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How is AI related to optical networks enhancement? An overview and analysis.

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How is AI related to optical networks enhancement? An overview and analysis.

The integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in various technologies and specifically the optical networks is expected to benefit the growth of the optical transceivers market, along with the datacenters and ultimately the 6G ultrafast speed evolution.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the humongous potential to contribute to the global economy. It is expected to contribute more than the current output of India and China combined, to the world economy by 2030, which is $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. [1] On the technical side, Dell’Oro Group predicted that AI will help increase data centre Capex (Capital expenditures) to over $500bn by 2027. [2]


Figure 1 :Impact of AI on global GDP ( Source: PWC-Sizing The Price)

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and more specifically optical networks are two distinct but interconnected fields that can benefit from each other in the near future. This article explores and reviews their relationship, discusses benefits and how they could intersect:

  1. Network Optimization and Resource Allocation: AI can be employed to optimize the performance of optical networks by dynamically adjusting parameters such as bandwidth allocation, routing, and switching. Machine learning algorithms can analyze network traffic patterns and make real-time adjustments to enhance efficiency.
  2. Predictive Maintenance: AI can predict and identify potential failures or issues in optical networks before they occur. By analyzing historical data and monitoring network performance, AI systems can provide early warnings, allowing operators to perform preventive maintenance and minimize downtime.
  3. Dynamic Spectrum Management: Optical networks often use different wavelengths (colors of light) to transmit data. AI algorithms can dynamically manage the spectrum, adjusting the wavelengths based on current network conditions. This ensures optimal utilization of available resources and minimizes interference.
  4. Security Enhancement: AI plays a crucial role in enhancing the security of optical networks. Machine learning algorithms can detect and respond to unusual patterns of behavior that may indicate a security threat. This is particularly important in the context of protecting sensitive data transmitted over optical networks.
  5. Quality of Service (QoS) Improvement: AI can be used to improve QoS in optical networks by prioritizing and optimizing the delivery of critical data. This is especially important in scenarios where diverse services, such as video streaming, cloud applications, and real-time communications, coexist on the same network.
  6. Energy Efficiency: AI can contribute to reducing the energy consumption of optical networks. By analyzing traffic patterns and adjusting the power levels of network components based on demand, AI can help optimize energy usage and reduce operational costs.
  7. Network Planning and Design: AI can assist in the design and planning of optical networks by analyzing data on user behavior, traffic patterns, and other relevant factors. This can help network planners make informed decisions about infrastructure expansion, upgrades, and capacity planning.

Artificial intelligence (AI) methods in optical networks: A comprehensive  survey - ScienceDirect

Figure 2: Artificial intelligence (AI) methods in optical networks: A comprehensive survey – Science Direct [3]

Summarizing, there is a need for faster transceivers along with the AI integration. Optical transceivers are crucial in developing better AI systems by facilitating the rapid, reliable data transmission these systems need to do their jobs. The interconnection of data centers and supercomputers that host artificial intelligence systems and allow them to analyse massive amounts of data requires high speed, high bandwidth connections. 400 Gbps links are becoming the across data center interconnects, but providers are already considering the next steps. LightCounting forecasts that in the next five years, shipments of Dense wavelength division multiplexing WDM (DWDM) ports with data rates between 600G and 800G will be significantly increased. 400 Gbps links are becoming the standard across data center interconnects, but providers are already considering the next steps with higher speeds. [6]

Shipments of high-speed DWDM ports by data rate (historical data and forecast). Source: LightCounting Optical Communications Market Forecast, April 2022.

Figure 3: Shipments of high-speed DWDM ports by data rate (historical data and forecast). {6)

The integration of AI in various technologies and aspects is an ongoing research and focus area of Strategy International, with the Academia and research consortiums, and it holds great potential for creating more efficient, reliable, and intelligent communication infrastructures.


  1. PwC’s Global Artificial Intelligence Study: Exploiting the AI Revolution https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/issues/data-and-analytics/publications/artificial-intelligence-study.html
  2. https://www.capacitymedia.com/article/2bzwnt49sewfr4gevvnk0/news/delloro-group-predict-ai-will-help-increase-data-centre-capex-to-over-500bn-by-2027
  3. Javier Mata, Ignacio de Miguel, Ramón J. Durán, Noemí Merayo, Sandeep Kumar Singh, Admela Jukan, Mohit Chamania, Artificial intelligence (AI) methods in optical networks: A comprehensive survey, Optical Switching and Networking, Volume 28,2018, pp 43-57, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.osn.2017.12.006.
  4. Yang Lu (2019) Artificial intelligence: a survey on evolution, models, applications and future trends, Journal of Management Analytics, 6:1, 1-29, https://doi.org/10.1080/23270012.2019.1570365
  5. O. Ayoub et al., “Towards explainable artificial intelligence in optical networks: the use case of lightpath QoT estimation,” in Journal of Optical Communications and Networking, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. A26-A38, January 2023, doi: 10.1364/JOCN.470812.
  6. LightCounting Optical Communications Market Forecast, https://www.lightcounting.com/document/april-2022-market-forecast/150/toc




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