With optical fibre networks gradually approaching their theoretical capacity limits, new types of fibres such as multicore fibres have been at the focus of worldwide research to overcome critical capacity barriers, which threaten the evolution of the Internet.
The research relies on Space Division Multiplexed (SDM) provided by the multicore fibres and on Software Defined Network (SDN) control, which are considered promising solutions to fulfil and control the ever-increasing demand for data consumption in communication networks.
This collaborative work between the
The Bristol research team developed the SDN control based on extensions of the OpenFlow protocol and provided the novel network node equipment while NICT contributed multicore fibres (MCFs) and new transmission techniques based on self-homodyne detection (SHD).
The implemented OpenFlow interface dynamically configures the network nodes in a way that the network can deal more effectively with application specific traffic requirements such as bandwidth and Quality of Transport.
With the growing popularity of OpenFlow, this demonstration is believed to bring multicore fibre networks one big step closer to their practical realisation.
"From the viewpoint of network control, Software Defined Networking (SDN) has been recently gaining increasingly attention as a technology that enables network operators to easily adapt their network infrastructure to quickly changing user or application requirements and improve network efficiency. Up to now, however, SDN has been applied only to optical networks based on single-core fibres and therefore restricted to the capacity bottlenecks of the current fibre infrastructure."
In the future, Bristol and NICT hope to further improve their network technologies on both the software and hardware side and work with network operators to demonstrate the practical realisation of multicore fibre networks.
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