Passive optical network

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A passive optical network (PON) is a fiber-optic telecommunications technology for delivering broadband network access to end-customers. Its architecture implements a point-to-multipoint topology, in which a single optical fiber serves multiple endpoints by using unpowered (passive) fiber optic splitters to divide the fiber bandwidth between multiple access points. Passive optical networks are often referred to as the "last mile" between an Internet service provider (ISP) and its customers. [1]

In telecommunications, broadband is wide bandwidth data transmission which transports multiple signals and traffic types. The medium can be coaxial cable, optical fiber, radio or twisted pair.

The last mile or last kilometer is a phrase widely used in the telecommunications, cable television and internet industries to refer to the final leg of the telecommunications networks that deliver telecommunication services to retail end-users (customers). More specifically, the last mile means the portion of the telecommunications network chain that physically reaches the end-user's premises. Examples are the copper wire subscriber lines connecting landline telephones to the local telephone exchange; coaxial cable service drops carrying cable television signals from utility poles to subscribers' homes, and cell towers linking local cell phones to the cellular network. The word "mile" is used metaphorically; the length of the last mile link may be more or less than a mile. Because the last mile of a network to the user is conversely the first mile from the user's premises to the outside world when the user is sending data, the term first mile is also alternatively used.

Internet service provider organization that provides access to the Internet

An Internet service provider (ISP) is an organization that provides services for accessing, using, or participating in the Internet. Internet service providers may be organized in various forms, such as commercial, community-owned, non-profit, or otherwise privately owned.

Contents

Components and characteristics

Downstream traffic in active (top) vs. passive optical network PON vs AON.png
Downstream traffic in active (top) vs. passive optical network

A passive optical network consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) at the service provider's central office (hub) and a number of optical network units (ONUs) or optical network terminals (ONTs), near end users. A PON reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point-to-point architectures. A passive optical network is a form of fiber-optic access network.

An access network is a type of telecommunications network which connects subscribers to their immediate service provider. It is contrasted with the core network, which connects local providers to one another. The access network may be further divided between feeder plant or distribution network, and drop plant or edge network.

In most cases, downstream signals are broadcast to all premises sharing multiple fibers. Encryption can prevent eavesdropping.

Downstream (networking) data sent from a network service provider to a customer

In a telecommunications network or computer network, downstream refers to data sent from a network service provider to a customer.

In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding a message or information in such a way that only authorized parties can access it and those who are not authorized cannot. Encryption does not itself prevent interference, but denies the intelligible content to a would-be interceptor. In an encryption scheme, the intended information or message, referred to as plaintext, is encrypted using an encryption algorithm – a cipher – generating ciphertext that can be read only if decrypted. For technical reasons, an encryption scheme usually uses a pseudo-random encryption key generated by an algorithm. It is in principle possible to decrypt the message without possessing the key, but, for a well-designed encryption scheme, considerable computational resources and skills are required. An authorized recipient can easily decrypt the message with the key provided by the originator to recipients but not to unauthorized users.

Eavesdropping act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others

Eavesdropping is the act of secretly or stealthily listening to the private conversation or communications of others without their consent. The practice is widely regarded as unethical, and in many jurisdictions is illegal.

Upstream signals are combined using a multiple access protocol, usually time division multiple access (TDMA).

Upstream (networking) refers to the direction in which data can be transferred from the client to the server (uploading)

In computer networking, upstream refers to the direction in which data can be transferred from the client to the server (uploading). This differs greatly from downstream not only in theory and usage, but also in that upstream speeds are usually at a premium. Whereas downstream speed is important to the average home user for purposes of downloading content, uploads are used mainly for web server applications and similar processes where the sending of data is critical. Upstream speeds are also important to users of peer-to-peer software.

History

Two major standard groups, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Telecommunication Standardization Sector of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T), develop standards along with a number of other industry organizations. The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) also specified radio frequency over glass for carrying signals over a passive optical network.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers scholarly society, publisher and standards organization, headquartered in US

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional association for electronic engineering and electrical engineering with its corporate office in New York City and its operations center in Piscataway, New Jersey. It was formed in 1963 from the amalgamation of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers.

