Cisco, in Collaboration with Microsoft, Delivers 800Gbps on Amitié Transatlantic Cable with Acacia’s 1.2T Coherent Interconnect Module 8

By Acacia | Posted on February 16, 2024

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.  To address this need, Cisco and Microsoft partnered to execute a cutting-edge 800Gbps transmission trial using Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect 8 (CIM 8) on the Amitié transatlantic cable. This 6,234 kilometer submarine cable, which connects the US, UK, and France, is part of Microsoft’s global network supporting all Microsoft services. And according to their joint press release, “This step to 800G is just one of many due to growth in the subsea market over the next two years.”

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The longest distance ever reported at single carrier 600G DWDM transmission on an SDM cable
The Amitié submarine cable features Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology with 16 fiber pairs, more than traditional subsea cables, with repeater power shared across the fiber pairs to deliver the highest cable capacity. This real-time field trial exceeded any industry trial performance to date with Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) 800G in a 150GHz channel spacing, equivalent to a spectrum efficiency of 5.33bit/s/Hz and a maximum spectral efficiency of 5.6bit/s/Hz. In addition, 600G was transmitted over 12,469 kilometers for a trans-Atlantic loopback configuration. This is the first time a 140Gbaud single carrier signal was demonstrated live, and is the longest distance ever reported at single carrier 600G DWDM transmission on an SDM cable.

According to Jamie Gaudette, GM of Cloud Network Engineering, Microsoft, “The transmission of 800G over 6,234 kilometers 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, organizations, and industries around the world.”

“In the era of AI, reliable and fast network connections are more important than ever,” said Bill Gartner, SVP Optical Systems and Optics, 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.”

Trial Leverages the Latest in Terabit Optics
According to Microsoft and Cisco, this trial was conducted to target improvements in subsea transmission to provide increased performance and capacity. It was performed with the Cisco NCS 1014 platform enabled by Acacia’s CIM 8, which is powered by Acacia’s Jannu digital signal processor and advanced silicon photonics.

CIM 8 features 2nd Generation 3D Shaping that provides a 20% higher spectral efficiency over the previous generation. CIM 8 also includes advanced non-linear equalization capabilities, an important feature for submarine links. Acacia has been a leader in deployed submarine-capable silicon photonics for almost a decade.

With this recent subsea trial, Microsoft is the latest provider to announce successful transmission with the CIM 8. Previously, China Mobile, NYSERNet, Verizon, and Windstream Wholesale announced their own trials.

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