New optical transceiver interface to support 800 Gbps speeds

optical transceiver
A Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group comprising eight member companies is being formed to develop high-speed, double-density, quad small form factor pluggable (QSFP-DD800) modules to support 800 Gbps connectivity. Shown here is a 400 Gbps product from Finisar, one of the member companies. (Finisar)

Several industry leaders have formed a QSFP-DD800 Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group to expedite development of high-speed, double-density, quad small form factor pluggable (QSFP-DD800) modules to support 800 Gbps connectivity. The MSA group will help address growing global bandwidth consumption by enabling very high bandwidth interfaces.

The MSA members include Broadcom, Cisco, Finisar, Intel, Juniper Networks, Marvell, Molex and Samtec.

The QSFP-DD800 interface expands on the QSFP-DD, a pluggable form factor with an eight I/O electrical interface widely adopted by the latest Ethernet switches. This MSA will enable QSFP-DD800’s eight I/O to operate at 100 Gigabit per second (Gbps) each, by providing technical solutions for 800 Gbps module and connector systems. The interface will define a module, connector, stacked connector and a hybrid connector that is a BiPass/Flyover variant which can eliminate the signal losses on a traditional PCB.

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The MSA Group aims to define the specifications and promote industry adoption of the QSFP-DD800. The new specification is intended to be backward compatible with QSFP-DD, QSFP28 and QSFP+ modules and cables, in order to address the upcoming industry demands of 25.6 Tb/s scale systems supporting dense 100 GbE or dense 400 GbE interfaces.

“Through continued strategic collaborations with our MSA Promoters, we are developing the physical specifications that will enable the interoperability of optical transceiver modules, connectors, cages and DAC cables from multiple vendors to assure a robust ecosystem,” said Scott Sommers, founding member and MSA co-chair, in a statement. “We are thrilled to collaborate together as a group and further develop and provide next-generation designs that evolve with the changing technology landscape.’’

“Leveraging the technical innovations from QSFP-DD, the time is right to collaborate with our MSA partners to lay the foundations for the next generation systems and modules,” said Mark Nowell, founding member and MSA co-chair. “The QSFP-DD form factor continues to be the cornerstone for the next step in pluggable module performance and density, while extending the industry’s investment, experience, cost structure and backward compatibility from prior generations.”

Many MSA members will demonstrate 400 Gbps QSFP-DD products at the upcoming European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC 2019), September 23-25 in Dublin, Ireland.

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