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TELECOMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

ENGINEERING
SDH AND SONET
MIAN AHMED YASER
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
DEPARTMENT
CIIT LAHORE
SONET AND SDH
INTRODUCTION:
SONET
SONET is an acronym for Synchronous Optical Network.
SONET provides digital formats extending to 9953.28
Mbits/s. It is a North American development
SDH:
Equivalent European format is called SDH or Synchronous
Digital Hierarchy
Both SDH and SONET can accommodate the
standard DS1 family (i.e., 1.544 Mbits/s, etc.) and
E1 family (i.e., 2.048 Mbits/s, etc.) of line rates
SONET
SONETs higher-level digital format was
originally intended for transmission over
optical fiber facilities.
It can, however, be accommodated on any
transmission medium that meets the
bandwidth requirements.
SONET Functional diagram of Section,
Line and Path
SPE-Synchronous Payload Envelope
SONET RATES AND FORMATS
SONET can carry DS1, DS3, E1, and ATM etc.
This is realized by defining a basic module with a bit rate of 51.840 Mbits/s, as well
as defining a byte-interleaved multiplex scheme that results in a family of signals
with N times 51.840 Mbits/s, where N is an integer
SONET module is divided into two portions:
Overhead
Payload
The payload can be used to transport DS3 signals or a variety of sub-DS3 signals.
Because some signals requiring transport have rates greater than the basic rate
(e.g., broadband-ISDN), a technique of linking several basic modules together to
build a transport signal of increased capacity is provided
To maintain a consistent payload structure while providing for the transport of
variety of lower-rate payloads (e.g., DS1, DS1C, and DS2 signals), a structure called
a virtual tributary (VT) is defined.
Payloads below the DS3 rate are transported with a VT structure.
Synchronous Hierarchical Rates
The synchronous transport signal level 1 (STS-1) is the basic SONET
module
It has a bit rate of 51.840 Mbits/s.
The optical counterpart of STS-1 is optical carrier-level 1 signal (OC-
1)
Higher-level SONET signals are obtained by synchronous
multiplexing lower level modules
When these lower-level modules are multiplexed, the result is
denoted STS-N, where N is an integer
STS-N can be converted to OC-N or STS-N electrical signal
SONET line rates are shown in Table
Higher-level signals are integer multiples of 51.84 Mbits/s (STS-1)
LINE RATES OF SONET INTERFACE
SIGNALS
STS-1 frame
An STS-1 signal is a specific sequence of 810 bytes
(6480 bits), which include various overhead bytes
and an envelope capacity for transporting
payloads
An STS-1 frame structure is illustrated in Figure
It has a 90-column by 9-row structure
The frame duration is 125 s (i.e., 8000 frames
per second), deriving a bit rate of 51.840 Mbits/s
The order of transmission of bytes in Figure is
row by row, from left top right
Transport overhead occupies the first three columns of the STS-1
frame for a total of 27 bytes
The remaining 87 columns of the STS-1 frame, a total of783 bytes,
are allocated to the synchronous payload envelope (SPE) signal
This provides a channel capacity of 50.11 Mbit/s in the STS-1 signal
structure for carrying tributary payloads intact across the
synchronous network
It should be noted that at 8000 frames per second, each byte within
the SONET signal structure represents a channel bandwidth of 64
kbits/s (i.e., 8 bits/byte 8000 bytes/second = 64 kbits/s)
This is the same bit rate of a PCM voice channel or a DS0/E0 time
slot
Figure shows the SPE providing 87 columns and 9 rows of payload
SPE can start anywhere in the STS-1
envelope capacity
The figure gives the appearance that an SPE is wholly
contained in one STS-1 frame
STS-1 SPE can begin anywhere in the STS-1 envelope
capacity, as shown in Figure.
