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Who Makes What: ROADMs

JULY 26, 2004

In the past year or so, there’s been quite a lot of fuss over reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers
(ROADMs), largely because several incumbent carriers appear to be interested in using them to upgrade
their Sonet (Synchronous Optical NETwork) and SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) infrastructures.

As a result, Light Reading has written plenty of articles about requests for proposal (RFPs) for ROADMs and
which vendors may be poised to win one of them and possibly notch up contracts worth tens of millions of

This report aims to put things into context, by explaining what ROADMs are, who makes them, and who
makes the optical components used in their manufacture.

It takes the standard form of our “Who Makes What” articles; in other words, we’re providing a first stab at
definitions and lists of suppliers and inviting readers to propose additions and modifications.

To start off with, let’s go back to basics. Reconfiguring a dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM)
network can take several weeks if done manually, and with networking requirements constantly changing,
that's simply not good enough any more.

The solution could lie with ROADMs, equipment that allows network operators to remotely change which
wavelengths are taken in and out of a particular optical switching node.

This technology could save carriers a pile of money by eliminating the dreaded "truck roll" and enabling them
to turn on revenue generating services much faster.

The market for ROADM technology could be about to take off. In a recent study of 27 major telecom carriers,
Infonetics Research Inc. found the majority of them (26 out of the 27) intend to deploy ROADM technology in
the future. Some 25 percent of carriers in the study said they plan to deploy ROADM technology within the
next 12 months.

The market for "systems sold with ROADM capability" is estimated to be worth around $85 million in 2004,
according to Michael Howard, president of Infonetics, and principle author of the study.

Backing up Infonetics' findings, there are several prominent contracts up for grabs at the moment, including
RFPs from AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T - message board), SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC - message
board), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ - message board).

There has also been a spate of ROADM product announcements, including new products from Cisco
Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO - message board).

"Every man and his dog is going to have a ROADM story soon," moans Rob Lane, VP of marketing and
business development at ROADM startup Tropic Networks Inc. "Now that service providers have
demonstrated that ROADM is real, everyone's rushing to catch up."

That's where this report comes in. It aims to help folk keep track of a rapidly developing market, by identifying
all the manufacturers of ROADM equipment, as well as those that supply the enabling component
technologies, such as wavelength blockers and tunable filters.

Click on the hyperlinks to go directly to the section of interest: 4/12/2007
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ROADM Architectures

ROADM Equipment Vendors

ROADM Component Vendors: Switches

ROADM Component Vendors: Blockers & Filters

Your input

As with other Light Reading "Who Makes What" taxonomies already published (see Who Makes What:
Optical Components 2004), this is just a starting point. We now need you to dive in and suggest additions,
corrections, and revisions to this report, which is a living document. We'll update it regularly to reflect your

To make suggestions, we'd prefer you use the message board, so that everyone can participate in
discussions. However, if you prefer to keep your communications private, please send them to and include "Who Makes What" and your company name in the subject field.

Feel free to go beyond pointing to company names we may have mistakenly omitted. We're also interested in
suggestions for further product categories and refinements to the category structure.

— Pauline Rigby, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Background reading:

z Supercomm: A ROADM Show?

z Vendors Race for Reconfigurability
z ROADM Vendors Perk Up
z ROADMs Could Boost Components
z Report: Optical Add/Drop Muxes

Archives of Related Light Reading Webinars:

z Integrating WDM, Sonet, and SDH in Metro Networks

z Reconfigurable Optical Networks: Optical Performance Monitors

ROADM Architectures
There are two key architectures for ROADMs:

z Broadcast and Select

z Demux, Switch, Mux

Broadcast and Select

This particular way of designing ROADMs has proved popular, with early products from Marconi, Ciena, and
others being based on it. 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 3 of 9

How does it work? In the diagram above, light coming in on the left is divided equally between two paths by a
splitter. The lower path is for the drop channels, which are selected by, for example, tunable filters. In the
other path, channels that have already been dropped are eliminated from the output of the switch by blocking
them with a component called a wavelength blocker (denoted WB). Finally, channels are added at the output
using another coupler. For complete reconfigurability, the add channels may come from tunable lasers.

One reason this architecture has attracted vendors is that it has a lower insertion loss than ROADMs based
on switch fabrics such as MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical switches). This seems to be as much due to the
high losses inherent in other technologies as anything else, and it could change if other switching
technologies improve.

