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New Fiber Driver from NBase Communications Eases Management and Doubles Throughput of Existing Fiber Networks.

CHATSWORTH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 12, 1998--

New family of products provides substantial savings to LAN and

WAN managers with multiprotocol copper and fiber networks

NBase Communications, a division of MRV Communications (Nasdaq:MRVC), today launched the Fiber Driver product line of high density, multi-media, multi-protocol, optical media converters and switches. This product line doubles data throughput, increases distances up to 110 kilometers over single mode fiber and provides the industry's first centrally-managed fiber cabling and connectivity solution targeted at the LAN, MAN (metropolitan area network) and enterprise markets.

Increasing bandwidth demands from the enterprise to the SOHO markets requires network managers to increase capacity to stay competitive. This means adding more fiber cabling and switching equipment to the network or getting more bandwidth out of the existing infrastructure. Large enterprises, carriers, CLECs, cable TV companies, government agencies and schools often have more fiber available, but face integration issues with copper facilities. NBase's Fiber Driver provides the interfaces between switches, hubs, routers and the fiber or copper plant to allow existing fiber to be used more efficiently, while providing network management across the entire LAN, MAN or WAN infrastructure.

The Fiber Driver family maximizes the use of existing fiber by combining transmit and receive signals onto a single fiber strand freeing up the second strand in a fiber pair for additional data. Fiber Driver does this for all speeds of Ethernet as well as ATM, SONET, SDH and FDDI. "This is the Rosetta stone for fiber," commented Greg Cline, Principal Analyst with Cahners In-Stat.

In addition, the Fiber Driver family increases efficiency through a Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM) module. As WDM migrates from core carrier backbone applications to metropolitan networks there will be increasing need for WDM in the edge network. Fiber Driver's WDM module combines up to 4 channels of SONET OC-12 or Gigabit Ethernet onto one fiber pair. WDM modules are also available for OC-3 and Fast Ethernet. Three WDM modules provide Fiber Driver with the ability to aggregate up to 12 channels in one chassis. Since the cost of running a mile of fiber cable can exceed $15,000, the Fiber Driver's ability to use fiber more efficiently results in significant savings.

The SNMP-based management module facilitates rapid fault isolation and diagnosis of converters and transceivers, through loop back and SNMP MIBs. This reduces the time-consuming task of validating network connections over long distances. It allows customers to connect via single mode fiber over 110 kilometers and centrally manage these extended networks.

Media conversion in the Fiber Driver includes unshielded twisted pair to fiber, multimode fiber to singlemode fiber and Gigabit SX to Gigabit LX. Fiber Driver supports SONET, SDH, ATM, FDDI and 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet, with interchangeable modules. It also has switch modules available for applications where more than conversion is required.

"With the Fiber Driver, it is now possible to build large geographic networks using standard LAN protocols," said Mannix O'Connor, vice president of marketing at NBase Communications. "Transparent LAN Services, where service providers offer LAN data ports directly to business customers, is one example of these applications." With Gigabit Ethernet becoming a significant enterprise backbone protocol, and by converting short distance Gigabit SX ports to long distance LX ports, service providers are able to build and service large networks over greater geographic areas.

"For example, Cable TV companies can aggregate cable modem signals and transport them to head-end locations via long distance single mode fiber, using the Fiber Driver to facilitate these installations. Likewise, a carrier without spare capacity could use the Fiber Driver to postpone the addition of new fiber on congested routes by combining transmit and receive signals, thereby doubling the capacity of existing fiber," added O'Connor.

Product Configuration

The Fiber Driver family of conversion modules can be housed in one of three chassis: a 16 slot, a 4 slot and a single slot housing. All three are capable of hosting any converter, switch or WDM module. A network management module provides remote SNMP access to a central management platform, such as NBase's Megavision or other standard systems. To maximize network availability, the Fiber Driver offers redundant management and power capabilities.

Pricing and Availability

Available today, the Fiber Driver has 51 different modules supporting Ethernet at 10/100/1000Mbps, FDDI, SONET at OC-3 and 12 as well as ATM. List prices range from $168 for a copper to multimode Ethernet module, to $7,000 for a gigabit ethernet module with a 45 kilometers range over a single strand. The SNMP management module lists at $735 and the one, four and sixteen slot chassis are $75, $500 and $735 respectively. All modules and chassis are currently available.

NBase Communications is a leading Ethernet switch manufacturer. They provided the first 10Mbps to 100Mbps switch and also the first 10/100Mbps autosensing switch. As a member of the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance, they contribute the Packet Bursting technology which became part of the IEEE Gigabit Ethernet standard.

MRV Communications Inc., is a leading provider of high-speed optical networks integrating switching, routing, remote access and fiber optic transmission systems that enhance the performance of existing telecommunications networks. The company's advanced networking solutions improve the functionality of LANs and WANs by reducing network congestion and provide cost-effective migration paths to next generation Converged Networks with technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet, Remote Access and Voice over IP. The company's fiber optic transmission products deliver voice, data and video traffic, under demanding environmental conditions, to carriers, enterprise customers and residential networks.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 12, 1998
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