16 March 2017
MSA formed for shortwave WDM optical standards operating over duplex MMF
The SWDM MSA (shortwave wavelength division multiplexed multi-source agreement) Group has announced its formation as an industry consortium to define optical specifications and promote the adoption of shortwave WDM standards for use in data-center and enterprise campus applications that deploy duplex multi-mode fiber (MMF). The SWDM MSA has also published its first two standards, defining optical specifications for four-wavelength SWDM to transmit 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet signals (‘40 GE SWDM4’ and ‘100 GE SWDM4’, respectively).
MMF is by far the most common type of fiber deployed in data centers because it allows the use of low-cost, vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL)-based transceivers. Most data centers originally deployed 10Gb/s optics with duplex MMF, and this paradigm is now being continued with 40 and 100Gb/s signals. The use of SWDM allows the same type of duplex MMF infrastructure to be used for higher data rates, greatly simplifying the upgrade of data rates at both enterprise and cloud data centers.
The new SWDM specifications support transmission over duplex OM3, OM4 and OM5 MMF types. Maximum reaches vary from 75m to 440m, depending on data rate and fiber type. In the future, SWDM technology could be leveraged to enable 200, 400 and 800Gb/s Ethernet traffic on MMF cabling as well.
The founding members of the SWDM MSA are CommScope, Finisar, Lumentum, Hisense, OFS, and Prysmian. The SWDM MSA is affiliated with the SWDM Alliance, an industry group (formed in September 2015) dedicated to the adoption of SWDM technology in data centers. The alliance also includes Anritsu, Corning, Dell EMC, H3C, Huawei, Juniper Networks, Panduit, Suruga Seiki, and YOFC.