Of course, if it begins in one STS-1 frame and is not
wholly contained in that frame, the remainder of the
SPE appears in the following contiguous frame
This allows the SPE to begin anywhere in the STS-1
frame thus facilitating efficient multiplexing (especially
adddrop multiplexing) and cross-connection of signals
in the synchronous network
SONET STS-1 FRAME STRUCTURE
STS-1 SYNCHRONOUS PAYLOAD
ENVELOPE
LINK BETWEEN TRANSPORT
OVERHEAD AND SPE
Payload Pointer
When an SPE is assembled into the transport frame, additional bytes, referred to
as the payload pointer, are made available in the transport overhead
These bytes contain a pointer value which indicates the location of the first byte
(J1) of the STS-1 SPE
The SPE is allowed to float freely within the space made available for it in the
transport frame so that timing phase adjustments can be made as required
between the SPE and the transport frame
The payload pointer identifies the first byte location of the SPE
An STS path overhead (POH) associated with each payload is used to communicate
various information from the point where a payload is mapped into the STS-1 SPE
to where it is delivered.
The POH is contained in the first column of the SPE and thus consists of 9 bytes.
This signal capacity provides such facilities as alarm and performance monitoring
required to support and maintain the transport of the SPE between path
terminations
A path termination is where the SPE is either
assembled or disassembled
The frame structure of the STS-N consists of N 810
bytes
The STS-N is formed by byte-interleaving STS-1 and
STS-M(M < N) modules
The transport overhead of the individual STS-1 and
STS-M modules are frame-aligned before interleaving,
but the associated STS SPEs are not required to be
aligned because each STS-1 has a payload pointer to
indicate the location of the SPE
The concept of byte interleaving is shown in Figure
VIRTUAL TRIBUTRIES
The virtual tributary (VT) structure is designed
for transport and switching of sub-STS
payloads
There are four sizes of VTs:
VT1.5 (1.728 Mbits/s)
VT21 (2.304 Mbits/s)
VT3 (3.456 Mbits/s), and
VT6 (6.912 Mbits/s);
STS-N FRAME
BYTE INTERLEAVED MULTIPLEXING
SPE- ASSEMBLY DISASSEMBLY PROCESS
Fundamental to the SONET format of transmission is the concept of a tributary
signal (such as a DS3) being assembled into an SPE to be transported end-to-end
across the synchronous network
The assembly process is called payload mapping
The payload capacity provided for each tributary signal is always slightly greater
than that required by the tributary signal
This provides uniformity across all SONET transport facilities
The mapping process synchronizes the tributary signal with the payload capacity
This is achieved by stuffing bits to the signal stream as part of the mapping process
The assembly process is illustrated in Figure
In this example, a DS3 tributary enters at its nominal 44.736 Mbits/s and need to
be synchronized with the payload capacity of 49.54 Mbits/s provided by the STS-1
SPE
The bit rate is increased to 50.11 Mbits/s by addition of the path overhead (POH)
VT FRAMES
VT1.5 packaged in an STS-1 SPE
Payload de-mapping
At the point of exit from the synchronous
network, the payload tributary signal that has
been transported over the network needs to
be recovered from the SPE
The process of disassembling the tributary
signal from the SPE is referred to as payload
de-mapping
This disassembly process is illustrated in
Figure
SPS-1 ASSEMBLY/DISASSEMBLY
PROCESS
STS-Nc SPE
SUPER-RATE PAYLOADS
Multiple STS-1 SPEs are required to transport super rate payloads as might be
encountered with broadband-ISDN/ATM
To accommodate such a payload, an STS-Nc module is formed by linking N
constituent STS-1s together in a fixed phase alignment
The super rate payload is then mapped into the resulting STS-Nc SPE for transport.
The STS-Nc can be carried by an OC-N, STS-N electrical signal or higher
Concatenation indicators contained in the second through Nth STS payload
pointers are used to show that the STS-1s of an STS-Nc are linked together
The STS-Nc SPE is shown in Figure
The STS-Nc consists of NX783 bytes and can be deposited as an N 97 column by
9-row structure
Only one set of STS POH is required in the STS-Nc SPE
STS-Nc SPE is carried within the STS-Nc so that the STS POH will always appear in
the first of the N STS-1s that make up the STS-Nc
In all the super rate payload mappings, the first (N/3) 1 columns of the STS-Nc
SPE following the STS POH are not used for payload, but are designated fixed stuff
columns (i.e., columns of undefined bytes)
SDH-INTRODUCTION
Synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) was a European
development, whereas SONET was a North American
development.
