Alcatel-Lucent Unleashes Four-Terabit Switch

As demand for bandwidth continues to grow, so too do the demands on
carrier backbones to deliver. One solution to the problem is providing
hardware platforms that have more capacity, which is what Alcatel-Lucent
(NYSE: ALU) is doing with its new 1870 Transport Tera Switch (TTS) optical
core switching platform.

The 1870 TTS provides four terabits per second of switching capacity with
its initial release, with the potential to eventually scale as high as 8Tb
per second.

The new release is part of Alcatel-Lucent’s plan, first laid out in
September 2009, to help converge the optical transport and IP
of modern carrier networks.

“The 1870 TTS adds performance based on the capacity of the 4Tb switching
platform, which helps to manage all the bandwidth that comes on a fiber that
is fully loaded,” Alberto Valsecchi, vice president of marketing in
Alcatel-Lucent’s Optics unit, told “It also brings
the universal switching capability to manage any type of traffic from TDM
to packet to OTN , providing a very high level of
flexibility to the system.”

Valsecchi added that the key innovations in the 1870 TTS are about
capacity, intelligence and scalability. Sitting at the heart of the 1870 TTS
innovation is a new proprietary chip that does the platform’s heavy lifting.

The 1870 TTS provides four terabits per second of switching capacity, and will eventually scale as high as 8TB

“The TTS is based on in-house developed silicon,” Valsecchi said. “The
chip is universal, which means it can switch … any mix of traffic,
providing a greater value to service providers, especially considering today
most backbones are still transporting a variety of traffic flows and

As compared to the current generation of Alcatel-Lucent’s optical
switching platforms, Valsecchi said that the new silicon in the TTS improved
performance by a factor of eight.

Alcatel-Lucent — and the 1870 TTS in particular — is also supporting
the next generation ODUflex standard, which provides a flexible version of
the optical data units (ODU) that are the primary logical containers within
the optical transport infrastructure. With ODUflex, the aim is to help
improve the utilization of the network by optimizing traffic delivery.

“We have an extensive customer base, but the 1870 TTS will help to
protect and extend our share,” Valsecchi added. “The muti-terabit switch is
becoming a clear need in the market.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of, the network for
technology professionals.

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