Making the Case for Space-Division Multiplexing in 2027

Sunday, March 19, 2017
Los Angeles, California, USA

 

In the year 2027, after 10 years of exponential internet traffic growth, it will become clear that traditional DWDM transmission systems using a single fiber cannot keep up with demand. Although coherent communications may be a “cheap” commodity, the cost of constantly deploying new line systems will be untenable. Network operators will be looking for dramatic new technologies to evade Shannon’s fundamental limits on capacity – space-division multiplexing (SDM) is the prime candidate. But, in what type of network will SDM be most effective (passive, data center, short reach, metro, long haul, submarine, or any unconventional communications frameworks), what level of integration will provide the biggest cost savings (transponders, amplifiers, fibers, switching), how will SDM co-exist/complement existing SMF/DWDM technologies, and is there a killer fiber structure (hollow core, coupled core, few-mode fiber) that outperforms multiple strands of single-mode fiber?

 

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