International Telecommunication Union Specialised agency of the United Nations

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), originally the International Telegraph Union, is a specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies. It is the oldest International Organization.

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers or SCTE is a non-profit professional association for the advancement of technology, standards and workforce education related to cable telecommunications engineering. Founded in 1969 as The Society of Cable Television Engineers, SCTE and its global arm, the International Society of Broadband Experts (ISBE), have a current membership of more than 19,000 individuals.

FSAN and ITU

Starting in 1995, work on fiber to the home architectures was done by the Full Service Access Network (FSAN) working group, formed by major telecommunications service providers and system vendors. [2] The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) did further work, and standardized on two generations of PON. The older ITU-T G.983 standard was based on Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and has therefore been referred to as APON (ATM PON). Further improvements to the original APON standard – as well as the gradual falling out of favor of ATM as a protocol – led to the full, final version of ITU-T G.983 being referred to more often as broadband PON, or BPON. A typical APON/BPON provides 622 megabits per second (Mbit/s) (OC-12) of downstream bandwidth and 155 Mbit/s (OC-3) of upstream traffic, although the standard accommodates higher rates.

ITU-T Recommendation G.983 is a family of recommendations that defines broadband passive optical network (BPON) for telecommunications Access networks. It originally comprised ten recommendations, G.983.1 through G.983.10, but recommendations .6–.10 were withdrawn when their content was incorporated into G.983.2. The current view is that the BPON standards are mature, and no further work will be done on them after the 2007 round. The GPON OMCI definition will be revised to stand alone, rather than citing G.983.2.

The ITU-T G.984 Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Networks (GPON) standard represented an increase, compared to BPON, in both the total bandwidth and bandwidth efficiency through the use of larger, variable-length packets. Again, the standards permit several choices of bit rate, but the industry has converged on 2.488 gigabits per second (Gbit/s) of downstream bandwidth, and 1.244 Gbit/s of upstream bandwidth. GPON Encapsulation Method (GEM) allows very efficient packaging of user traffic with frame segmentation.

By mid-2008, Verizon had installed over 800,000 lines. British Telecom, BSNL, Saudi Telecom Company, Etisalat, and AT&T were in advanced trials in Britain, India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the US, respectively. GPON networks have now been deployed in numerous networks across the globe, and the trends indicate higher growth in GPON than other PON technologies.

G.987 defined 10G-PON with 10 Gbit/s downstream and 2.5 Gbit/s upstream – framing is "G-PON like" and designed to coexist with GPON devices on the same network. [3]

Security

Developed in 2009 by Cable Manufacturing Business to meet SIPRNet requirements of the US Air Force, secure passive optical network (SPON) integrates gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technology and protective distribution system (PDS).

Changes to the NSTISSI 7003 requirements for PDS and the mandate by the US federal government for GREEN technologies allowed for the US federal government consideration of the two technologies as an alternative to active Ethernet and encryption devices.

The chief information officer of the United States Department of the Army issued a directive to adopt the technology by fiscal year 2013. It is marketed to the US military by companies such as Telos Corporation. [4] [5] [6] [7]

IEEE

In 2004, the Ethernet PON (EPON or GEPON) standard 802.3ah-2004 was ratified as part of the Ethernet in the first mile project of the IEEE 802.3. EPON is a "short haul" network using ethernet packets, fiber optic cables, and single protocol layer. [1] EPON also uses standard 802.3 Ethernet frames with symmetric 1 gigabit per second upstream and downstream rates. EPON is applicable for data-centric networks, as well as full-service voice, data and video networks. 10 Gbit/s EPON or 10G-EPON was ratified as an amendment IEEE 802.3av to IEEE 802.3. 10G-EPON supports 10/1 Gbit/s. The downstream wavelength plan support simultaneous operation of 10 Gbit/s on one wavelength and 1 Gbit/s on a separate wavelength for the operation of IEEE 802.3av and IEEE 802.3ah on the same PON concurrently. The upstream channel can support simultaneous operation of IEEE 802.3av and 1 Gbit/s 802.3ah simultaneously on a single shared (1310 nm) channel.