A second reason may be that it can offer a lower component count than alternatives, which helps keep costs

Demux, Switch, Mux

A more traditional ROADM architecture is based on multiplexers and switching fabrics. All the incoming
wavelengths must be demultiplexed, then switched to the appropriate outputs and recombined. The
functionality is the same as a plain vanilla optical switch, but with a few extras on the network management

Vendors of the components that are key to ROADMs, such as switching fabrics, wavelength blockers, and
tunable filters, are listed on pages 4 and 5. For other components such as tunable lasers, which can be
incorporated into ROADMs, please see the Light Reading report – Who Makes What: Optical Components

ROADM Equipment Vendors 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 4 of 9

Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA - message board; Paris: CGEP:PA)

Product Name:

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Alcatel Tops Up Tropic

z Tropic Gets $33M From Alcatel, Others
z Photuris & SBC: The Inside Story

Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN - message board)

Product Name: Corestream Agility

Product Info:

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Ciena Launches CoreStream Agility

z Interview: Gary Smith, CEO, Ciena

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO - message board)

Product Name: ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform

Product Info:

Cisco introduced a ROADM feature to its ONS 15454 system at the Supercomm show this June. Cisco's
ROADM controls 32 wavelengths, allowing adding or dropping in any permutation. It comes in two parts: a
double-width card for the wavelength-selective switch – the element that blocks wavelengths – and a single-
card demultiplexer. The technology isn't home grown, reportedly, but Cisco isn't saying who the development
partner is.

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Cisco, Meriton Join ROADM Gang

z Vendors Race for Reconfigurability

Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC)

Product name: Flashwave 7500

Product Info:

Fujitsu has released several ROADM products: It has recently unveiled an extension to its Flashwave 7500
DWDM system that bestows ROADM capability on it. Fujitsu is currently offering a thin film filter-based
OADM as part of its metro DWDM product range, but says that it has only "limited deployment." 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 5 of 9

Mahi Networks Inc.

Product Name: Vx7 Multi-Service Core Transport System

Product Info:

Mahi acquired its ROADM technology by buying the assets of Photuris.

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Mahi Nabs $70M, Photuris Assets

z Who Will Buy Photuris Remains?
z Photuris & SBC: The Inside Story
z Photuris Is Finished
z Metro DWDM Renaissance?

Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq: MRCIY - message board; London: MONI)

Product Names: PMA32 and Multihaul 3000

Product Info:
z PMA32:
z Multihaul 3000:

Marconi was first with a ROADM product, the PMA8, which was introduced in 1998. Marconi’s biggest
success by far was in selling the PMA32 (PMA8's sucessor) to BT Group plc (NYSE: BTY - message board;
London: BTA). It’s a key part of its famed multibillion-dollar frame contract with BT (see Marconi wins $3+
Billion Contract). It’s also sold the PMA32 to other carriers in Europe and Australia, in some cases packaged
as part of its SDH offering.

More recently (November 2003), Marconi enhanced the ROADM technology in its PMA32 and incorporated it
in its Multihaul 3000 DWDM product line. This supports up to 80 channels in regional, long-haul, and ultra-
long-haul applications, and is extendable in service to a multidirectional switch.

Marconi's ROADM uses the broadcast-and-select architecture. The original version was based on liquid-
crystal wavelength blockers from Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW - message board), a product that Corning has
discontinued. The company hasn't said what it has been replaced with.

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Tropic: Hot or What?

z Kamelian Gets Green Light

Meriton Networks Inc.

Product Name: 7200 Optical Add/Drop Switch (OADX)

Product Info:

Meriton announced the addition of all-optical reconfigurability to its 7200 OADX at Supercomm. It comes 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 6 of 9

courtesy of a subsystem from Capella Photonics Inc..

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Meriton Goes Long Haul

z Cisco, Meriton Join ROADM Gang

Movaz Networks Inc.

Product Name: RAYROADM

Product Info: Not yet available on Movaz's Website

Movaz's ROADM addition to its product family was also unveiled at Supercomm. The company's
RAYROADM is an integrated metro box that boasts the ability to reconfigure any wavelength or any
combination of up to 40 wavelengths. The ROADM box can be deployed separately or as an upgrade to
existing RAYexpress customers, Movaz says. All the company's products are managed by the same network
management software.

Movaz has announced partnerships with Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU - message board) and
Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT - message board).

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Movaz Unveils RayROADM

z Supercomm: A ROADM Show?
z Lucent & Movaz Seal Deal
z Top Ten Private Company: Movaz Networks

Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT - message board)

Product Name: Common Photonic Layer

Product Info:

Nortel includes ROADM functionality on the Common Photonic Layer, a DWDM platform introduced at

Related stories on Light Reading:

z Nortel Intros DWDM Platform

z Photuris & SBC: The Inside Story

OpVista Inc.

