Abstract

Based on a variety of long-term network traffic data from different geographies and applications, in addition to long-term scaling trends of key information and communication technologies, we identify fundamental scaling disparities between the technologies used to generate and process data and those used to transport data. These disparities could lead to the data transport network falling behind its required capabilities by a factor of approximately 4 every five years. By 2024, we predict the need for 10-Tb/s optical interfaces working in 1-Pb/s optical transport systems. To satisfy these needs, multiplexing in both wavelength and space in the form of a wavelength-division multiplexing × space-division multiplexing matrix will be required. We estimate the characteristics of such systems and outline their target specifications, which reveals the need for very significant research progress in multiple areas, from system and network architectures to digital signal processing to integrated arrayed device designs, in order to avoid an optical network capacity crunch.

© 2017 IEEE

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