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CALIENT Technologies Adds OpenFlow Support to S320 Optical Circuit Switch for Data Center Applications

CALIENT Technologies, Inc., the global leader for photonic switching technology, today announced a new application-programming interface (API) for OpenFlow on its S320 optical circuit switch.

Together with an OpenFlow controller, the new API allows the S320 to reconfigure datacenter networks to optimize high-capacity data flows at the optical layer and to function as part of an integrated packet-circuit switched software-defined network (SDN).

The OpenFlow API runs on the S320’s MEMS Switching Module (MSM), a high-availability switching and control subsystem with redundant control processors and a Linux-based operating system.

In data centers, the 320-port (full duplex) S320 creates any-to-any high-speed fiber-optic fabrics that connect top-of-rack switches to each other and also to core routers for connectivity to the Internet. The S320 provides high-capacity (32 Terabits per second), low-latency (<60 ns) connectivity for dynamically changing big data flows, which are difficult and expensive to manage with traditional layer 2/3 switches.

An OpenFlow controller can reconfigure S320 connections based on time of day, real-time application flows or predictive algorithms. This means switch links don’t need to be overprovisioned for peak traffic because they can reconfigure on demand to accommodate this traffic.

“Now is the right time for SDN-controlled optical circuit switches in the data center because they dramatically lower latency and can provide the instant bandwidth necessary for moving big data,” said Atiq Raza, Chairman and CEO of CALIENT. “The potential impact on data center is so great that it is already accelerating the virtualization of these networks.”

S320 Technical Highlights

The CALIENT S320 optical circuit switch is based on CALIENT’s proprietary 3D microelectromechanical (MEMS) technology. The switch supports up to 320 ports (320 input ports and 320 output ports) and has a capacity of more than 32 Tbps and supports per-port data rates of more than 100 Gbps. Completely agnostic to data protocols, the S320 allows any-to-any network connections with almost no latency (<60 ns).

The S320 chassis fits in a 19” rack. Maximum power consumption is 45 watts, and the switch has a total of 640 fiber terminations supporting wavelengths from 1260nm to 1650nm.


The S320 OpenFlow API will be available for interoperability testing in late Q4.

About CALIENT Technologies

Headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA, CALIENT Technologies is the global leader in adaptive photonic switching with systems that enable dynamic optical layer optimization in next generation data centers and software defined networks. CALIENT’s 3D MEMS switches have demonstrated years of reliability, with eight years of successful continuous operation. With more than 80,000 optical terminations shipped, CALIENT has one of the largest installed bases of photonic switches worldwide. For more information visit us at or contact us at

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