Development of a New Optical Communications Network System with Flexible Scalability

– Toward the dissemination of optical path networks that can improve power efficiency by three orders of magnitude –

Researchers: Shu Namiki, Director, Data Photonics Project Unit, and Satoshi Suda, Senior Researcher, the Optical Network Technologies Group, the Electronics and Photonics Research Institute


An intermediate controller was developed to control multivendor products installed in a common system. The developed system permits users to optimize quickly and easily their system configurations for 8K video, big data, etc. with low power consumption.

Photo: A prototype Figure: An image of disaggregation configuration
A prototype (photo) and images of all-in-one and disaggregation configurations (illustration)

New results

The researchers have proposed standard racks and blades such that various optical network components (such as optical switches and optical amplifiers shown in the illustration) manufactured by different companies can be installed into one system. The standardized system ensures the physical compatibility of the racks and blades, while an intermediate controller has been developed to control the installed blades in a cooperative manner. This permits users to build quickly and easily an optical network with the best configuration for various purposes.


Conventional optical transmission equipment was an all-in-one type that integrates all the functions necessary to operate optical networks into one system provided by a single vendor. In order to add functions and/or upgrade performance quickly, an optical network system disaggregated by functions is preferable. However, it was impossible to install products from multiple vendors into a common system, because they were incompatible with each other. This has prevented users from adequately building optimal systems in a timely manner.

Future plan and applicability

AIST aims at establishing a de facto standard by means of announcing internationally the developed technology and its use cases. Experiments are being planned to demonstrate low latency 4K teleconference systems, 8K remote medical treatment, etc. using high bandwidth optical fiber networks.

▲ ページトップへ