Nokia hits 2.4 Tbps, 2,000 km with sixth-gen coherent optics

Nokia debuted the latest iteration of its coherent photonic service engine, which features more capacity, a farther reach and better power efficiency than previous generations.

Headline features of the PSE-6s include support for transmissions up to 2.4 Tbps with up to 1.2 Tbps per wavelength, a beefed up functioning speed of 130 gigabaud and the ability to push 800G wavelengths over a distance of over 2,000 kilometers. That compares to the 600G capacity and 90 Gigabaud rate offered by its predecessor, the PSE-V, which debuted in 2020. The baud rate just refers to the speed at which information is sent along a communications channel.

Federico Guillen, President of Network Infrastructure at Nokia, told Fierce the capabilities of its new optics are “unmatched in the marketplace” and are suitable for use cases spanning local, metro and subsea cable deployments. He stressed the PSE-6s’ 2,000km reach will help save customers not only money in having to deploy less equipment, but also power.

Ed Englehart, VP of Engineering for Nokia’s optical product line, added that while 800G Ethernet demand may not have reached its peak yet, Nokia stands ready to support it in addition to 400GE and 100GE applications. Simply put, the idea is to enable a one and done upgrade capable of meeting future bandwidth needs.

According to Englehart, Nokia was able to achieve the gains it has with the PSE-6s by moving to a 5nm chip technology, which enables more processing to be done on the silicon and thus reduces the size and power consumption required for its optics. It also tinkered with the signal processing algorithms to allow transmission over greater distances.

Even though it just launched, Guillen said there’s a lot of interest in the PSE-6s. Already he said it’s engaged with at least 20 different customers about the technology and is planning field trials with more than 10 customers. Those trials are expected to kick off in the back half of this year, he added.

In the coherent optical market, Nokia is up against the likes of Cisco’s Acacia, Ciena and Infinera. Cisco debuted coherent pluggable module in late 2021 capable of supporting up to 1.2 Tbps per wavelength. Meanwhile, Ciena offers the 800G capable WaveLogic 5 Extreme and Infinera tackles 800G with its Ice6 Turbo coherent optical engine.

Last month, Dell’Oro forecast revenue from the optical transport equipment market will reach $17 billion by 2027, a figure down slightly from its previous prediction that the segment would hit $18 billion by 2026. The analyst firm noted 400G wavelength deployments are expected to dominate within that timeframe and tipped coherent wavelength shipments on WDM systems to reach 1.2 million by 2027.