Multi-Gigabit Ethernet News




TMCNet:  Edgecore Networks Contributes Design of the Whitebox

[November 08, 2017]

Edgecore Networks Contributes Design of the Whitebox "Cassini" Packet Transponder to the Telecom Infra Project

TIP Summit -- Edgecore Networks (News - Alert)®, the leader in open networking, today announced its contribution to the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) of the hardware design for the "Cassini" packet transponder, the industry's highest capacity and first modular open-source whitebox packet transponder offering a flexible mix of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) packet switching ports and 100/200 Gbps coherent optical interfaces for data center interconnect and service provider backhaul use cases. Cassini was developed by Edgecore Networks with leading optical companies- NTT (News - Alert) Electronics, Acacia Communications, and Finisar Corporation- and will support disaggregated software options including IP Infusion OcNOS™ and open source alternatives.

"The Open Optical Packet Transport project group in TIP pioneered the whitebox packet transponder concept with its introduction last year of the Voyager design which has gained significant interest in the community and from network operators," said George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks. "We have long supported open whitebox hardware with our many switch, PON OLT, and WiFi (News - Alert) design contributions to the Open Compute Project®, and are now pleased to contribute the Cassini design to TIP as an open platform to provide more flexible whitebox choices to operators and encourage further collaboration between the packet switching and optical technology worlds."

Demonstrating the benefits of collaborative development on open platforms, NTT Electronics worked with Edgecore Networks to develop an ACO line card for the Cassini platform. The ACO line card incorporates NTT Electronics' ExaSPEED 200 DSP enabling high performance coherent optical connections over metro and long-haul distances.

As an open network platform, Cassini will support disaggregated software options including OcNOS from IP Infusion, a leading whitebox switching NOS optimized for service provider and data center interconnect use cases. For SDN controller-based deployments, Edgecore provides open source software for its whitebox leaf/spine switches and PON OLT products, and now for the Cassini packet transponder, to enable those disaggregated hardware products to be managed through the ONOS® SDN controller and associated applications, for example, in CORD infrastructures.

"IP Infusion sees the benefits to our data center and service provider customers of extending the open network, disaggregated model to the integration of packet switching and optical transport technology," said Atsushi Ogata, CEO, IP Infusion. "Our OcNOS already supports a rich set of switching and routing features, and its availability on Edgecore's Cassini packet optical transponder will help network operators easily extend and migrate existing metro and long-haul Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) networks to add new 100G capacities, and extend inter-DC L2 and L3 services."


The Cassini packet transponder is a 1.5RU form factor with system throughput of 3.2Tbps based on Broadcom StrataXGS™ Tomahawk™ Plus switch silicon. The Cassini design offers sixteen fixed 100 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP28 ports, plus eight line card slots to incorporate a flexible mix of additional 100GbE ports or ACO/DCO optical ports based on coherent DSP and optical transceivers from leading optical technology partners.

Cassini supports Ethernet and optical line cards with MACsec security to enable secure encrypted connections on both client-side links and metro or wide area connections. The following line cards can be added as required, providing the network operator with a scalable pay-as-you-grow platform.

  • 100GbE Line Card: 2 x 100GbE QSFP28 with MACsec;
  • DCO Line Card: 1 x 100G/200G CFP2 with MACsec, supporting DCO pluggable transceivers including the Acacia AC200 CFP2-DCO Module;
  • ACO Line Card: 1 x 100G/200G CFP2 with NTT Electronics ExaSPEED 200 DSP, supporting ACO transceivers including the Finisar CPF2-ACO Coherent Optical Transceiver.

Edgecore Networks is contributing to TIP the hardware design of the Cassini system, including the 100GbE and Coherent DCO line cards.

Edgecore Networks will be exhibiting the Cassini AS7716-24XC packet transponder at the TIP Summit in Santa Clara on November 8-9. Cassini prototypes are available now for evaluation and software development, with general availability of Cassini hardware and open source software from Edgecore in Q4 2017.

Supporting Quotes

"The TIP community welcomes Edgecore's contribution of the Cassini hardware design. We are seeing growing interest throughout the industry in collaborating to build modular and disaggregated solutions. These whitebox approaches to the integration of packet switching and optical transport are important projects that show that the ecosystem is growing quickly." -
Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, Co-Chair, Open Optical Packet Transport Project Group, Telecom Infra Project

"Edgecore's Cassini packet transponder design offers a high-density switch platform that leverages the low power and high performance provided by Acacia's pluggable CFP2-DCO module. We believe it will be a valuable addition to the TIP open source ecosystem." -
Alan Gibbemeyer, Senior Director Business Development, Acacia Communications

"Finisar offers one of the broadest and most innovative portfolio of optical modules for our customers. We are thrilled to collaborate with Edgecore Networks to provide industry-leading 100G/200G CFP2-ACO Coherent Optical Transceivers for the ACO line cards in their Cassini whitebox packet transponder, enabling metro and long-haul connections." -
Craig Thompson, VP Marketing, Finisar Corporation

"Edgecore has been the leader in open networking with a flexible approach and innovative designs. We are confident that Edgecore's newly developed Cassini AS7716-24XC packet transponder will create a new market for coherent optics. NTT Electronics is honored to support Cassini and the emerging packet optical ecosystem with our cutting-edge technology." -
Osamu Ishida, SVP & GM of Optical Communications ASSP BU, NTT Electronics

"Cumulus Networks has delivered Cumulus Linux on Edgecore open network switches for years. We welcome Edgecore's contribution of the Cassini packet transponder to the community as one more step in the extension of the benefits of open networking to optical networks." -
Josh Leslie, CEO, Cumulus Networks

About Edgecore Networks
Edgecore Networks Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology (News - Alert) Corporation, the leading network ODM. Edgecore Networks delivers wired and wireless networking products and solutions through channel partners and system integrators worldwide for the Data Center, Service Provider, Enterprise and SMB customers. Edgecore Networks is the leader in open networking providing a full line of open Wi-Fi access points, PON OLT, packet optical transponders, and OCP (News - Alert)-ACCEPTEDTM switches that offer choice of NOS and SDN software for data center, telecommunications and enterprise networks. For more information, visit www.Edge-Core.com.

All trademarks, service marks, registered marks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.

© 2017 Edgecore Networks. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. Edgecore Networks shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.


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