Italian Virtual Event – Digital Products Breakout Transcript

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Italian Virtual Event – Data Transcript – Digital Products

This is Mike Hartmann, VP, Business Development, Digital Products.

Thank you to Franco Baroncini and Andrea Achilli, who will provide any necessary translation services.  I appreciate your help, and thanks to everybody for joining us this morning.

As Meir mentioned, while the Digital Products essentially operate in the digital realm, they are included in many of our RF over Fiber system products, and serve as a monitor function for those products, as well.

Again, thank you to Sincron Systemi, and the US Embassy for providing this opportunity.

So, the fundamental question… “What is the Micro-OTDR transceiver?”  I think that most of you are familiar with the Time Domain Reflectometry concept, and Optical Time Domain Reflectometry (OTDR), is essentially that same concept, but in the optical domain.  Micro-OTDR implies our patented technology where we have miniaturized the OTDR function and basically embedded it in our fiber optic transceivers.

These fiber optic data transport devices are in an industry standard format, innovated two decades ago, and universally used by original equipment manufacturers, who include slots, or ports, in their equipment for the SFP, small form “pluggable” transceivers, which get inserted into these slots, allowing the configuration of the system late in the production process and giving the OEMs much flexibility.

Our product line follows this industry standard format SFP, or the newer SFP+ version.  We support all of the main data rates from, Fast Ethernet around 100 megabits per second, all the way up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet now, as well as SONET, and SDH, signal rates.  These are all immediate plug-ins for the existing SFP/SFP+ ports out there, that meet the MSA, or the industry standard.

But what is unique about our Micro-OTDR transceiver products, is when the fiber is cut, disconnected, broken, or any optical fiber fault occurs, is that it is immediately detected, reported by the SFP to the host equipment, and the distance in meters to the faults, and the number of faults, are calculated and saved in the SFP EEPROM, all within the SFP/SFP+ transceiver.

This is based upon unique technology developed and patented by OZC.  Once a cycle is complete, this data is saved in the SFP EEPROM.  All of the Micro-OTDR functionality does reside within the SFP, and the data needs to be read out to the host system.

The industry standard SFP/SFP+ includes an I2C communications port that is used for all of the standard SFP/SFP+ functions, for example, reading out the IDPROM static information, or the Digital Diagnostic Monitoring (DDM) information.  That same I2C port is used to read out the Micro-OTDR data.  The host system usually will use the simple network management system, or SNMP function, to display the data different ways.  CLI, web and graphical user interfaces (GUIs), and in some cases, even putting that information onto a GPS mapping capability.  In any case, SNMP allows the display, and the control of the Micro-OTDR feature.

Where is the Micro-OTDR SFP transceiver used?  In high security data links primarily, where network faults cannot be tolerated, and where highly secure data is flowing.  Even though we are usually talking about a digital data link, the Micro-OTDR feature can also monitor our analog RFoF links.

As Meir mentioned, our single fiber configuration is used in, and is an excellent fit in, the telecom space, especially for CWDM Access Networks, and Wireless Front/Back Haul, where there are lots of connections to keep track of, and where faults cannot be tolerated.

Another application that drove the development of our Dual-Fiber Micro-OTDR SFPs, are optical supervisory channel (OSC) applications.  Typically, in the telecom world this OSC channel runs alongside the high speed DWDM revenue traffic to convey basic service information between the sites of the fiber amplifiers for the DWDM traffic, and where the OSC terminates at each fiber amplifier.  Usually, these fiber amplifiers are up to 100 kilometers apart, so our Fast Ethernet Dual-Fiber models are very popular for this application.

Also, we are finding applications with new generation portable network monitoring tools.  Test and Measurement handheld devices are basically incorporating the Micro-OTDR, as a very efficient way to add OTDR capability to this handheld equipment.

This slide is a little bit busy, but this in a nutshell describes how the Micro-OTDR works. If you imagine, or think about this picture, the left side is essentially the Central Office (CO) where the service aggregation switch might reside, and the right side imagine as the customer premises equipment (CPE) or remote location of the network interface device.  Both sides are connected by an optical fiber link, either directly, or with CWDM.

In any case, when there is a fiber cut, or network fault, a loss of signal (LOS) indication is given to the host system by the SFP, and the SFP automatically switches from data transport mode to Micro-OTDR mode.  When this happens, the Laser special high power mode kicks in, and basically sends a pulse train down the fiber.  The highly sensitive edge-detector receiver listens for the optical reflections, the time interval is measured, and the distance to the reflective point, or the fault, is calculated.  This data is then saved in the SFP EEPROM, and can be read out through the I2C port to the host switch, which organizes the information using SNMP, and displays the information.

The benefits of the Micro-OTTDR are:  it is fast, instantaneous; it is distributed, that is, it is in the SFP, not in the host equipment; the key elements are pervasive in that the SFPs can be at either, or both, ends of every optical fiber link in the network; the cost is low compared to six-figure Remote Fiber Test Systems (RFTS) equipment, or full-feature OTDRs; and it also carries revenue traffic, making the Micro-OTDR SFP uniquely very efficient and attractive.