In 2014, there were over 40 million installed EPON ports, making it the most widely deployed PON technology globally. EPON is also the foundation for cable operators’ business services as part of the DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) specifications.

10G EPON is fully compatible with other Ethernet standards and requires no conversion or encapsulation to connect to Ethernet-based networks on either the upstream or downstream end. This technology connects seamlessly with any type of IP-based or packetized communications, and, thanks to the ubiquity of Ethernet installations in homes, workplaces, and elsewhere, EPON is generally very inexpensive to implement. [1]

Network elements

A PON takes advantage of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), using one wavelength for downstream traffic and another for upstream traffic on a single mode fiber (ITU-T G.652). BPON, EPON, GEPON, and GPON have the same basic wavelength plan and use the 1490 nanometer (nm) wavelength for downstream traffic and 1310 nm wavelength for upstream traffic. 1550 nm is reserved for optional overlay services, typically RF (analog) video.

As with bit rate, the standards describe several optical power budgets, most common is 28 dB of loss budget for both BPON and GPON, but products have been announced using less expensive optics as well. 28 dB corresponds to about 20 km with a 32-way split. Forward error correction (FEC) may provide for another 2–3 dB of loss budget on GPON systems. As optics improve, the 28 dB budget will likely increase. Although both the GPON and EPON protocols permit large split ratios (up to 128 subscribers for GPON, up to 32,768 for EPON), in practice most PONs are deployed with a split ratio of 1:32 or smaller.

A PON consists of a central office node, called an optical line terminal (OLT), one or more user nodes, called optical network units (ONUs) or optical network terminals (ONTs), and the fibers and splitters between them, called the optical distribution network (ODN). “ONT” is an ITU-T term to describe a single-tenant ONU. In multiple-tenant units, the ONU may be bridged to a customer premises device within the individual dwelling unit using technologies such as Ethernet over twisted pair, G.hn (a high-speed ITU-T standard that can operate over any existing home wiring - power lines, phone lines and coaxial cables) or DSL. An ONU is a device that terminates the PON and presents customer service interfaces to the user. Some ONUs implement a separate subscriber unit to provide services such as telephony, Ethernet data, or video.

An OLT provides the interface between a PON and a service provider's core network. These typically include:

The ONT or ONU terminates the PON and presents the native service interfaces to the user. These services can include voice (plain old telephone service (POTS) or voice over IP (VoIP)), data (typically Ethernet or V.35), video, and/or telemetry (TTL, ECL, RS530, etc.) Often the ONU functions are separated into two parts:

A PON is a shared network, in that the OLT sends a single stream of downstream traffic that is seen by all ONUs. Each ONU reads the content of only those packets that are addressed to it. Encryption is used to prevent eavesdropping on downstream traffic.

Upstream bandwidth allocation

The OLT is responsible for allocating upstream bandwidth to the ONUs. Because the optical distribution network (ODN) is shared, ONU upstream transmissions could collide if they were transmitted at random times. ONUs can lie at varying distances from the OLT, meaning that the transmission delay from each ONU is unique. The OLT measures delay and sets a register in each ONU via PLOAM (physical layer operations, administrations and maintenance) messages to equalize its delay with respect to all of the other ONUs on the PON.

Once the delay of all ONUs has been set, the OLT transmits so-called grants to the individual ONUs. A grant is permission to use a defined interval of time for upstream transmission. The grant map is dynamically re-calculated every few milliseconds. The map allocates bandwidth to all ONUs, such that each ONU receives timely bandwidth for its service needs.

Some services – POTS, for example – require essentially constant upstream bandwidth, and the OLT may provide a fixed bandwidth allocation to each such service that has been provisioned. DS1 and some classes of data service may also require constant upstream bit rate. But much data traffic, such as browsing web sites, is bursty and highly variable. Through dynamic bandwidth allocation (DBA), a PON can be oversubscribed for upstream traffic, according to the traffic engineering concepts of statistical multiplexing. (Downstream traffic can also be oversubscribed, in the same way that any LAN can be oversubscribed. The only special feature in the PON architecture for downstream oversubscription is the fact that the ONU must be able to accept completely arbitrary downstream time slots, both in time and in size.)

