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LightReading Ethernet Conference Notes

Lightreading Ethernet Expo 2007This is a collection of notes and observations gathered during the LightReading Ethernet Conference that didn’t merit a standalone article. Unless noted, these conclusions were from conversations I had while at the conference, and not the opinions of presenters.

I strongly caution readers than some of the below information is single-sourced information that may be ripe with bias. I choose to publish what I see fit based on my opinion of what is likely to be true.

  • Ethernet over SONET/SDH is ramping. According to an undisclosed vendor, Vitesse (VTSS.PK) is shipping in excess of 5k units a quarter of their 10G EoS chip to Lucent as part of the DMX2000 system. This would be around $1M a quarter. Transwitch (TXCC) was running at about $3M a quarter until a recent bump in the road, most likely short term.
  • 10G density is now the  focus for all Telecom transport chipset vendors
    • No one I have spoken to is allocating resources to develop any chips for the carrier network targeted at 2.5G speeds or below – except for FTTH – and even that is moving to 10G.
    • Anything designed for 10G supports 10GbE and OC-192 interfaces interchangeably
    • AMCC (AMCC) has a new version of their 10G FEC/SERDES chip that is doing well in the marketplace against Cortina Systems.
    • T/PACK announced a big 10G Framer/Switch combo. It looks great on paper but their FPGA solutions have failed to make inroads in the presence of cheaper hard-silicon alternatives. Perhaps things are different this time.
    • As I have stated before, PMC-Sierra (PMCS) is no longer investing in this area. No one I spoke indicates this has changed.
  • The competition is narrowing for the 10GbE EDC PHY socket at Cisco, which should represent 60-70% of the ultimate end market. There are two finalists, as well as a few startups. Vitesse has 100% market share in the first generation of 10G LRM X2 modules.
  • During his presentation, Steve Alexander from Ciena (CIEN) referred to Ethernet over SONET/SDH (EoS) as a ‘legacy’ technology. This was the first reference I have ever seen to EoS being over the hill. As readers know, in the Telecom world, technologies don’t start to generate the real revenue until they’re mature. Therefore Mr. Alexander’s reference is both a positive and a negative.
  • Level3 (LVLT) disclosed in it’s keynote that they are deploying 10GbE in spades. Lot’s of great data here:
    • Customers are approaching them looking for 10GbE hookups as they consolidate data centers into a single location to reduce costs.
    • Level3 has 500 active 10GbE ports today.
    • 10GbE client connections totally break the backbone, and 100G backbone transport is needed to enable this.
    • Level3 sees 100gbE leapfrogging 40GbE/OC-768.
    • By 2010 they expect edge connections to grow to 60x10GbE and the core to grow to 150 x 10GbE. I guess I can see why these guys like Infinera. (INFN)
    • This is driving a need for very large, cheap 10GbE switches with 64 to 512 10GbE ports. This was echoed by Equinix (EQIX) two days later at the Gilder Telecosm.
    • The presentation is worth a look. Legally, I cannot distribute it, but contact Level3 and I am sure they will make it available.
  • RAD displayed an SFP format Ethernet to DS-3 bridge designed for Ethernet over PDH applications. Simply stick this into an access box and presto, it is EoPDH enabled. This is along the same lines at the PON on a stick Teknovus showed earlier in the year. (see “PON Moves Towards the Enterprise“)

I would like to extend a big Thank You to LightReading for putting on a free conference that rivals the quality of most paid conferences. The stories (and my late night photos) from the LightReading Leading Lights party will remain sealed for the professional benefit of all involved.

Author owns positions in AMCC.

Discussion

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  1. Are you sure the conference was free to all and sundry?

    AS

    Posted by Ash | October 26, 2007, 11:06 AM
  2. I have considered subscribing to your firm’s research…in all good faith I can’t rely on info when stock ticker symbols are incorrect on the blog…what other mistakes will be made with any other info?

    Posted by Archie Berk | October 27, 2007, 7:28 AM
  3. The ticker for Equinix was fixed.

    Posted by Andrew Schmitt | October 27, 2007, 7:54 AM
  4. Your comment concerning PONs moving into the enterprise caught my attention. In a discussion I had with a colleauge earlier today I recounted our earlier experiences with PONs going back to the mid-Eighties when we designed several trading floor applications around them. These were essentially passive “splitters” that were mainly 10-way networks comprised of fibers that had been annealed to each other (actually a tree of splitters within a single enclosure) allowing any port to talk with any other port.

    In one case we outfitted Goldman Sachs’ then-provisional OTC desk and in several other situations we designed these passives into thousands of equity desks for Ethernet. Try picturing a hundreds of these all being brought back to a central closet:

    http://www.dbasinc.com/misc/config01.html

    During our 1989-1991 migration of several securities firms into the WTC we proposed using PONs for several high-density dealing applications but lost out to analog “video switches” (kludges of electromechanical relay-driven coaxial cabling farms), instead, but only because many of the market data services they needed to attach to were not yet re-engineered to support Ethernet.

    Most of these PON provisions came from a pioneering outfit working out of Yonkers, NY called Codenoll Corp. http://www.dbasinc.com/info/index.html , headed up by founder Mike Coden. Another outfit (with whom I think there was some OEM activity with the former) was Canadian company CanStar, a maker of optical splitters. A search of Codenoll earlier today revealed that the company had been acquired by DBAS systems back in 1999. I went to the site and found that some of the old literature from Codenoll was still being used, as evidenced by material relating to 386 and 486 platforms. Interestingly, the site shows one application that eerily resembles the kind of topology one might expect in a makeshift first-square-mile (FSM) or FTTx arrangement, using ” CodeStar” couplers and active Ethernet switches:

    http://www.dbasinc.com/misc/config05ftth.html

    Frank

    Posted by Frank A. Coluccio | October 27, 2007, 5:44 PM
  5. Frank,

    You should check out Pacific Broadband Networks. They make very cost effective PON gear not only for service provider use, but specifically for enterprise use — would be very appropriate for the kind of work you are describing.

    -Victor Blake

    Posted by Victor Blake | October 10, 2008, 10:39 AM
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