18 September 2017
CWDM8 MSA Group formed to support deployment of 400G 2km and 10km optical links in data centers
The CWDM8 MSA (8-wavelength Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) Group has announced its formation as an industry consortium dedicated to defining optical specifications and promoting adoption of interoperable 2km and 10km 400Gb/s interfaces over duplex single-mode fiber (SMF).
Founding members of the CWDM8 MSA include Accton, Barefoot Networks, Credo Semiconductor, Hisense, Innovium, Intel, MACOM, Mellanox, Neophotonics, and Rockley Photonics.
“There is currently no adequate solution in the market to meet our needs for cost-effective and uncooled 400G optical interfaces for 2km and 10km reaches,” notes Yu Li, VP of data-center switching at Huawei.
To meet the bandwidth and expansion needs of modern data centers and to support the deployment of 12.8T Ethernet switches and other advanced networking equipment with 50G SerDes, the CWDM8 MSA participants are developing optical link specs that will enable cost-effective, low-power-consumption 400G duplex single-mode optics using 50G-per-wavelength optical NRZ (non-return-to-zero) modulation, all while maintaining full compatibility with standard 50G PAM4 (4-level pulse amplitude modulation) electrical interfaces.
The CWDM8 MSA offers “proven 50G NRZ technology to enable compact and low-power-dissipation form factors for 400G,” says Yu Li.
These optical interfaces can be implemented in next-generation module form factors such as QSFP-DD, OSFP and COBO, and are believed to have significant time to market and performance advantages compared with other approaches. MSA participants expect to address industry needs by advancing unique technologies to create a diverse and competitive supply chain, while providing products that are optically compatible and interoperable.
“400G QSFP-DD optics are a key component of Nokia’s FP4 routing platforms,” notes Nokia’s director of product line management Samuel Liu. “The CWDM8 MSA has formed to support our customers’ needs for low-powered, high-density 400G in both 2km and 10km applications… We look forward to working with the CWDM8 member companies enabling the migration to high-density 400G,” he adds.
“Our next-generation Ethernet switches are designed for 50G electrical interfaces, driving the need for 400G pluggable optics that is reliable and has low power dissipation,” says Mike Yang, president of Quanta Cloud Technology (QCT). “The CWDM8 ecosystem is developing solutions that will accelerate adoption of duplex fiber interfaces for our applications,” he adds.
“The CWDM8 MSA enables 400G optical interfaces with significantly improved link budgets over other solutions and we look forward to working with the CWDM8 member companies to validate their products in our router and switch systems and drive a fast time to market for these next-generation interfaces for 2km and 10km reaches,” comments Zhang Yun, director of optical network, ZTE.