• A Hybrid Conference – In-Person and Virtual Presentations
  • Technical Conference:  05 – 09 March 2023
  • Exhibition: 07 – 09 March 2023
  • San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA

Smart Pluggable Coherent Optics: Is it the End of Layered IP Over DWDM?


Fatima Gunning, Tyndall National Insititute, Ireland
Alejandra Beghelli , University College London, United Kingdom
Norman Swenson, Norman Swenson Consulting, USA
Dirk Van den Borne, Juniper, Germany


The traditional layered IP/DWDM network architecture – where the IP layer is housed in a separate infrastructure and operated/managed independently from the optical layer - has successfully accommodated the exponential growth of traffic for the past two decades. Coherent technology innovation has successfully enabled network capacity growth while reducing the cost per bit in the optical layer; and Network Processing Units (NPUs) in IP routers can today process many Terabits per ASIC. However, with Shannon’s capacity limit and the end of Moore’s law in sight, how will networks continue to evolve?

Smart pluggable optics may enable future growth while eliminating the redundant hardware, control plane and management layers, leading to increased efficiency in cost and energy, enabling true integrated IP over DWDM. However, will power and space constraints limit their optical performance, and hence limit the use-cases that smart pluggable modules can address? How can we effectively manage such smart pluggable modules? Traditionally, personnel responsible for Layer 3 operations have been unfamiliar with the network planning required for complex Layer 0/1 network configuration. Automation and software defined network functionality can help with this, but are they enough? Is it possible to decouple advances in module transport capabilities from development cycles of the host routers, such that management software does not need to be rewritten or upgraded with every improvement in smart optics capabilities?

In this workshop, we will explore these various aspects of introducing smart pluggable optics to new network architectures. In Part I we will focus on use-cases for integrated IP over DWDM versus traditional layered IP and transport solutions. In Part II, we will discuss the control and management challenges of an integrated IP over DWDM network architecture.


Heidi Adams, Nokia, Canada

Ian Alderdice, Ciena, USA

Oscar González de Dios, Telefonica, Spain

Steven Hand, Infinera, USA

Maxim Kuschnerov, Huawei, Germany

Glenn Wellbrock, Verison, USA