Image Number 6 for United States Patent #6430201.
Multiple gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Fiber Channel (FC) signals are multiplexed and transported on a wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM) communications link using synchronous optical network (SONET) signaling. A transmitter decodes the 8b/10b encoded GbE/FC signals to reduce their respective signaling rates to no greater than the payload data rate of an OC-48 signal used on the link. The decoded signal are packetized into fixed-size packets in order to append a stream identifier used for de-multiplexing at the receive end. The packetized streams are multiplexed together and formatted into the OC-48 signal, which is transmitted over the communications link. A receiver de-multiplexes the received signal to obtain the packet streams, converts the packet streams to the corresponding decoded signals, and re-encodes each signal to re-create the original GbE/FC signals. A pair of interfaces can be arranged to provide independent adding or dropping of the GbE/FC signals that share the same wavelength.