Ciena has been granted a patent for a ZR or ZR+ interface that receives and transmits client signals in a Flexible Ethernet format, allowing for multiplexing and subrating. The interface can operate at non-standard Ethernet PMD rates and includes FlexE instances with calendar slots removed for subrating applications. GlobalData’s report on Ciena gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Ciena, Data center optical networking was a key innovation area identified from patents. Ciena's grant share as of April 2024 was 76%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Flexible ethernet (flexe) interface for zr/zr+ signal aggregation

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Ciena Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11974079B2) discloses a ZR or ZR+ interface designed to receive client signals from a router, multiplex and crunch these signals in either ZR or ZR+ format, and transmit them as an aggregate signal. This interface operates at a rate that does not align with standard Ethernet Physical Medium Dependent (PMD) rates, allowing for efficient signal processing.

Furthermore, the patent details a method associated with this interface, involving the reception of client signals, multiplexing and crunching them in ZR or ZR+ format, and transmitting them as an aggregate signal. The method includes inserting a mapping to indicate the location of client signals in the aggregate signal, with options such as Idle Mapping Procedure (IMP) and Generic Mapping Protocol (GMP) available. Additionally, the method involves transmitting the aggregate signal via an optical interface in either ZR or ZR+ format, showcasing a comprehensive approach to signal processing and transmission in non-standard PMD rate environments.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.