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Entries in 400ZR (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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Thursday
Jun222017

The OIF’s 400ZR coherent interface starts to take shape

Part 2: Coherent developments

The Optical Internetworking Forum’s (OIF) group tasked with developing two styles of 400-gigabit coherent interface is now concentrating its efforts on one of the two.

When first announced last November, the 400ZR project planned to define a dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) 400-gigabit interface and a single wavelength one. Now the work is concentrating on the DWDM interface, with the single-channel interface deemed secondary. 

Karl Gass"It [the single channel] appears to be a very small percentage of what the fielded units would be,” says Karl Gass of Qorvo and the OIF Physical and Link Layer working group vice chair, optical, the group responsible for the 400ZR work.

The likelihood is that the resulting optical module will serve both applications. “Realistically, probably both [interfaces] will use a tunable laser because the goal is to have the same hardware,” says Gass.   

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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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