Product Name: MetroVista 100 and 2000. WaveMaster element management system.

Product Info: 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 7 of 9

OpVista's MetroVista product family targets cable operators and was first unveiled in May 2003. The
technology eliminates the need for optical switches and filters by broadcasting all wavelengths to all hubs in
the network. At each hub, a receiver is remotely tuned to the desired wavelength. Customers include Time
Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX - message board).

Related stories on Light Reading:

z MSOs Eye Triple-Play Gear

z Opvista Switches on Cable
z OpVista Unveils Metro System
z Time Warner Deploys OpVista
z OpVista Scores $10M
z OpVista Intros 10G Ethernet Interface
z OpVista Extends 10-Gig Reach

Siemens AG (NYSE: SI - message board; Frankfurt: SIE)

Product Name: Surpass HiT 7500

Product Info:


Tropic Networks Inc.

Sources say that Tropic has partnered with Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA - message board; Paris: CGEP:PA) to
allow it to pursue a big RFP at carrier SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE: SBC - message board). Neither
party will confirm this, and SBC says it hasn't made a final decision on the contract.

Related stories on Light Reading:

z SBC: ROADM Search Ain't Over

z Metro DWDM Renaissance?
z Tropic: Hot or What?
z Tropic Touts Tracking Approach
z Tropic Networks Scores $60M

ROADM Components Vendors: Switches

Key component technologies for mux-switch-demux type ROADMs are optical switches and wavelength

Optical switching technologies are described in more detail in a couple of Light Reading reports – All-Optical
Switching Tutorial, Part 1 and All-Optical Switching Tutorial, Part 2. The second tutorial also matches
technologies to different switching applications.

Some switch technologies can been integrated with multiplexing technology to create full ROADM
subsystems on a chip.

Small Switches (1x2, 2x2, etc.) 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 8 of 9

z Accelink Technologies Co. Ltd.

z AC Photonics Inc.
z Agiltron Inc.
z Alliance Fiber Optic Products Inc.
z AOC Technologies Inc.
z Civcom Inc.
z DiCon Fiberoptics Inc.
z DuPont Photonics Technologies LLC
z JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU - message board; Toronto: JDU)
z Oplink Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: OPLK - message board)
z SK Opto-Electronics Inc. (SKOE)
z SpectraSwitch Inc.

Matrix Switches (8x8 and above)

z Advanced Optical MEMS Inc. (AOMEMS)

z Calient Networks Inc.
z Chromux Technologies Inc.
z Continuum Photonics Inc.
z DuPont Photonics Technologies LLC
z Fujitsu Ltd.
z Glimmerglass Networks
z Lynx Photonic Networks
z Polatis Ltd.

Reconfigurable OADMs

z Active Optical Networks, Inc. (planned product)

z Alliance Fiber Optic Products Inc. (Nasdaq: AFOP - message board)
z Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX - message board)
z Capella Photonics Inc.
z CoAdna Photonics Inc.
z DuPont Photonics Technologies LLC
z LightConnect Inc.
z Metconnex
z NeoPhotonics Corp.

ROADM Components Vendors: Blockers & Filters

Broadcast and select architectures require wavelength blockers and tunable filters.

Wavelength Blockers

z Avanex Corp. (Nasdaq: AVNX - message board) 4/12/2007
Light Reading - Networking the Telecom Industry Page 9 of 9

z Bookham Technology plc

z Chromux Technologies Inc.
z CoAdna Photonics Inc.
z JDS Uniphase Corp.
z LightConnect Inc.
z Polychromix Inc.
z Xtellus Inc.

Tunable Filters

z Aegis Semiconductor Inc.

z Auxora Inc.
z Avanex Corp.
z Axsun Technologies Inc.
z Chromux Technologies Inc. (partnered with NP Photonics Inc.)
z DiCon Fiberoptics Inc.
z Engana Pty Ltd.
z Iolon Inc.
z JDS Uniphase Corp.
z Lambda Crossing Ltd.
z Little Optics Inc.
z Micron Optics Inc.
z Ondax Inc.
z Oplink Communications Inc.
z Optoplex Corp.
z OZ Optics Ltd.
z Primanex Corp.
z Santec Corp.

Please don't feed the monkey. Copyright © 2000-2007 Light Reading Inc. - All rights reserved. 4/12/2007