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Industry’s First 2.4Tb/s Optical Engine

Sunnyvale, Calif. – March 12, 2018, 8:00 a.m. EST – Infinera, the leading provider of Intelligent Transport Networks, unveiled ICE5, the industry’s first 2.4 terabits per second (Tb/s) optical engine and the latest addition to the company’s family of Infinite Capacity Engines.

ICE5 is targeted at internet content providers (ICPs) scaling connections between data centers and communications service providers (CSPs) planning fiber-deep architectures including distributed access architecture (DAA) and 5G mobile backhaul. Optical engines play a key role in maximizing both the technical and economic performance of optical network systems. At Infinera, the pace of optical engine innovation is on fast forward, building on the success of ICE4 in metro, long-haul and subsea applications, to introduce ICE5 and demonstrate an increasing cadence toward ICE6.

IDC’s forecast for cloud computing anticipates a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19 percent through 2020 and the Ericsson Mobility Reportexpects total mobile data traffic to rise at a CAGR of 42 percent through 2022, accelerating demand for optical network capacity at ICPs and CSPs worldwide.

ICE5 builds on the success of ICE4 to lead the industry in optical performance and economics by integrating Infinera’s fifth generation photonic integrated circuit with a FlexCoherent digital signal processor (DSP) and fine-grain software control to deliver 100 to 600 gigabits per second per wavelength in the industry’s first 2.4 Tb/s optical engine. ICE5 unlocks unprecedented capacity, reach, spectral and power efficiency, designed for over 40 Tb/s on a single fiber within a fraction of a data center rack, increasing capacity up to 65 percent over currently deployed networks while reducing power by 60 percent.

Infinera Instant Network enables software automation of ICE-based platforms, allowing customers to pay for capacity as they need it, matching expense to revenue, increasing network agility and lowering total cost of ownership. More than 70 Infinera customers including the top three subsea customers and more than 60 percent of data center interconnect customers rely on Infinera Instant Network to scale capacity on demand.

“Cloud and fiber-deep architectures will accelerate the demand for optical network capacity,” said Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Group’s Vice President of Optical Transport and Mobile Backhaul. “This means future optical DWDM systems will have to deliver higher single wavelength speeds sooner and be agile enough to be used in metro as well as long haul environments. Infinera’s plan for ICE5 fits well with our five-year projection that DWDM demand will grow faster in metro access and aggregation locations due to data center interconnect, 5G backhaul, and fiber-deep.”

“Innovation is on fast forward at Infinera as we build on our success with ICE4 to introduce ICE5 – the industry’s first 2.4 Tb/s optical engine,” said Dr. Dave Welch, Infinera Founder, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer. “With ICE5 we are bringing our leading-edge technologies to market faster than ever, enabling our ICP and CSP customers to respond quickly to explosive bandwidth growth and ultimately win in their markets.”

Infinera Intelligent Transport Network platforms with ICE5 are planned for availability in early 2019.
For more information, visit

The Intelligent Transport NetworkInfinera Fifth Infinite Capacity Engine ICE5 Supports 2.4 Tbps

March 12, 2018
Author Stephen Hardy
Editorial Director and Associate Publisher

Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN) has taken the wraps off the newest version of its Infinite Capacity Engine DSP and photonic integrated circuit (PIC) combo. The ICE5 will support a total of 2.4 Tbps via 600-Gbps wavelengths or superchannels.

The company also unveiled new L-Band capabilities for the ICE4 and offered a quick look at the upcoming ICE6.

The new ICE5, at the top end, will support 66-Gbaud transmission via 64-QAM over four tunable wavelengths, which Jay Gill, senior marketing manager at Infinera, said the company will demonstrate at OFC 2018 in San Diego this week. The engine will support a variety of reach/transmission rate optimizations, enabling the ICE5 to support metro to submarine network applications. The former can take advantage of the full 600 Gbps per wavelength; Gill says the ICE5 will support 400 Gbps at distances greater than 1500 km.

Other features include built-in support of 400 Gigabit Ethernet, Layer 1 encryption, and Open ICE, which enables ICE-enabled Infinera platforms to work with competitor's line systems. Infinera will begin deploying the ICE5 early next year; Gill declined to discuss the platforms that will see the ICE5 first. The company called out data center interconnect, cable MSO fiber-deep and Distributed Access Architectures initiatives, and 5G mobile support as salient applications for the engine.

Meanwhile, Infinera believes the ICE4 still has a role to play in customer networks. To prove this, the company has announced L-Band capabilities for the device that complement similar capabilities for Infinera's FlexILS line system family. L-Band compatible meshponders with the ICE4 should reach the market by the first quarter of next year; the company also will demonstrate such systems at OFC 2018. Gill says multiple network operator classes would be interested in L-Band; the company's lead customer on the new capability is a communications service provider with fiber constraints.

The ICE4 preceded the ICE5 by about 24 months. The company expects a similar gestation period for the upcoming ICE6, said Gill. The company has already reported 100-Gbaud performance out of prototypes of the ICE6, supporting 600 Gbps over 1400 km as well as 800-Gbps transmission. As is the case with Nokia, which announced its new chips, the PSE-3, last week (see "Nokia touts ultimate in spectral efficiency via PSE-3 chipset and probabilistic constellation shaping"), Infinera is working on the application of constellation shaping; it has demonstrated including constellation-shaped 1024-QAM transmission via prototype ICE6 chips. Gill asserted Infinera's constellation shaping technology would not take a back seat to Nokia's when it becomes available.
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