What are some OTN Mapping Procedures?

This post briefly lists and describes the various mapping procedures that have defined for OTN applications and specified in ITU-T G.709.

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What Mapping Procedures can we use to Map a Non-OTN Client Signal into an OTN Signal?

This post briefly reviews each standard procedure for mapping non-OTN client signals into an OTN (Optical Transport Network) signal.

Other posts discuss these mapping procedures in greater detail.  


As the name suggests, OTN (Optical Transport Network) is a transport technology.  The purpose of the OTN is to transport user (or client) data from Point A to Point B.

All this is analogous to a train system that transports passengers from one train station to another.  In this case, the OTN is the “train,” and the client data are the passengers.

The client data can be a wide range of possible signals (or data types). 

For example, it could be 1GbE (1000BASE-X), 8Gbps Fibre Channel (FC-800), 100GbE (100GBASE-R), SONET/SDH signal, or many other possible client signals.  

We can transport each type of client signal (and more) from one location to another via the OTN.

Note that as we discuss the term mapping (in this and other posts on this website), we are NOT talking about the type of map shown in the figure below.

Mapping Client Signals into OPUk/ODUk/OTUk Frames

Whenever we map a client signal into an OTN signal, we map this client signal into the OPUk portion of an OTUk frame.

Additionally, whenever we map a non-OTN client signal into the OPUk portion of an OTUk frame, we will map this client signal into the entire OPUk payload.

NOTE:  We do discuss OPUk and OTUk frames in other postings.

ITU-T G.709 recommends three mapping schemes we can use when mapping a (non-OTN) client data into (or de-mapping client data from) an OPUk.


Each of these mapping procedures will use its form of rate-adaptation (e.g., adapting the client signal rate to that of the OTN signal).

As I mentioned earlier, I discuss each of these mapping procedures in greater detail – in other postings on this blog.

Let’s quickly review each of these mapping procedures below.

BMP – Bit Synchronous Mapping Procedure

  • Requires that the following equation is true:

Client_Data_Bit_Rate = OPU_Payload_Carrying_Bit_Rate + some Fixed Stuffing

  • This equation means that the OPU Payload data clock signal should be phase-locked to the Client data clock signal.
  • BMP offers the best jitter performance for client signals that are de-mapped from OTN.
    • BMP does not impose any variable byte-stuffing that you can have in both AMP (e.g., the justification events) and GMP.   This fact gives BMP slightly better de-mapping jitter performance than AMP and GMP.  

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AMP – Asynchronous Mapping Procedure

  • AMP does not require that the timing between the Client_Data_Clock and the OPU_Payload_Data_Clock be synchronized (as is necessary for BMP).
  • However, to use AMP, the System Design must ensure that the frequencies of the Client_Data_Clock (of the Non-OTN Client Signal) and the OPU_Payload_Data_Clock signals must be within ±65ppm of each other.
    • In other words, the Client data rate can be slightly slower or faster than the OPUk Payload Carrying data rate.
    • AMP is the only recommended mapping procedure that permits us to map a client signal with a slightly faster nominal bit-rate than the OPUk payload, provided that we do not violate the above-mentioned 65ppm requirement.
  • The OTN terminal accommodates these timing differences by performing negative or positive-justification actions on the Non-OTN client data (at the Byte level)  as it loads the client data into the OPUk Payload.  We are inserting stuff-bytes into or removing stuff bytes from the OPUk payload through these justification actions.  This procedure is somewhat similar to executing Pointer Adjustments in SONET/SDH.
  • De-mapping Jitter Performance for AMP is not as good as that for BMP.  The client data incurs 8 UIp-p of (pre-clock smoothing/jitter attenuation) jitter with each justification (negative or positive stuffing) event.

GMP – Generic Mapping Procedure

  • Requires that the Client bit-rate be less than or equal to the OPUk_Payload bit-rate.
    • In other words, the Client bit rate CANNOT be higher than the OPUk Payload bit rate.
  • GMP does not mandate any synchronization or frequency offset requirements.
    • The bit rate of the Non-OTN client signal can be WAY OFF from that of the OPUk Payload to use GMP.  
    • For example, ITU-T G.709 recommends using GMP to map an STM-1/STS-1 signal (155.52 Mbps) into an OPUO server signal (1.238934310 Gbps).  
  • One of the goals of GMP is to evenly distribute the Payload and Stuff Bytes throughout the OPUk payload to enhance de-mapping jitter performance.
  • I cover GMP mapping in detail in Lesson 4, within THE BEST DARN OTN TRAINING PRESENTATION…PERIOD!!

When to use BMP, AMP, and GMP – per ITU-T G.709

ITU-T G.709 recommends the following mapping procedures for various Client signal types and OTN rates (see Tables 1 through 4 below)

Table 1, ITU-T G.709 Recommended Mapping Recommendations for SDH signals.

Mapping Procedure for SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) Signals

Table 2, ITU-T G.709 Recommended Mapping Recommendations for Ethernet Signals

Mapping Procedure for Gigabit Ethernet Signals, 1000BASE-X, 10GBASE-R, 40GBASE-R, 100GBASE-R

Table 3, ITU-T G.709 Recommended Mapping Recommendations for Fibre Channel Signals

Mapping Procedure for Fibre Channel Signals

Table 4, ITU-T G.709, Recommended Mapping Recommendations for Misc Signals.

Mapping Procedures for GPON, InfiniBand Signals


Table 5 summarizes the timing requirements (between the Client Clock Signal and that for the OPUk/ODU clock) that the System Design must comply with before using any of these Mapping Procedures.

Table 5, Mapping Procedure Timing Requirements

Timing Requirements for BMP, AMP and GMP

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Author: Darrell Smith

Darrell Smith has more than 30 years of experience as an Electrical Engineer. He has about 20 years of experience as an Applications Engineer and the remainder of his time was spent in Hardware Design and Product Marketing. He will now be sharing his wealth of knowledge on this blog.

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