The principal difference is that SONETs basic rate,
51.84 Mbits/s, has no SDH equivalent. The SDH basic
rate is equivalent to SONET STS-3, 155.520 Mbits/s
SONET appears to have been designed for private
networks whereas SDH was designed more with the
flavor of a public network
There are also differences in the payload point and
OA&M overhead
SDH STANDARD BIT RATES
Table shows the standard SDH bit rates
ITU-T Rec. G.707 [17] states that
The first level of the digital hierarchy shall be
155,520 kbits/sandthat higher synchronous
digital hierarchy bit rates shall be obtained as
integer multiples of the first level bit rate.
STM-SYNCHRONOUS TRANSFER
MODULE
An STM is the information structure used to support
section layer connections in the SDH
It consists of information payload and section overhead
(SOH) fields organized in a block frame structure which
repeats every 125 s.
The information is suitably conditioned for serial
transmission on selected media at a rate which is
synchronized with the network
A basic STM is defined at 155,520 kbits/s termed as STM-1
Higher capacity STMs are formed at rates equivalent to N
times this basic rate
STM capacities for N = 4,N = 16, and N = 64 are defined
SDH BIT RATES WITH SONET
EQUIVALENTS
GENERALIZED SDH MULTIPLEXING
STRUCTURE
MULTIPLEXING METHOD DIRECTLY
FROM Container-1 using AU-4
The STM-1 comprises a single administrative
unit group (AUG) together with the SOH
The STM-N contains N AUGs together with
SOH
STM-N hierarchical rates are given in Table
VIRTUAL CONTAINER-n (VC-n)
A virtual container is the information structure
used to support path layer connections in the
SDH
It consists of information payload and path
overhead (POH) information fields organized
in a block frame structure, which repeats
every 125 or 500 s
Alignment information to identify VC-n frame
start is provided by the server network layer
SDH multiplexing method directly from
container-1 using AU-3
Multiplexing method directly from
container-3 using AU-3
Types of Virtual Containers
There are two types of virtual containers
Lower-order virtual container-n: VC-n (n = 1, 2, 3)
This element comprises a single container-n
(n = 1, 2, 3) plus the lower-order virtual
container POH appropriate to that level.
Higher-order virtual container-n: VC-n (n = 3, 4)
This element comprises a single container-n
(n = 3, 4) or an assembly of tributary unit
groups (TUG-2s or TUG-3s) together with
virtual container POH appropriate to that
level
ADMINISTRATTIVE UNIT-N (AU-n)
An administrative unit is the information structure which provides
adaptation between higher-order path layer and multiplex section
layer
It consists of an information payload (the higher-order virtual
container) and an administrative unit pointer which indicates the
offset of the payload frame start relative to the multiplex section
start
Two administrative units are defined
The AU-4 consists of a VC-4 plus an Administrative Unit pointer
which indicates the phase alignment of the VC-4 with respect to the
STM-N frame
The AU-3 consists of a VC-3 plus the Administrative Unit pointer
which indicates the phase alignment of the VC-32 with respect to
the STM-N frame. In each case the administrative unit pointer
location is fixed with respect to the STM-N frame
AUG (Administrative Unit Group)
One or more administrative units occupying
fixed, defined positions in an STM payload are
called an administrative unit group (AUG)
An AUG consists of a homogeneous assembly
of AU-3s or an AU-4
Tributary Unit-n (TU-n).
A tributary unit is an information structure which provides adaptation
between the lower-order path layer and the higher-order path layer
It consists of an information payload (the lower-order virtual container)
and a tributary unit pointer which indicates the offset of the payload
frame start relative to the higher-order virtual container frame start
The TU-n (n = 1, 2, 3) consists of a VC-n together with a tributary unit
pointer
One or more tributary units, occupying fixed, defined positions in a higher-
order VC-n payload is termed a tributary unit group (TUG)
TUGs are defined in such a way that mixed capacity payloads made up of
different size tributary units can be constructed to increase flexibility of
the transport network
A TUG-2 consists of a homogeneous assembly of identical TU-1s or a TU-2.