In GPON there are two forms of DBA, status-reporting (SR) and non-status reporting (NSR).

In NSR DBA, the OLT continuously allocates a small amount of extra bandwidth to each ONU. If the ONU has no traffic to send, it transmits idle frames during its excess allocation. If the OLT observes that a given ONU is not sending idle frames, it increases the bandwidth allocation to that ONU. Once the ONU's burst has been transferred, the OLT observes a large number of idle frames from the given ONU, and reduces its allocation accordingly. NSR DBA has the advantage that it imposes no requirements on the ONU, and the disadvantage that there is no way for the OLT to know how best to assign bandwidth across several ONUs that need more.

In SR DBA, the OLT polls ONUs for their backlogs. A given ONU may have several so-called transmission containers (T-CONTs), each with its own priority or traffic class. The ONU reports each T-CONT separately to the OLT. The report message contains a logarithmic measure of the backlog in the T-CONT queue. By knowledge of the service level agreement for each T-CONT across the entire PON, as well as the size of each T-CONT's backlog, the OLT can optimize allocation of the spare bandwidth on the PON.

EPON systems use a DBA mechanism equivalent to GPON's SR DBA solution. The OLT polls ONUs for their queue status and grants bandwidth using the MPCP GATE message, while ONUs report their status using the MPCP REPORT message.

Variants

TDM-PON

APON/BPON, EPON and GPON have been widely deployed. In November 2014, EPON had approximately 40 million deployed ports and ranks first in deployments. [8]

As of 2015, GPON had a smaller market share, but is anticipated to reach $10.5 billion US dollars by 2020. [9]

For TDM-PON, a passive optical splitter is used in the optical distribution network. In the upstream direction, each ONU (optical network units) or ONT (optical network terminal) burst transmits for an assigned time-slot (multiplexed in the time domain). In this way, the OLT is receiving signals from only one ONU or ONT at any point in time. In the downstream direction, the OLT (usually) continuously transmits (or may burst transmit). ONUs or ONTs see their own data through the address labels embedded in the signal.

DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON or DPoE

Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) Provisioning of Ethernet Passive Optical Network, or DPoE, is a set of Cable Television Laboratory specifications that implement the DOCSIS service layer interface on existing Ethernet PON (EPON, GEPON or 10G-EPON) Media Access Control (MAC) and Physical layer (PHY) standards. In short it implements the DOCSIS Operations Administration Maintenance and Provisioning (OAMP) functionality on existing EPON equipment. It makes the EPON OLT look and act like a DOCSIS Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS) platform (which is called a DPoE System in DPoE terminology). In addition to offering the same IP service capabilities as a CMTS, DPoE supports Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 9 and 14 services for the delivery of Ethernet services for business customers.

Radio frequency over glass

Radio frequency over glass (RFoG) is a type of passive optical network that transports RF signals that were formerly transported over copper (principally over a hybrid fibre-coaxial cable) over PON. In the forward direction RFoG is either a stand-alone P2MP system or an optical overlay for existing PON such as GEPON/EPON. The overlay for RFoG is based on Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM)—the passive combination of wavelengths on a single strand of glass. Reverse RF support is provided by transporting the upstream or return RF onto a separate wavelength from the PON return wavelength. The Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Interface Practices Subcommittee (IPS) Work Group 5, is currently working on IPS 910 RF over Glass. RFoG offers backwards compatibility with existing RF modulation technology, but offers no additional bandwidth for RF based services. Although not yet completed, the RFoG standard is actually a collection of standardized options which are not compatible with each other (they cannot be mixed on the same PON). Some of the standards may interoperate with other PONs, others may not. It offers a means to support RF technologies in locations where only fiber is available or where copper is not permitted or feasible. This technology is targeted towards Cable TV operators and their existing HFC networks.

WDM-PON

Wavelength Division Multiplexing PON, or WDM-PON, is a non-standard type of passive optical networking, being developed by some companies.

