• Technical Conference:  24 – 28 March 2024
  • Exhibition: 26 – 28 March 2024
  • San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA

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

Sunday, 05 March, 13:00 – 15:30

Room 6C


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 enabled network capacity growth while reducing the cost per bit in the optical layer. 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 the 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.


Alejandra Beghelli, University College London, UnitedKingdom

Fatima Gunning, Tyndall National Institute, Ireland

Norm Swenson, Norman Swenson Consulting, USA

Dirk Van den Borne, Juniper Networks, Germany


Ian Alderdice, Ciena, USA

Oscar González de Dios, Telefonica, Spain

Steven Hand, Infinera, USA

Tad Hofmeister, Google, USA

Maxim Kuschnerov, Huawei Technologies, Germany

Qingyun (Wendell) Liu, AT&T, USA

Fenghai Liu, Director of Product Line Management, Cisco, USA

Tim Pennell, Juniper Networks, USA

Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon, USA

Jim Zou, ADVA, Germany