A TUG-3 consists of a homogeneous assembly of TUG-2s or a TU-3
CONTAINER-n (n = 14).
A container is the information structure which
forms the network synchronous information
payload for a virtual container
For each of the defined virtual containers,
there is a corresponding container
Adaptation functions have been defined for
many common network rates into a limited
number of standard containers
CONCATENATION
A procedure whereby a multiplicity of virtual
containers is associated with another with the
result that their combined capacity can be
used as a single container across which bit
sequence integrity is maintained.
SDH ALLIGNING
A procedure by which the frame offset
information is incorporated into the tributary
unit or the administrative unit when adapting to
the frame reference of the supporting layer
FRAME STRUCTURE
Basic frame structure, STM-N, is shown in Figure
Three main areas of the STM-1 frame are section
overhead, AU pointers, and STM-1 payload
Section Overhead. Section overhead is shown in rows 1
3 and 59 of columns 19 N of the STM-N in Figure
Administrative Unit (AU) Pointers. Row 4 of column 9 N
in Figure
is available for AU pointers. The positions of the pointers
of the AUs for
different organizations of the STM-1 payload are shown in
Table
Rules for interpreting AU-n pointers
1. During normal operation, the pointer locates the start of the VC-n
within the AU-n frame.
2. Any variation from the current pointer value is ignored unless a
consistent new value is received three times consecutively or it is
preceded by one of the rules 3, 4, or 5. Any consistent new value received
three consecutive overrides (i.e., takes priority over) rules 3 and 4.
3. If the majority of the I-bits of the pointer word are inverted, a positive
justification operation is indicated. Subsequent pointer values shall be
incremented by one.
4. If the majority of the D-bits of the pointer word are inverted, a negative
justification operation is indicated. Subsequent pointer values shall be
decremented by one
5. If the NDF (new data flag) is set to 1001, then the coincident pointer
value shall replace the current one at the offset indicated by the new
pointer value unless the receiver is in a state that corresponds to a loss
pointer.
STM-N FRAME STRUCTURE
ADMINISTRATIVE UNITS IN STM-N
STM-N payload can support N AUGs where each AUG may consist
of one AU-4 or three AU-3s
VC-n associated with each AU-n does not have a fixed phase with
respect to the STM-N frame
Location of the first byte of the VC-n is indicated by the AU-n
pointer
AU-n pointer is in a fixed location in the STM-N frame
AU pointer bytes H1 and H2 with bit meaning are shown in Table
AU-4 may be used to carry, via the VC-4, a number of TU-ns (n = 1,
2, 3) forming a two-stage multiplex
The VC-n associated with each TU does not have a fixed-phase
relationship with respect to the start of the VC-4
TU-n pointer is in a fixed location in the VC-4, and the location of
the first byte of the VC-n is indicated by the TU-n pointer.
Administrative units in the STM-1
frame
Two-stage multiplex
The AU-3 may be used to carry, via the VC-3, a
number of TU-ns (n = 1, 2) forming a two-
stage multiplex
VC-n associated with each TU-n does not have
a fixed-phase relationship with respect to the
start of the VC-3
The TU-n pointer is in a fixed location in the
VC-3, and the location of the first byte of the
VC-n is indicated by the TU-n pointer
Interconnection of STM-1s
SDH can transport North American 1.544 Mbits/s and European
2.048 Mbits/s regimes
Different structures can be used for the transport of virtual
containers
The following interconnection rules are used:
1. The rule for interconnecting two AUGs based upon two different
types of administrative unit, namely AU-4 and AU-3, is to use the AU-4
structure. Therefore, the AUG based upon AU-3 is de-multiplexed to
the TUG-2 or VC-3 level according to the type of the payload and is re-
multiplexed within an AUG via the TUG-3/VC-4/AU-4 route.
2. The rule for interconnecting VC-11s transported via different types
of tributary unit, namely TU-11 and TU-12, is to use the TU-11
structure. VC-11, TU-11, and TU-12 are described in ITU-T Rec. G.709
SDH multiplexing structure