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Entries in 400 gigabits (3)

Tuesday
Aug292017

COBO targets year-end to complete specification

Part 3: 400-gigabit on-board optics

  • COBO will support 400-gigabit and 800-gigabit interfaces 
  • Three classes of module have been defined, the largest supporting at least 17.5W 

The Consortium for On-board Optics (COBO) is scheduled to complete its module specification this year.

A draft specification defining the mechanical aspects of the embedded optics - the dimensions, connector and electrical interface - is already being reviewed by the consortium’s members.

Brad Booth“The draft specification encompasses what we will do inside the data centre and what will work for the coherent market,” says Brad Booth, chair of COBO and principal network architect for Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure.

COBO was established in 2015 to create an embedded optics multi-source agreement (MSA). On-board optics have long been available but until now these have been proprietary solutions. 

“Our goal [with COBO] was to get past that proprietary aspect,” says Booth. “That is its true value - it can be used for optical backplane or for optical interconnect and now designers will have a standard to build to.” 

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Sunday
Aug202017

SFP-DD: Turning the SFP into a 100-gigabit module

Part 2: New optical transceiver MSA

An industry initiative has started to quadruple the data rate of the SFP, the smallest of the pluggable optical modules. The Small Form Factor Pluggable – Double Density (SFP-DD) is being designed to support 100 gigabits by doubling the SFP’s electrical lanes from one to two and doubling their speed.

Scott SommersThe new multi-source agreement (MSA), to be completed during 2018, will be rated at 3.5W; the same power envelope as the current 100-gigabit QSFP module, even though the SFP-DD is expected to be 2.5x smaller in size.

The front panel of a 1-rack-unit box will be able to support up to 96 SFP-DD modules, a total capacity of 9.6 terabits. 

The SFP-DD is adopting a similar philosophy as that being used for the 400-gigabit QSFP-DD MSA: an SFP-DD port will support legacy SFPs modules - the 25-gigabit SFP28 and 10-gigabit SFP - just as the QSFP-DD will be backward compatible with existing QSFP modules.

“Time and time again we have heard with the QSFP-DD that plugging in legacy modules is a key benefit of that technology,” says Scott Sommers, group product manager at Molex and the chair of the new SFP-DD MSA. Sommers is also a co-chair of the QSFP-DD MSA.

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Tuesday
Jun202017

Coherent optics players target the network edge for growth

Part 1: Coherent developments

The market for optical links for reaches between 10km and 120km is emerging as a fierce battleground between proponents of coherent and direct-detection technologies. 

Interest in higher data rates such as 400 gigabits is pushing coherent-based optical transmission from its traditional long-distance berth to shorter-reach applications. “That tends to be where the growth for coherent has come from as it has migrated from long-haul to metro,” says Tom Williams, senior director of marketing at Acacia Communications, a coherent technology supplier. 

 

Source: Acacia Communications, Gazettabyte

Williams points to the Optical Internetworking Forum’s (OIF) ongoing work to develop a 400-gigabit link for data centre interconnect. Dubbed 400ZR, the project is specifying an interoperable coherent interface that will support dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) links for distances of at least 80km.

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