Nokia’s new PSE-3 crams even more capacity into fiber

fiber bandwidth
Image credit: Christoph Burgstedt /

Nokia has unveiled the PSE-3, the next generation of its Photonic Service Engine (PSE) family of super-coherent digital signal processors, which the company claims pushes optical network capacity to theoretical limits.

The new Nokia PSE-3 is billed as the first coherent digital signal processor to implement probabilistic constellation shaping (PCS), a modulation technique pioneered by Nokia Bell Labs. PCS pushes optical fiber transmission capacity to very near the Shannon Limit – the maximum theoretical capacity of a communications channel – by intelligently shaping the signal to match the characteristics of the optical fiber.

This generates wavelengths that are more resilient to noise and other impairments, increasing capacity up to 65% over currently deployed networks, while also reducing power per bit by 60%. Networks built with systems using the new chipset require up to 35% fewer optical transponders. Also, by recovering latent capacity in deployed fiber, the PSE-3 extends the life of existing line systems and subsea cables, resulting in significant long-term savings, Nokia says.

The chipset not only maximizes performance, but does so at any possible distance within an optical network, from metro to subsea.

Reversing the tide of ever-increasing complexity in WDM systems, the PSE-3 provides finely adjustable wavelength capacity from 100G to 600G with a single, uniform modulation format, baud rate, and channel size. This radically simplifies network operations and planning, while greatly facilitating the dynamic operations that enable network operators to deploy innovative services and lower costs.

Spark New Zealand will be among the first operators to make use of the PSE-3 technology.

“Building on our 2012 introduction of 100G transport and 200G in 2017, the new Nokia Bell Labs powered PSE-3 technology will allow Spark to plan towards 400G and 1Tb services supporting the significant predicted traffic demands of 5G, video, business services and IoT,” said Rajesh Singh, Spark’s GM of value management and procurement.

The PSE-3 will be available across Nokia’s packet-optical portfolio, including a new version of the 1830 Photonic Service Interconnect, a compact modular WDM platform for high-capacity datacenter interconnect. The 1830 PSI-M, offering modules utilizing the PSE-3, will be available in Q3 2018.

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