From Skolkovo to Ministry of Defense: Т8 conquers market – Компания «Т8». DWDM-системы

From Skolkovo to Ministry of Defense: Т8 conquers market

“T8” tells about the results of 2013 for the magazine “Photon-Express“. The article was published in the №8.


“It is simple to sum up the results if you have them! There is only difficult to choose what to start from”, – jokes Vladimir Treshchikov, General Director of Т8. ”During the past year we have started commercial deployments of 100G systems, refreshed several world records, won a Skolkovo grant for development of 25 Tbps DWDM system… And in November we unexpectedly took top place at CNews AWARD in a category “Russian technologies”, jumped over such admired companies as MCST – developer of Elbrus processor – and GLONASS! So the year was successful”.

Actually, the company has reasons to be proud. As early as in 2012 Т8 started to be seriously discussed on the market: it’s made a splash at Svyaz-Expocomm’2012 exhibition with presentation of its own coherent 100 Gbps transceiver. This 100G transponder had materialized an eight-year experience of engineers and scientists of T8 and outperformed world competitors’ solutions on basic characteristics.  An exceptional quality of the first Russian 100G system couldn’t but attract an attention of customers: in 2013 the demand on T8 100G equipment has exceeded even optimistic forecasts.

In 2013 T8 has started serial production of 100G systems and their installation on telecom networks, both in Russia and abroad. Inoventica Group became a pioneer in implementation of coherent DWDM system in Russia: it started a massive deployment of 100G channels on its network infrastructure in 2013. The project aimed at 10-fold increase of bandwidth of Inoventica Group’s backbone lines, the budget for development of DWDM network in mid-term could reach up to $3M. Pilot 100G projects have also been performed on other Russian operators’ networks, as well as in Kazakhstan, where two distant corporate datacenters were connected with 100G lines.

Optical datacenters infrastructure of datacenters already uses a bandwidth of hundreds Gbps and these requirements may increase hundred times soon. It is the reason why coherent DWDM systems with a channel speed of 100 Gbps are rapidly becoming popular solution at datacenter market. In 2013 T8 has started to develop a 100G DWDM system with support of InfiniBand interfaces. New solution will allow building of datacenter’s network infrastructure with ability to scale bandwidth up to 1 petabit per second and with the length of optical segments up to several thousand kilometers.

Coherent 100G transponder of T8 is not just a single 100G transponder developed in Russia but also the best in the world in a key characteristic of a signal quality – OSNRt (minimal signal-to-noise ratio required for operation). It allows T8 to break regularly world records for speed and distance of transmission of DWDM signal. In 2013 the company several times refreshed a world record for multichannel DWDM transmission over a single-span optical line. In December the speed was brought up to 1 Tbps (10 channels 100G) at a distance of 500 km without intermediate power supply points.

“In general, over 50 thousand kilometers of DWDM networks were built using our equipment to the end of 2013”, – notes Vladimir Treshchikov. ”In the past year we widely implemented both the up-to-date coherent 100G systems and more traditional and popular in regions 10G systems, and finalized several large projects for Rostelecom. For example during wide-scale works of development of Kuzbass intraareal transport network we have deployed 40-channel 10G DWDM system”.

Implementation of 100G systems in Russia has specificity: most of backbone fiber optic lines are populated with 10G channels, and newly added 100G channels undergo significant distortion from neighbor 10G channels. In 2013 Т8 engineers managed to increase remarkably a quality of 100G channel surrounded with 10G channels using a fast tuning of characteristics of optical receiver. Experiments have shown that the new technology of 100G signal processing allows increasing the OSNR margin more than twice! New algorithms have provided a “green light” for upgrading old 10G networks with new 100G equipment of Т8. The article about this achievement was published in «Photon-Express» #7, 2013.

In 2013 T8 have completed the development of an anticipated compact version of DWDM system “Volga”. It is a 1U system for a 19” rack with a full functionality which can be equipped with any optical modules from the “Volga” product line (i.e. transponders and muxponders 100/40/10/2.6 Gbps, EDFA, RAU, ROADM). The compact sized system can be effectively used within a limited space (4G/LTE base stations, offices, attic floors etc.).

