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Cisco and Microsoft deliver 800G on Amitié Transatlantic Cable

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The companies say that the trial, which was powered in part by silicon photonics, outperformed any other industry trial to date with DWDM 800G in a 150 GHz channel spacing

Cisco has announced that it has successfully transmitted 800G on the Amitié transatlantic communications cable, which runs 6,234 km from Boston, Massachusetts to Bordeaux, France. The trial was performed with the Cisco NCS 1014 platform enabled by Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect Module 8 (CIM 8), which is powered by its Jannu digital signal processor and advanced silicon photonics.

The continued growth of cloud and explosion of AI services is driving the need for greater subsea network capacity, which requires advanced coherent transmission systems that support higher performance. This trial was conducted to target improvements in subsea transmission to provide increased performance and capacity.

The Amitié submarine cable features Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology with 16 fibre pairs, more than traditional subsea cables, with repeater power shared across the fibre pairs to deliver the highest cable capacity.

According to Cisco, this real-time field trial exceeded any industry trial performance to date with Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) 800G in a 150 GHz channel spacing, equivalent to a spectrum efficiency of 5.33 bit/s/Hz and a maximum spectral efficiency of 5.6 bit/s/Hz. In addition, 600G was transmitted over 12,469 km for a transatlantic loopback configuration. The company says this is the first time a 140 Gbaud single carrier signal was demonstrated live, and is the longest distance ever reported at single carrier 600G DWDM transmission on an SDM cable.

The Amitié cable, a transatlantic submarine cable connecting the US, UK, and France, is now part of Microsoft’s global network supporting all Microsoft services.

“In the era of AI, reliable and fast network connections are more important than ever,” said Bill Gartner, senior vice president of optical systems and optics at Cisco. “Working with Microsoft on the Amitié cable to demonstrate the potential for improved overall network capacity with 800G at these distances is a significant milestone for an SDM cable, and we’re proud to drive the innovations that pave the way for ever-increasing network capacity needs.”

Jamie Gaudette, general manager of cloud network engineering at Microsoft, added: “The transmission of 800G over 6,234 km is a milestone that demonstrates SDM cables can deliver increased capacity over traditional subsea cables. This field trial demonstrates what is now a commercial technology for subsea routes, and we can improve the network capacity to help drive digital transformation for people, organisations, and industries around the world.”

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