Monday, June 19, 2006

Report on FTTH Surge

The total number of homes worldwide that will be reached by next-generation fiber-optic networks will soar from about 11 million this year to about 86 million in 2011, triggering a potentially massive deployment of a full range of digital and multimedia communications and entertainment services, according to a major new study released today by Heavy Reading (, the market research division of Light Reading Inc. (

One of the interesting finding in the report is that FTTH expansion will be most aggressive in Asia, adding to that region's growing leadership role in deployment of advanced technologies. FTTH growth over the next five years will be dominated by Asia, where the number of connected households will grow to 59 million by the end of 2011. The rest of the subscriber base at 2011 will be split equally between the Americas (mainly the U.S.) and the EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) region.

Friday, June 02, 2006

10 Gig EPON Standardization Activities

This standardization activity aims at supporting the Ethernet PON at 10Gbps. The standard is expected to affect only the physical layer, as the MPCP and OAM operations in 10 Gig EPON are expected to email the same.

An overview of the standardization activities are available in IEEE 802.3 10 Gbps PHY for EPON Study Group. A nice representation articulating the need of 10 Gig EPON is available here. The website also contains presentations form different companies made during the study group meet held at Austin, TX last week.

The meeting voted to submit a Project Authorization Request (PAR) to the next IEEE Plenary in July 2006. We should be proud that our distinguished alumini, Dr. Glen Kramer, has played a major initiative in coordinating the study group towards this goal.

It is nice to visit some of these meetings if they are help locally (as in San Francisco). I attended a IEEE 802.3ah meeting in 2003, and it was definitely an excellent learning process.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Yesterday Amitabha posted Immenstar's new product--a Quad-OLT EPON chipset. A similar product is also developed by Teknovus (
The attractive point of both products is the integration of 4 EPON OLT on one chipset. We may consider it as 4-parallel EPON. The difference between the two products is that Teknovus has only one aggregated uplink port compared to Immenstar's quad EPON ports with 4 Gig E line rate uplink ports from the their website".
Compared with WDM-PON, which explores multiple wavelengthes, the Quad-OLT can provide cost savings in the ONU and OLT, because of the cheap transcevier, lightsource due to single-wavlength property of EPON. But carrier has to deploy fiber for each the EPON connected to the OLT port, which increases the cost while WDM-PON needs only one feeder fiber to multiplex all wavelengths.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Immenstar In EPON market

LightReading today has an interesting article about Immenstar, a startup, joining the EPON market. Immenstar has been operating in stealth mode for over two years. LightReading also mentions that Immenstar claims to have a multimillion dollar order due next month, possibly from UTStarComm which sells equipment to Softbank BB Corp for the deployment of Yahoo Broadband Service in Japan. UTStarComm previously used Passave (acquired by PMC-Sierra) chipsets but that didnt work very well as many of Passave chips had errors. The news article is available here.

The product portfolio of Immenstar is very interesting, it offers a Quad OLT chip with integrates 4 OLT ports and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports with Non Blocking Switching. The company website mentions that the MuLan EPON Switch Chipset provides a carrier-class Ethernet ultrabroadband access solutions for network operators and service providers. It offers quality of service, fault tolerant operating system, hot swap capability, scalability, and high density system for the EPON access network.

It is interesting to see a startup in the EPON area, as there are already a bunch of companies competing for limited marketplace. EPON seems to be growing primarily in Japan and Korea while North America seems to be moving towards the GFP-PON market. And although different EPON chipset vendors promise to deliver quality of service, technologically there doesn't seem to be anything different that Immenstar has to offer compared to existing chipsets in the marketplace.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Convergence Networks: A Blend of Optical and Wireless

The optical network is the best candidate for backhaul, while wireless mesh can increase the reach of access network in a cost effective fashion. Marrying them together will produce the convergence network - a network for future operation!

Both the optical and wireless networks have seen a massive growth in the recent past. Although both of them are gaining ground individually, we have not seen any significant research activities to exploit both in unison. Potentially we have an excellent research opportunity in complimenting with the industry effort in making convergence networks a success.

In the last few months, the networking industry has commercially deployed convergence networks in several places in the US and in the Europe. A lot of activities are going on, which makes "convergence networks" an industry buzzword. The proponents of this architecture envision deploying the network in every major US cities in the next few years. Major industry players are Tropos Networks Inc., BelAir Networks Inc., Firetide Inc., Strix System Inc., and many more startups like Wavion Inc., along with industry big-brothers like Nortel Networks Ltd., Motorola Inc., and Cisco Systems Inc.

Are we (university researchers) lacking behind the industry effort? We better not lack, otherwise we will miss an excellent opportunity to sow the seeds when the ground is fertile!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fourth Networks Lab Workshop

The fourth annual networks workshop at UCDavis is tomorrow. This is an excellent gathering of students working in networks at UCDavis, alumini, and various other participants from the industry. Last year, we had attendance of over a hundred people. I will be presenting my work on RAPID, which I presented at IPDPS.

Broadband Access Network Research Blog

Broadband Access networks technologies span optical access (Passive Optical Networks (PONs)), wireless technologies (Wi-Fi, Wi-MAX, Wireless Mesh) and hybrid combinations of the above two technologies. Research has led to massive development and deployment in the access networks.

At the Networks Lab at UC Davis, we have a team of 4 student researchers, who focus on access networks. This forum will have blogs by some of us.