Cisco NCS 1004 – The Bridge Between Reach and Capacity


Representative image

Last year at OFC, we launched the NCS 1004, and we demonstrated the NCS 1004 live in our booth working error-free up to 500G. We have come a long way since then. Customers have successfully run 600G on live networks. The NCS 1004 has achieved 10,000 km+ subsea reaches with state-of-the-art performance. We have been booking orders since December and are on track to ship the NCS 1004 to customers by end of Q1 – that’s a month away!

What we and our customers have recognized over the last year is that the true value of the NCS 1004 lies in its multi-haul transport capabilities and the ability to adapt to any reach use case while providing the highest spectral efficiency. We have carried out a number of trials to date to establish this. The range of field trials we have done with the NCS 1004 include:

  • Variety of reaches: 10,000 km+ on subsea cables, 700km to 1550km on long-haul terrestrial and 500km and below metro networks
  • Different channel grids: 50Ghz networks and flex-grid networks
  • Carrier spacing options: Single carrier and multi-carrier super-channel deployment models
  • Multi-vendor: NCS 1004 channels over the Cisco NCS 2000 line system and as aliens over third party ROADM line systems

The spectral efficiency versus reach plot below summarizes data from actual field trials and lab trial testing done with the NCS 1004. Note that the variability in spectral efficiency numbers is caused by the differences in line system constraints.

64-QAM, 32-QAM and hybrid modulation formats in between cover most metro applications. Terrestrial long haul and subsea applications are more than sufficiently covered by 16-QAM, 8-QAM and hybrid modulation formats in between. Flexible and almost continuously tuneable baud-rate is key to allow the NCS 1004 coherent DWDM channels to fit into DWDM networks with any type of filters and pass-band constraints. We can trade off excess margin on a given customer DWDM link to lower bandwidth and raise spectral efficiency or capacity. All of this is enabled by Acacia’s Pico coherent DSP and Cisco’s IOS-XR software.



We’d like to thank all the network operators, spread across service provider, enterprise and non-profits, who worked with us to prove the value of coherent technology on the NCS 1004 – it’s the ability to close the bridge between reach and capacity. Please visit us at the OFC conference in San Diego March 5-7, booth #5829.  Learn more about the Cisco NCS 1004.

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