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Entries in IEEE (6)


New MSA to enable four-lambda 400-gigabit modules

A new 100-gigabit single-wavelength multi-source agreement (MSA) has been created to provide the industry with 2km and 10km 100-gigabit and 400-gigabit four-wavelength interfaces.

Mark NowellThe MSA is backed by 22 founding companies including Microsoft, Alibaba and Cisco Systems.

The initiative started work two months ago and a draft specification is expected before the year end.

“Twenty-two companies is a very large MSA at this stage, which shows the strong interest in this technology,” says Mark Nowell, distinguished engineer, data centre switching at Cisco Systems and co-chair of the 100G Lambda MSA. “It is clear this is going to be the workhorse technology for the industry for quite a while.”

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Creating a long-term view for the semiconductor industry

The semiconductor industry is set for considerable change over the next 15 years.

“We are at an inflection point in the history of the [chip] industry,” says Thomas Conte, an IEEE Fellow. “It will be very different and very diverse; there won’t be one semiconductor industry.” 



Conte (pictured) is co-chair of the IEEE Rebooting Computing initiative that is sponsoring the International Roadmap of Devices and Systems (IRDS) programme. The IRDS is defining technology roadmaps over a 15-year horizon and in November will publish its first that spans nine focus areas. (See The emergence of the IRDS, below).

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Reporting the optical component & module industry

LightCounting recently published its six-monthly optical market research covering telecom and datacom. Gazettabyte interviewed Vladimir Kozlov, CEO of LightCounting, about the findings.


When people forecast they always make a mistake on the timeline because they overestimate the impact of new technology in the short term and underestimate in the long term.

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The CDFP 400 Gig module  

  • The CDFP will be a 400 Gig short reach module
  • Module will enable 4 Terabit line cards 
  • Specification will be completed in the next year

A CDFP pluggable multi-source agreement (MSA) has been created to develop a 400 Gigabit module for use in the data centre. "It is a pluggable interface, very similar to the QSFP and CXP [modules]," says Scott Sommers, group product manager at Molex, one of the CDFP MSA members.

Scott Sommers, MolexThe CDFP name stands for 400 (CD in Roman numerals) Form factor Pluggable. The MSA will define the module's mechanical properties and its medium dependent interface (MDI) linking the module to the physical medium. The CDFP will support passive and active copper cable, active optical cable and multi-mode fibre.

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Do multi-source agreements benefit the optical industry?

Transceiver feature: Part 1

System vendors may adore optical transceivers but there is a concern about how multi-source agreements originate. 

Optical transceiver form factors, defined through multi-source agreements (MSAs), benefit equipment vendors by ensuring there are several suppliers to choose from.  No longer must a system vendor develop its own or be locked in with a supplier.


“Personally, the MSA is the worst thing that has happened to the optical industry


Marek Tlaka, Luxtera




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Next-Gen PON: An interview with BT

An interview with Peter Bell, Access Platform Director, BT Innovate & Design on next generation passive optical networks (PONs). These include 10 Gigabit Ethernet PON (EPON) and Gigabit PON (GPON) and wavelength division multiplexing PON (WDM-PON).

Peter Bell, Access Platform Director, BT Innovate & Design

Q: The status of 10 Gigabit PON – 10G EPON and 10G GPON (XG-PON): Applications, where it will be likely be used, and why is it needed?

PB: IEEE 10G EPON: BT not directly involved but we have been tracking it and believe the standard is close to completion  (gazettabyte: The standard was ratified in September 2009.)

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