique performance personality, but all increases are indeed astounding. Such cable upgrades breathed new life into existing subsea wet plants, some over a decade old, and allows cable operators to maintain pace with over 40% CAGR in demand, the majority driven by submarine Data Center Interconnect (DCI) applications from major content providers. However, with Shannon’s Limit on the horizon, everything will change.
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