With the advent of optical fibre technology in the access and core networks of 30 telecommunications companies, and the availability of lower cost open switches based on the principles of Software Defined Networking (SDN), there is an opportunity to design robust communications that operate using the lowest layers of the stack, physical (optical) layer (Layer 1) and the data link layer (layer 2).
This technology provides a structure to the Layer 2 addressing in a modern
Telecommunications network (spanning access, metro and core portions) so that data can be switched or effectively routed over a wide area as would happen at the traditional Layer 3 level. The technology provides benefits of savings in energy, reduction in device count and performance improvement, there should be other opportunities such as direct control and monitoring of Quality of Service.
What Problem Does it Solve/Advantages
Wide Area communications systems require packetisation/multiplexing of data, universally unique addressability of end points which unfortunately Layer 1 (in particular optical) networks are not equipped to support. Layer 2, of which Ethernet is a dominant example, does provide packetisation/multiplexing of data and universally unique addressability of end points. The major problem is that the structure of the Layer 2 addressing scheme is random so as to make it unusable in a wide-area, multi-purpose, context. Ethernet works well in a LAN environment very switches and hubs being used to direct traffic to/from
particular hosts and segments.
- Telecoms providers and equipment manufacturers
Technology and Patent Status
This technology is available for license/collaboration.
Researcher: Dr frank Slyne, Prof Marco Ruffini