The multiple wavelengths of a WDM-PON can be used to separate Optical Network Units (ONUs) into several virtual PONs co-existing on the same physical infrastructure. Alternatively the wavelengths can be used collectively through statistical multiplexing to provide efficient wavelength utilization and lower delays experienced by the ONUs.

There is no common standard for WDM-PON nor any unanimously agreed upon definition of the term. By some definitions WDM-PON is a dedicated wavelength for each ONU. Other more liberal definitions suggest the use of more than one wavelength in any one direction on a PON is WDM-PON. It is difficult to point to an un-biased list of WDM-PON vendors when there is no such unanimous definition. PONs provide higher bandwidth than traditional copper based access networks. WDM-PON has better privacy and better scalability because of each ONU only receives its own wavelength.

Advantages: The MAC layer is simplified because the P2P connections between OLT and ONUs are realized in wavelength domain, so no P2MP media access control is needed. In WDM-PON each wavelength can run at a different speed and protocol so there is an easy pay-as-you-grow upgrade.

Challenges: High cost of initial set-up, the cost of the WDM components. Temperature control is another challenge because of how wavelengths tend to drift with environmental temperatures.

TWDM-PON

Time- and wavelength-division multiplexed passive optical network (TWDM-PON) is a primary solution for the next-generation passive optical network stage 2 (NG-PON2) by the full service access network (FSAN) in April 2012. TWDM-PON coexists with commercially deployed Gigabit PON (G-PON) and 10 Gigabit PON (XG-PON) systems.

Long-Reach Optical Access Networks

The concept of the Long-Reach Optical Access Network (LROAN) is to replace the optical/electrical/optical conversion that takes place at the local exchange with a continuous optical path that extends from the customer to the core of the network. Work by Davey and Payne at BT showed that significant cost savings could be made by reducing the electronic equipment and real-estate required at the local exchange or wire center. [10] A proof of concept demonstrator showed that it was possible to serve 1024 users at 10Gbit/s with 100 km reach. [11]

This technology has sometimes been termed Long-Reach PON, however, many argue that the term PON is no longer applicable as, in most instances, only the distribution remains passive.

Enabling technologies

Due to the topology of PON, the transmission modes for downstream (that is, from OLT to ONU) and upstream (that is, from ONU to OLT) are different. For the downstream transmission, the OLT broadcasts optical signal to all the ONUs in continuous mode (CM), that is, the downstream channel always has optical data signal. However, in the upstream channel, ONUs can not transmit optical data signal in CM. Use of CM would result in all of the signals transmitted from the ONUs converging (with attenuation) into one fiber by the power splitter (serving as power coupler), and overlapping. To solve this problem, burst mode (BM) transmission is adopted for upstream channel. The given ONU only transmits optical packet when it is allocated a time slot and it needs to transmit, and all the ONUs share the upstream channel in the time division multiplexing (TDM) mode. The phases of the BM optical packets received by the OLT are different from packet to packet, since the ONUs are not synchronized to transmit optical packet in the same phase, and the distance between OLT and given ONU are random. Since the distance between the OLT and ONUs are not uniform, the optical packets received by the OLT may have different amplitudes. In order to compensate the phase variation and amplitude variation in a short time (for example within 40 ns for GPON [12] ), burst mode clock and data recovery (BM-CDR) and burst mode amplifier (for example burst mode TIA) need to be employed, respectively. Furthermore, the BM transmission mode requires the transmitter to work in burst mode. Such a burst mode transmitter is able to turn on and off in short time. The above three kinds of circuitries in PON are quite different from their counterparts in the point-to-point continuous mode optical communication link.