So, to state the Micro-OTDR value proposition, in summary, the feature increases, and augments network security, and it does that primarily by eliminating the detection time component of the cost of the meantime to recovery (MTTR) from a network fault.  That is, you immediately know that there is a fault, and where it is.  When you know that, you essentially can determine what the remedial effort needs to be.

If the fault is within the distance of what we call the Link Birth Certificate, or the link distance that was measured when the link was originally commissioned (the distance that first run of the Micro-OTDR indicated), you know that the fault is in the optical fiber cable plant, and you know to send your fiber technicians.

If the fault distance that is indicated is the same as the Link Birth Certificate, then most likely the fault is in the remote site.  You can call the site get their Engineers on it, or be suspicious of equipment or power problems.

So, again, the key element is the Micro-OTDR eliminates the detection time component of the cost, which can be quite significant.  Anecdotally, we have it from people in the industry, that it could be anywhere from two hours to two weeks.

Cost savings are in the capital expense (CapEx), in terms of what the Micro-OTDR can give you:  the Single-Fiber models cut the optical components numbers required in the link essentially in half; the Dual-Fiber models drop into existing SFP ports that are already installed in the network.

On the operational expense (OpEx) side, the immediate reporting makes the recovery from a fault as efficient as possible, and allows you to send the right crews to fix the right problems.  Also, the Micro-OTDR can be used in the initial commissioning of the link, to make that a very efficient evolution.

When you know the fiber break location, you can do some interesting things, for example, plot that location on a map using GPS technology.

Of the two configurations we have mentioned, the Single-Fiber iSFC models are an excellent choice for CWDM Access, and Wireless Front/Back Haul.  Its efficiency is that it allows you to eliminate components and eliminate fibers.   Unlike legacy single fiber, single wavelength products, our exclusive RIO (reflection immune operation) feature, allows us to operate the iSFC Single-Fiber models in any optical network.

The Dual-Fiber iDFC configuration, which we talked about for the OSC (optical supervisory channel), can drop into applications in long-haul core network applications, and as we mentioned our, 10GBASE-LR model supports 10 gigabits per second, over a 10 Km class link distance.

The S-11 media converter, a standalone, Mini-Switch used for our evaluation or demo purposes, also serves as a starter-kit.  It is fully deployable however, and could be used to basically “bolt-on” the Micro-OTDR capability to an existing link.

However, the Micro-OTDR is also used throughout our RFoF product line, in particular our 9500 series product, and E-FiberSAT model series.

A quick summary with respect to how the Micro-OTDR is deployed, it is essentially a fiber transport component.  It can be embedded as part of a larger system, or can stand alone as a full feature system, carrying both revenue traffic data transport, as well as monitoring the optical fiber link.

Our products include graphical user interfaces, either web GUI, or what we call a super GUI.  This is just a

uh an example of the GUI for the S-11 model.  We can provide screenshots of what these things look like for you after the session if that is of interest.

So, we have a couple minutes for questions if there are any.  Yes, there is a question.

Questioner from the audience:

Measuring the distance to the fault also depends on the distance?  I mean, the fault is at 100 meters, or is that one kilometer?  Does the tolerance of the measure is depending on this distance, or in any case is always the same?

MH Answer:

We actually specify the tolerance at the maximum distance, so on our data sheet you would see a spec like plus or minus 50 meters.  That tolerance should include the maximum distance at which the particular Micro-OTDR might operate.  I did not go into that detail, but the figure of merit for the Micro-OTDR is dynamic range (DR).  Depending upon the model, the dynamic range is different.

Same Questioner from the audience:

I see, so the tolerance also depends on the of the distance due to dispersion, due to dispersion the variation, or the actual tolerance have some dependency on the distance, simply because of signal dispersion, but the repeatability is probably plus minus 10 meters, and the repeatability between measurement.

Meir Bartur:

But the overall accuracy depends on how accurate the fiber is that the customer will define, with respect to the fiber we calibrated in the factory.  The measurement of the distance is based upon the index of refraction (IOR).  Different fibers have a different propagation velocity in the fiber, and obviously if you have a slight mistake, then the longer the distance the higher the tolerance.  We specify it plus or minus 50 meters to accommodate such variation in fiber index of refraction.

But we also enable specialty calibration for people that use either low bending radius fiber, or other fibers.  The standard for us is Corning SMF-28 optical fiber, but we can calibrate the units to any required fiber.  The variation in index of refraction (IOR), will create a tolerance that is linearly dependent to the distance to the break.

Thank you, Meir.

I think we are going to be transported back to the main room within a minute, or so.

Here is my contact information.  Feel free to contact me directly, but most likely, your best contact is with Sincron Systemi.