iCAIR News

Nortel, Northwestern University Demonstrate Next-Gen Digital Media Optical Network
Industry’s First Permanent Global Test Bed Proves New Digital Media Optimization Technologies

Press Release

OTTAWA – Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] has teamed with Northwestern University to demonstrate an international network – designed and optimized to deliver digital media – including video – based on next-generation optical network technology. The focus of the Nortel and Northwestern collaboration is to deliver bandwidth-intensive digital media streams like real time, high-definition video, over large distances globally. This provides the means for collaborative video conferencing, high definition media streaming, visualization, telemedicine and other critical, very-high bandwidth operations.

The optical network is the industry’s first permanent global test bed for digital media-optimized networking, built to evaluate new technologies for high bandwidth applications like immersive high definition video conferencing, HD streaming, and collaborative aeronautic design. It is being demonstrated at SC07, the international advanced computing storage and communications conference in Reno, Nevada, Nov. 10-16. The testbed is geographically dispersed across Reno, Amsterdam, Chicago, Barcelona and Ottawa. The work is spearheaded by Northwestern University's International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR), a communications research organization in which Nortel is a partner. Other contributing partners of this work include CANARIE, Canada’s advanced Internet development organization, CRC, Communications Research Centre Canada, the i2CAT Foundation, an advanced networking organization of Catalonia, Spain, and Inocybe Canada. Together, they are demonstrating how optical multicast technologies in conjunction with dynamic bandwidth allocation techniques greatly improve the user experience for digital media services and support the upcoming era of Hyperconnectivity.

“Increasingly, digital media applications are quickly migrating the Internet from its traditional text and graphic modes to those that provide for a much wider and richer range of high definition, full color, full featured environments,” said Joe Mambretti, Director of iCAIR. “This optical network demonstrates how such advanced media services can be deployed on networks, including high-definition, high quality video – across the nation or across the world. Northwestern and Nortel have a long-standing relationship working on next-generation networking technologies and this demo offers a glimpse of the future of digital media will be transported on the network.”

“Video requires more than raw bandwidth, it requires the control to ensure the integrity of the data stream, said Philippe Morin, president, Metro Ethernet Networks, Nortel. “Our work with Northwestern is focused on the research and development of cutting-edge optical networking technologies that provide not only for high-definition video, but also for huge video files, allowing movie studios to transmit and edit movie master copies, for example.”

“This research will help lay the foundation for the coming trend of Hyperconnectivity, which encompasses person-to-person communication, person-to-machine and machine-to-machine. It is fueling huge increases in bandwidth demand because of the complexity, diversity and integration of new applications and devices using the network,” Morin said.

The network is based on Nortel’s Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500, and uses its optical multicast capabilities to deliver high-bandwidth services like video and movies more efficiently and economically. The OME 6500 is an optical convergence optical platform that efficiently transports TDM, data, and advanced wavelength services providing a seamless evolution to a packet-based infrastructure. It also includes Nortel’s Dynamic Allocation Resource Controller (DRAC), a software suite that acts as the guide for video traffic on the network. It enables applications such as video and grid computing, for example, to find and use additional bandwidth available on the network. This enables massive data flows for specific periods of time. DRAC also helps make machine-to-machine communication possible and automates the provisioning, maintenance, and repair of networks, making them self-healing in the process. Nortel Optical Solutions are deployed in more than 1000 customer networks in over 65 countries.

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