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Understanding SONET by K. Surya Prakash

Understanding SONET by K. Surya Prakash

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Published by Sanjay Yadav
Understanding SONET by K. Surya Prakash
Understanding SONET by K. Surya Prakash

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Published by: Sanjay Yadav on Jun 10, 2013
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02/20/2014

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Introduction to SONET/ SDH
SONET was developed in the United States through ANSI T1X1.5 committee. ANSI workcommenced in 1985 with the CCITT (now ITU) initiating a standardization effort in 1986. TheUS wanted a data rate close to 50Mbps. But the Europeans wanted the data rate to bearound 150 Mbps. A compromise was reached and the US data rates were made subset of ITU specification, known formally as Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH).SONET/SDH networks are configured as linear networks, where SONET/SDH nodesknows as Add Drop Multiplexers (ADMs) are hooked together in a line as shown in figure-1.There may be two or four fibers between the two consecutive ADMs with one set serving as
“protection” or “back up”.
  Add/drop multiplexers (ADMs) are places where traffic enters and leaves. The trafficcan be at various levels in the SONET/ SDH hierarchy (see Table-1). We will learn moreabout ADMs later.Figure-1 Also SONET network elements can receive signals from a variety of facilities such asDS1, DS3, ATM, Internet, and LAN/MAN/WAN. They can also receive signals from a varietyof network topologies. We will study how all this is done in subsequent sections. In additionSDH signals my also be connected with a SONET and vice versa. In this case, circuitrytranslates specific SDH information into its SONET equivalent, and vice versa.
SONET/SDH Rates:
 The SONET frame in its electrical nature is called Synchronous Transport Signal-levelN (STS-N). The SDH equivalent is called Synchronous Transport Module level N (STM-N). After conversion into optical pulses it is known as Optical Carrier level N. The line rates for different levels of SONET and SDH signals are shown in Table-1 below.
Table-1:
 
 
Signal DesignationLine Rate(Mbps)SONET SDH Optical
STS-1STS-3STS-12STS-48STS-192STM-0STM-1STM-4STM-16STM-64OC-1OC-3OC-12OC-18OC-19251.85155.52622.082488.329953.28You need not worry about the different levels of SONET /SDH at this stage. I had givendetailed explanation of these levels later. I feel, to understand SDH easily, it is better to haveknowledge of SONET initially. This is the reason I devoted major portion of this article toSONET. Except in terms of terminology there are no major differences between the two. Butwherever there are differences I had pointed them out.
Basic SONET Frame Structure:
The basic SONET frame is as shown in figure 2. This signal is knownas Synchronous Transport Signal Level-1 (STS-1). It consists of 9 rows of 90 bytes i.e. a totalof 810 bytes. It is transmitted from left to right and top to bottom. The two dimensional figureis just for convenience. Actual transmission takes place serially i.e. the left most byte in thetop row is transmitted, then the second byte in the first row and so on. After the 90
th
byte inthe first row the left most byte in the second row is transmitted and it goes on. One more pointto be noted is that msb is transmitted first and the numbering of bits in a byte is as shown infigure-3. The frame length is 125µs (i.e. 8000 frames per second). The STS-1 has a bit rate of 51.84Mbps. The frame for the lowest SDH rate STM-1 contains 270 columns by 9 rows. Wewill learn more about it later.
 
 Figure-2Figure-3The first 3 columns of SONET frame are called Transport Overhead (TOH). The remaining 87columns are calledSynchronous Payload Envelope (SPE). The first column of SPE iscalled Payload Overhead (POH). A point to be noted here is that every SONET frame repeats

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