Indeed, there were a myriad of issues to be resolved to scale the ‘454’ platform, originally optimized for OC-48 operation, to support OC-192 transport. Furthermore, as the organization scaled, communications became less coherent, as evidenced by the breakdown in requirements, and the lack of a coordinated implementation within Hui’s engineering organization between hardware and ASIC development and integration.
But the Cerent team persevered. “Despite all the constraints,” as Hui points out, “the hardware team was able to squeeze the entire OC-192 into a single line card [footprint] and the ASIC team was able to design BTC192 and SXC192 with the most gate count and pin count as well as the highest I/O speed.” In addition to the core functionality of the 10 Gbps capability, Hui adds, “The mechanical team was able to [complete] their thermal analysis and as a result, a new fan tray was required.”
Today, Hui reflects on his OC-192 experience, “This is a good lesson for a startup that unless marketing, sales, product management, engineering, and manufacturing work closely together, the startup’s [engineering program] is doomed to fail.
However, as highlighted in my original BLOG post, “The 10 Gbps capability quickly became a big hit for Cisco and it spurred on the optical development that made wavelength division multiplexing in the metropolitan network mainstream.”