Achievements of the company in 2013 were marked by a number of independent awards. The Laser Association has awarded T8 with a diploma of the first degree for a “Volga” system as the best Russian R&D project in the field of laser equipment and laser-optical technologies. According to the results of the national ranking of Russian companies “TehUspeh 2013: Russia’s Potential in Action” T8 has entered the Top 30 of the ranking and the Top 10 of the fastest growing companies. And a project of development of 25 Tbps DWDM-system (“Volga-2”) was marked as the best IT project of the Skolkovo Startup Village and won ~$1.2M grant from the Skolkovo Foundation.

“The funds that should be allocated according to the grant will allow us to buy expensive components, and to rent modern measurement devices. A prototype of the 25 Tbps system will be presented in the next year”, – notes Vladimir Treshchikov. ”Nowadays there are no commercial systems for data transmission with a speed more than 9.6 Tbps over a single optical fiber. We have been developing an innovative DWDM system for telecom operators which will support data transmission with a speed of 25 Tbps via optical channels. Taking into account increasing traffic, such speeds will be needed in two or three years”.

On a background of a worldwide scandal about a warrantless surveillance which was initiated by Edward Snowden, Russian special consumers are showing increasing interest to T8 equipment. The former director of CIA and NSA Michael Hayden had added fuel to the fire in summer of 2013 when he expressly declared in the interview: it is not acceptable to create the backbone of the domestic telecommunications network in the US using Chinese equipment because it compromises the foundations of the national security[1]. Probably it is not a mere coincidence that authorized telecom channels during G20 summit on September 5-6, 2013 in Saint-Petersburg was organized by Rostelecom using the T8 telecom equipment.

During a massive summer play-war of the Ministry of Defense it could not go unnoticed that more than 60% of backbone telecom networks of Rostelecom is built using the equipment of Huawei Technologies, and almost all information of Russian special consumers passes through a channeling equipment of foreign manufacture – although there is a similar Russian equipment with the better technical characteristics. In September 2013 the Minister of Defense Sergey Shoygu has personally observed “Volga” system at the “Integrated Safety – 2013” exhibition. Military customers have shown a lot of interest to Т8 R&D projects during the “Day of Innovations of the Ministry of Defense” exhibition, and the Military Academy of Telecommunications has organized and conducted a joint event with T8.
Strong achievements of the backbone DWDM system “Volga” leave into shadow another innovative product of T8: “Dunay” system for monitoring over optical fiber. But in fact 2013 was a lucky year for this system also: it was launched into serial production. An experimental operation of “Dunay” is now being conducted on a dozen of test zones, including telecom networks of Gazprom and Rostelecom and test sites of the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Nuclear Energy. “During a test operation the declared sensitivity of a system was confirmed on a whole length of a cable…», – Gazprom stated in a review which was signed in November, 2013.

“Dunay” is a modern solution for security systems allowing control of extended perimeters and line objects. Not for nothing it attracts primarily the attention of the government agencies, military customers and major corporations. At Airshow “MAKS-2013” the presentation of T8 at the pavilion of  Moscow city aroused a great interest among the participants and the representatives of many reputable organizations were observed on the T8 booth. Apparently, the upcoming 2014 could be a breakthrough for the “Dunay”.

“We have a lot of R&D plans including a 25 Tbps Volga-2 and Dunay-2 with higher sensitivity but it is a secret”, – smiles Vladimir Treshchikov. We are going to penetrate foreign markets and not only near abroad. And yet, our main task is a wide implementation of our systems for Russian backbone communication networks, the reorientation of domestic consumers to the high-tech hardware which is made ​​in Russia. Strategic infrastructure in Russia should be based not only on the domestic equipment but on the world’s best domestic equipment – and we prove that it is possible!”


[1] Christopher Joye. Transcript: Interview with former CIA, NSA chief Michael Hayden. Australian Financial Review. Jul 19, 2013.