Fiber to the premises

Passive optical networks do not use electrically powered components to split the signal. Instead, the signal is distributed using beam splitters. Each splitter typically splits the signal from a single fiber into 16, 32, or up to 256 fibers, depending on the manufacturer, and several splitters can be aggregated in a single cabinet. A beam splitter cannot provide any switching or buffering capabilities and does not use any power supply; the resulting connection is called a point-to-multipoint link. For such a connection, the optical network terminals on the customer's end must perform some special functions which would not otherwise be required. For example, due to the absence of switching, each signal leaving the central office must be broadcast to all users served by that splitter (including to those for whom the signal is not intended). It is therefore up to the optical network terminal to filter out any signals intended for other customers. In addition, since splitters have no buffering, each individual optical network terminal must be coordinated in a multiplexing scheme to prevent signals sent by customers from colliding with each other. Two types of multiplexing are possible for achieving this: wavelength-division multiplexing and time-division multiplexing. With wavelength-division multiplexing, each customer transmits their signal using a unique wavelength. With time-division multiplexing (TDM), the customers "take turns" transmitting information. TDM equipment has been on the market longest. Because there is no single definition of "WDM-PON" equipment, various vendors claim to have released the 'first' WDM-PON equipment, but there is no consensus on which product was the 'first' WDM-PON product to market.

Passive optical networks have both advantages and disadvantages over active networks. They avoid the complexities involved in keeping electronic equipment operating outdoors. They also allow for analog broadcasts, which can simplify the delivery of analog television. However, because each signal must be pushed out to everyone served by the splitter (rather than to just a single switching device), the central office must be equipped with a particularly powerful piece of transmitting equipment called an optical line terminal (OLT). In addition, because each customer's optical network terminal must transmit all the way to the central office (rather than to just the nearest switching device), reach extenders would be needed to achieve the distance from central office that is possible with outside plant based active optical networks.

Optical distribution networks can also be designed in a point-to-point "homerun" topology where splitters and/or active networking are all located at the central office, allowing users to be patched into whichever network is required from the optical distribution frame.

Passive optical components

The drivers behind the modern passive optical network are high reliability, low cost, and passive functionality.

Single-mode, passive optical components include branching devices such as Wavelength-Division Multiplexer/Demultiplexers (WDMs), isolators, circulators, and filters. These components are used in interoffice, loop feeder, Fiber In The Loop (FITL), Hybrid Fiber-Coaxial Cable (HFC), Synchronous Optical Network (SONET), and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) systems; and other telecommunications networks employing optical communications systems that utilize Optical Fiber Amplifiers (OFAs) and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexer (DWDM) systems. Proposed requirements for these components were published in 2010 by Telcordia Technologies. [13] [14]

The broad variety of passive optical components applications include multichannel transmission, distribution, optical taps for monitoring, pump combiners for fiber amplifiers, bit-rate limiters, optical connects, route diversity, polarization diversity, interferometers, and conherent communication.

WDMs are optical components in which power is split or combined based on the wavelength composition of the optical signal. Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexers (DWDMs) are optical components that split power over at least four wavelengths. Wavelength insensitive couplers are passive optical components in which power is split or combined independently of the wavelength composition of the optical signal. A given component may combine and divide optical signals simultaneously, as in bidirectional (duplex) transmission over a single fiber. Passive optical components are data format transparent, combining and dividing optical power in some predetermined ratio (coupling ratio) regardless of the information content of the signals. WDMs can be thought of as wavelength splitters and combiners. Wavelength insensitive couplers can be thought of as power splitters and combiners.

An optical isolator is a two-port passive component that allows light (in a given wavelength range) to pass through with low attenuation in one direction, while isolating (providing a high attenuation for) light propagating in the reverse direction. Isolators are used as both integral and in-line components in laser diode modules and optical amplifiers, and to reduce noise caused by multi-path reflection in high-bitrate and analog transmission systems.

An optical circulator operates in a similar way to an optical isolator, except that the reverse propagating lightwave is directed to a third port for output, instead of being lost. An optical circulator can be used for bidirectional transmission, as a type of branching component that distributes (and isolates) optical power among fibers, based on the direction of the lightwave propagation.

A fiber optic filter is a component with two or more ports that provides wavelength sensitive loss, isolation and/or return loss. Fiber optic filters are in-line, wavelength selective, components that allow a specific range of wavelengths to pass through (or reflect) with low attenuation for classification of filter types.

