Collaboration to deliver OTN solution for 5G

15th June 2018
Alex Lynn

A collaboration has been announced by Microsemi with Chia Telecom Beijing Research Institute to define and develop next-gen optical transport solutions to meet the requirements of 5G. 

China Telecom is part of the Next-Generation Optical Transport Network Forum (NGOF), formed to drive industry collaboration and technological innovations to define a converged Optical Transport Network (OTN) which meets the needs of 5G deployments. As part of this collaboration, Microsemi is bringing to market the DIGI-G5, the newest member of its DIGI OTN processors, supporting new 5G optimised architecture that enables the stringent synchronisation, latency and network slicing requirements being placed on optical networks to support 5G deployments.

5G’s variety of use cases will impose new requirements like network slicing, stringent latency and timing synchronisation on the underlying optical transport networks. With 25, 50 and 100Gbps port rates planned for 5G remote radio heads, the traffic flow from the radio to the mobile edge will dramatically increase. With the promise of up to 50 times lower end-to-end latency, the optical transport network will play a critical role in enabling ultrareliable Low Latency Communication (uRLLC) applications such as autonomous vehicles.

“China Telecom plans to be the pioneer in both 5G commercial service and 400G OTN network commercial deployments. A mobile-optimised converged metro, multiservice and cloud-based OTN transport network is critical to both initiatives,” said Zhang Chengliang, Vice President, China Telecom Beijing Research Institute. “The availability of Microsemi’s DIGI-G5 will help the industry deliver a new generation of OTN equipment to enable the 5G era.”

In response to the 5G challenges, Microsemi’s DIGI-G5 aims to reduce the total latency for single hop to close to one microsecond. In addition, the DIGI-G5 claims to integrate close to two terabits of on-chip ODUk switching for hard traffic isolation and grooming in support of network slicing. For manufacturers looking to upgrade their platforms to meet Precision Time Protocol’s (PTP’s) Class C requirements, the DIGI-G5 plans to deliver nanosecond level time stamping accuracy and provides mechanisms to carry critical timing information over the OTN network.

Babak Samimi, Vice President and Business Unit Manager for Microsemi's Communications Business Unit stated: “As a market leader in OTN processors powering packet optical transport networks world-wide, we are focussing our investments to enable service providers to leverage economy of scale and realise operational efficiencies by extending OTN from their metro networks to the access as the packet optical topology for 5G transport. As a founding member of NGOF along with China Telecom, Microsemi is innovating and optimising OTN for mobile applications and DIGI-G5 is bringing together the critical pieces like synchronisation, latency, and network slicing needed for 5G.”

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