Infinera: Speeding Optical Networks with the Help of a PTC Creo Upgrade

Think about this: Any time you ask Google a simple question, like who won the world cup in 1996, how far away is Jupiter, or just how can I make my cat love me, your query travels 1500 miles before it’s resolved. Catching up with friends? Facebook says 1 kbyte of a single http request generates 930 data center transactions. Add in Netflix and YouTube, and it’s not hard to see why The Daily Mail frets that the Internet is on the verge of collapse.

 “Service providers are seeing incredible growth in demand,” says Dave Welch, co-founder and president of Infinera Corporation, a telecom device manufacturer based in Sunnyvale, California. “It’s driven by the services they have to supply to their customers, which includes video content, cloud, big data applications—it all taxes the network.”

But Welch doesn’t seem to agree that the Internet is going to bog down anytime soon. That’s because his company has already innovated solutions that can keep up with the web’s sky-rocketing growth.

In 2005, Infinera brought to market a game-changing digital optical network that uses circuits about the size of your fingertip to condense hundreds of optical components onto a single microchip. The result was an “intelligent transport network” that not only delivers data at a rate of 500 gigabits per second (most networks today top out at 100 Gb/s), but also simplifies the system while lowering overall network costs—all without compromising performance.

The corporate video below does a good job of explaining the problem and the solution—especially for those of us not steeped in telecom and network IT lingo:

As Infinera prepares for the terabit era, it’s found some impressive supporters. For example, Facebook just deployed products from the Infinera portfolio. “The route we are announcing with Facebook is delivering multi-terabit capacity today,” says Steve Grubb, Fellow at Infinera. “I believe this is the world’s longest 8 Tb/s capable route in production.”

The Hardware to Hold It All 

But while it’s interesting to talk about 0’s and 1’s moving on light waves at unimaginable speeds, there’s a very important role for hardware in networking too. Datacenters limit rack space, power, cooling, and, most of all, costs. That’s where PTC Creo gets involved.

Engineers at Infinera use PTC Creo to design equipment like the Infinera ATN, a product that improves performance for metro area networks—large networks covering anywhere from a few blocks to a whole city.

Infinera ATN

With PTC Creo, engineers at Infinera can quickly and easily create 3D models of hardware parts or assemblies. They can also create manufacturing drawings automatically with complete confidence that the 2D representation will always reflect the most current design. PTC Creo even offers the power of parametric modeling combined with the flexibility of direct modeling—so it’s faster to address late changes or redesign existing products. That helps speed time to market and keep the costs down.

Optimizing Design with a PDM Upgrade

To centralize all of the company’s product data, Infinera upgraded its CAD deployment by adding PTC Windchill PDMLink, a Web-based, product data management system that supports dispersed teams while managing critical processes such as content, change, and configuration management. For Infinera, the software has improved collaboration among different departments as it provides everyone with easy (but secure) access to current product data, connects seamlessly to mechanical/electrical CAD applications, prevents design errors, and facilitates rapid development of new products.

The results? The powerful Infinera ATN boasts a humble footprint, standing just 5.25 inches tall on the data center rack.  But even with its diminutive size, it’s packed with advanced, houses a variety of pluggable active and passive modules, and includes alarm LED indications and telemetry interfaces to monitor the equipment.

Best of all, with PTC Creo and PTC Windchill PDMLink, Infinera says it’s been able to reduce product development time and keep product costs low. And that helps keep big names like Facebook relying on Infinera products.

Want to learn more about how you can optimize development and upgrade your system with product lifecycle management like Infinera? PTC offers a variety of options for companies of all sizes and needs. Check out the Product Lifecycle Management resource page to find out more.