See also

Related Research Articles

Synchronous optical networking standardized protocol that transfers multiple digital bit streams synchronously over optical fiber

Synchronous optical networking (SONET) and synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) are standardized protocols that transfer multiple digital bit streams synchronously over optical fiber using lasers or highly coherent light from light-emitting diodes (LEDs). At low transmission rates data can also be transferred via an electrical interface. The method was developed to replace the plesiochronous digital hierarchy (PDH) system for transporting large amounts of telephone calls and data traffic over the same fiber without the problems of synchronization.

Wavelength-division multiplexing

In fiber-optic communications, wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) is a technology which multiplexes a number of optical carrier signals onto a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths of laser light. This technique enables bidirectional communications over one strand of fiber, as well as multiplication of capacity.

Fiber to the <i>x</i> any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to provide all or part of the local loop used for last mile telecommunications

Fiber to the x (FTTX) or fiber in the loop is a generic term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to provide all or part of the local loop used for last mile telecommunications. As fiber optic cables are able to carry much more data than copper cables, especially over long distances, copper telephone networks built in the 20th century are being replaced by fiber.

Optical networking is a means of communication that uses signals encoded onto light to transmit information among various nodes of a telecommunications network. They operate from the limited range of a local-area network (LAN) or over a wide-area network (WAN), which can cross metropolitan and regional areas all the way to national, international and transoceanic distances. It is a form of optical communication that relies on optical amplifiers, lasers or LEDs and wave division multiplexing (WDM) to transmit large quantities of data, generally across fiber-optic cables. Because it is capable of achieving extremely high bandwidth, it is an enabling technology for today’s Internet and the communication networks that transmit the vast majority of all human and machine-to-machine information.

Ethernet physical layer physical network layer of the Ethernet communications technologies

The Ethernet physical layer is the physical layer functionality of the Ethernet family of computer network standards. The physical layer defines the electrical or optical properties of the physical connection between a device and the network or between network devices. It is complemented by the MAC layer and the logical link layer.

Ethernet in the first mile (EFM) refers to using one of the Ethernet family of computer network protocols between a telecommunications company and a customer's premises. From the customer's point of view it is their first mile, although from the access network's point of view it is known as the last mile. A working group of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) produced the standards known as IEEE 802.3ah-2004, which were later included in the overall standard IEEE 802.3-2008.

Fiber-optic communication Method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber

Fiber-optic communication is a method of transmitting information from one place to another by sending pulses of light through an optical fiber. The light forms an electromagnetic carrier wave that is modulated to carry information. Fiber is preferred over electrical cabling when high bandwidth, long distance, or immunity to electromagnetic interference are required.

Optical line termination Networking

An optical line termination (OLT), also called an optical line terminal, is a device which serves as the service provider endpoint of a passive optical network. It provides two main functions:

  1. to perform conversion between the electrical signals used by the service provider's equipment and the fiber optic signals used by the passive optical network.
  2. to coordinate the multiplexing between the conversion devices on the other end of that network.

G.984, commonly known as GPON, is a standard for passive optical networks (PON) published by the ITU-T. It is commonly used to implement the last kilometre of Fibre To The Premises (FTTP) services.

Subcarrier Multiplexing (SCM) is a method for combining (multiplexing) many different communications signals so that they can be transmitted along a single optical fiber. SCM is used in passive optical network (PON) access infrastructures as a variant of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM).

Interleaved Polling with Adaptive Cycle Time (IPACT) is an algorithm designed by Glen Kramer, Biswanath Mukherjee and Gerry Pesavento Advanced Technology Lab.at the University of California, Davis. IPACT is a dynamic bandwidth allocation algorithm for use in Ethernet passive optical networks (EPONs).

The passive optical network (PON) uses tree-like network topology. Due to the topology of PON, the transmission modes for downstream and upstream are different. For the downstream transmission, the OLT broadcasts optical signal to all the ONUs in continuous mode (CM), that is, the downstream channel always has optical data signal. One given ONU can find which frame in the CM stream is for it by reading the header of the frame. However, in the upstream channel, ONUs can not transmit optical data signal in CM. It is because that all the signals transmitted from the ONUs converge into one fiber by the power splitter, and overlap among themselves if CM is used. To solve this problem, burst mode (BM) transmission is adopted for upstream channel. The given ONU only transmits optical packet when it is allocated a time slot and it needs to transmit, and all the ONUs share the upstream channel in the time division multiple access (TDMA) mode. The phases of the BM optical packets received by the OLT are different from packet to packet, since the ONUs are not synchronized to transmit optical packet in the same phase, and the distance between OLT and given ONU are random. In order to compensate the phase variation from packet to packet, burst mode clock and data recovery (BM-CDR) is required. Such circuit can generate local clock with the frequency and phase same as the individual received optical packet in a short locking time, for example within 40 ns. Such generated local clock can in turn perform correct data decision. Above all, the clock and data recovery can be performed correctly after a short locking time.

