Service Provider Transformation
Juniper Employee , Juniper Employee Juniper Employee
Service Provider Transformation
Juniper Unveils Its First Ever Optical In-line Amplifier
Aug 3, 2016

Like most parents, I was extremely excited at the arrival of my first baby many years ago. Now the arrival of Juniper’s new baby, ILA, makes me almost equally excited. This ILA is Juniper’s first branded optical in-line amplifier in its 20 years of history. In the same way my child complemented my family, ILA will complement Juniper’s packet-optical portfolio. Somewhat unlike my child, of course, ILA will also empower Juniper to more favorably compete with other vendors in the packet-optical market.


The photo below (courtesy of Jay Huang) shows what an ILA looks like:




The ILA is a standalone box with DCN and console connectivity. It has three replaceable fans mounted from the back. Two hot-swappable AC or DC power supplies provide 1+1 redundancy. There are three optical ports: one for East-West, one for West-East, and one for output signal monitoring. The ILA contains the following major optical features:


  • Independent amplifiers in each direction: East-West and West-East
  • OC3 OSC (Optical Surveillance Channel) in each direction for communication with upstream and downstream ILAs or other OSC-literate devices
  • APR (Automatic Power Reduction) mechanism to reduce amplifier output power for eye safety
  • APSD (Automatic Power Shut Down) in response to fiber cut to mute downstream ILA pumps

The ILA functions as a repeater. It provides optical gain for an optical DWDM signal in order to boost the signal’s power after the signal has propagated down the loss medium of an optical fiber span. By boosting the optical power of the DWDM signal, it is now possible to again retransmit the same optical signal down another span of fiber without the need for regeneration. The ILA functions as a C-Band amplifier, which means that the DWDM signal will occupy the spectrum known as the C-Band (1528-1566nm). Up to 96 individual DWDM channels that are spaced 50-GHz from one another within the C-Band are amplified as a single entity by the ILA.


Below figure shows two intended use cases of ILA:


  • Multi-span linear networks
  • Multi-span ring networks


The ILAs are connected to IPLC (Integrated Photonics Line Card) on Juniper's PTX3000 packet optical chassis. The IPLC is a 32-channel Mux/Demux with integrated ROADM, Optical Pre-amplifier, and Booster Amplifier. IPLC can pair with IPLC-E (32-channel Expansion card) to support up to 64 channels. IPLC and IPLC-E can be plugged into any PTX3000 FPC or PIC slot. Below is a brief description of how the ILA, IPLC, IPLC-E, and Juniper’s integrated coherent DWDM linecards work together to provide end-to-end packet-optical solution.


  • User IP/MPLS traffic is routed to an integrated 100G coherent DWDM linecard such as PTX-5-100G-WDM PIC or MIC3-100G-DWDM MIC (see Steven Keck’s blog: Plenty to See @ OFC) and is sent out of the DWDM linecard on a selected wavelength.
  • The wavelength from the linecard is added to IPLC or IPLC-E. The linecard can be on the same chassis or a different chassis as that of IPLC and IPLC-E. The wavelength can also be from a 3rd party linecard.
  • IPLC adds the wavelength to its line side. Pairing with IPLC-E, an IPLC can add up to 64 wavelengths/channels.
  • The DWDM signal on IPLC’s line side traverses multiple spans and is amplified by ILAs between each span, until it reaches the IPLC on the remote chassis.
  • The wavelength is dropped from the IPLC on the remote chassis and sent to an DWDM linecard.
  • The remote DWDM linecard routes the IP/MPLS traffic on the wavelength to its destination or next hop.

As Irmgard Erath once said, “With every newborn baby a little sun rises.” As Juniper’s first ever branded optical inline amplifier is born, another little sun rises and shines a light on Juniper’s packet-optical portfolio.

Top Kudoed Members