March 6, 2023

Field trial demonstrates unprecedented performance of Acacia’s 1.2T CIM8 pluggable multi-haul module.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Windstream Wholesale, an optical technology leader of fast and flexible advanced solutions, today announced the completion of a live network trial that successfully deployed a 1 Terabit wave over 541 kilometers across Windstream’s Intelligent Converged Optical Network (ICON) network between Dallas and Tulsa. The trial set an industry-leading real-world benchmark using digital coherent optics technology by Acacia, now part of Cisco.

The team also looped the circuit to establish an 800 Gigabit link over a live network measuring 1,082 kilometers. As part of its core strategic pillars, Windstream Wholesale continues to push the industry forward with technologies that will help keep pace with customer bandwidth demands and lowering the cost per bit.

The trial employed Acacia’s Coherent Interconnect Module 8 (CIM 8) module, which is powered by the Jannu DSP and is the industry’s first pluggable module in the “high-performance” category that represents the next evolution in driving high-capacity optical connections to expand the network.

“With this trial, Windstream Wholesale and Acacia have broken through the Terabit limit, once again demonstrating the power and benefit of an open, disaggregated network,” said Art Nichols, chief technology officer for Windstream. “Our success here further validates Windstream Wholesale’s early adoption of the latest evolution advancements of coherent pluggables, and our strong partnership with Acacia enables us to understand and meet the rapidly evolving bandwidth needs of our customers.”

The 1TB trial marked the first use of pluggable modules in the high-performance category. Acacia’s modules reduced power consumption by more than 65% while being more than 70% smaller than traditional network gear. In addition, the performance gains allow for a significant jump in route coverage of high line rates such as 800G and above.

“As Windstream Wholesale is demonstrating, our CIM 8 module is breaking the Terabit threshold with deployable performance on a real network,” said Benny Mikkelsen, chief technology officer at Acacia. “By leveraging silicon photonics, we’ve been able to achieve the power consumption needed to bring the CIM 8 into a pluggable form factor and that is going to help Windstream cost-effectively meet their customers’ growing bandwidth demands.”

Windstream previously set a 400 ZR+ record using Acacia pluggables. The company is continuing to expand the reach and capacity of its current 400G coast-to-coast wave service and more will be announced in the coming months.

“It’s great to see the industry fully embracing and advancing pluggable coherent modules, a strategic initiative driven by Windstream,” said Kim Papakos, principal optical strategist for Windstream Wholesale. “The technological advancements and learnings made in 400G ZR – QSFP-DD 0 dBm are now being applied to the High-Performance category leading to a substantial advancement, hitting all the key metrics of capacity, performance, power, size, and consumption model.”

Windstream’s ICON provides open and disaggregated networking infrastructure, enabling wholesale and enterprise technology customers to select unique custom routes, maintain operational insights with Windstream’s Network Intelligence functions, and place their networks closer to the edge to better serve end-users.

To view the Windstream network map, visit

About Windstream

Windstream Holdings is a privately held communications and software company. Windstream Wholesale is an innovative optical technology leader that creates deep partnerships with carriers, content and media providers, federal government agencies and Fortune 100 companies to deliver fast and flexible, customized wave and transport solutions. Additional information is available at or Follow us on Twitter at @Windstream.

Category: Wholesale

Brandi Stafford, 501-748-6250
[email protected]

Source: Windstream Holdings