The 10 Gbit/s Ethernet Passive Optical Network standard, better known as 10G-EPON allows computer network connections over telecommunication provider infrastructure. The standard supports two configurations: symmetric, operating at 10 Gbit/s data rate in both directions, and asymmetric, operating at 10 Gbit/s in the downstream direction and 1 Gbit/s in the upstream direction. It was ratified as IEEE 802.3av standard in 2009. EPON is a type of passive optical network, which is a point-to-multipoint network using passive fiber optic splitters rather than powered devices for fan-out from hub to customers.

In telecommunications, radio frequency over glass (RFoG) is a deep-fiber network design in which the coax portion of the hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network is replaced by a single-fiber passive optical network (PON). Downstream and return-path transmission use different wavelengths to share the same fiber. The return-path wavelength standard is expected to be 1610 nm, but early deployments have used 1590 nm. Using 1590/1610 nm for the return path allows the fiber infrastructure to support both RFoG and a standards-based PON simultaneously, operating with 1490 nm downstream and 1310 nm return-path wavelengths.

Terabit Ethernet or TbE is Ethernet with speeds above 100 Gbit/s. 400 Gigabit Ethernet and 200 Gigabit Ethernet standards developed by the IEEE P802.3bs Task Force using broadly similar technology to 100 Gigabit Ethernet were approved on December 6, 2017. In 2016, several networking equipment suppliers were already offering proprietary solutions for 200G and 400G.

10G-PON is a 2010 computer networking standard for data links, capable of delivering shared Internet access rates up to 10 Gbit/s over existing dark fiber. This is the ITU-T's next generation standard following on from G-PON or Gigabit-capable PON. Optical fibre is shared by many subscribers in a network known as FTTx in a way that centralises most of the telecommunications equipment, often displacing copper phone lines that connect premises to the phone exchange. Passive optical network (PON) architecture has become a cost-effective way to meet performance demands in access networks, and sometimes also in large optical local networks for "Fibre-to-the-desk".

EPON Protocol over Coax, or EPoC, refers to the transparent extension of an Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) over a cable operator's hybrid fiber-coax (HFC) network. From the service provider's perspective the use of the coax portion of the network is transparent to EPON protocol operation in the optical line terminal (OLT) thereby creating a unified scheduling, management, and quality of service (QoS) environment that includes both the optical and coax portions of the network. The IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group initiated a standards process with the creation of an EPoC Study Group in November 2011. EPoC adds to the family of IEEE 802.3 Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) standards.

A super-channel is an evolution in Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) in which multiple, coherent optical carriers are combined to create a unified channel of a higher data rate, and which is brought into service in a single operational cycle.

NG-PON2, Next-Generation Passive Optical Network 2 is a 2015 telecommunications network standard for a passive optical network (PON). The standard was developed by ITU and details an architecture capable of total network throughput of 40 Gbit/s, corresponding to up to 10 Gbit/s symmetric upstream/downstream speeds available at each subscriber.

An optical module is a typically hot-pluggable optical transceiver used in high-bandwidth data communications applications. Optical modules typically have an electrical interface on the side that connects to the inside of the system and an optical interface on the side that connects to the outside world through a fiber optic cable. The form factor and electrical interface are often specified by an interested group using a multi-source agreement (MSA). Optical modules can either plug into a front panel socket or an on-board socket. Sometimes the optical module is replaced by an electrical interface module that implements either an active or passive electrical connection to the outside world. A large industry supports the manufacturing and use of optical modules.

References

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Further reading