13 March 2018
Finisar launches first 400G QSFP-DD AOC and transceivers for switching and routing
© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.
In booth #3713 at the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC 2018) in San Diego (13-15 March), fiber-optic communications component and subsystem maker Finisar Corp of Sunnyvale, CA, USA has introduced several new products including 400G QSFP-DD LR8 and FR8 transceivers, a 400G QSFP-DD active optical cable (AOC), a 100G serial QSFP28 transceiver, and two 50G SFP56 transceivers supporting a variety of next generation of Ethernet applications.
The new form factors and data rates represent the latest advances in networking technology, geared toward the next generation of optics that will operate at 50 and 100Gb/s per lane, says Finisar. The 50G and 100G lanes use 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) encoding instead of the traditional non-return-to-zero (NRZ) format, and are crucial to enable hyperscale data centers, service providers and enterprises to meet growing bandwidth demands.
The QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Interface Double Density) is the latest module form factor targeting 400G data rates. The design provides an eight-lane electrical interface, compared with traditional single- or four-lane interfaces, thereby increasing bandwidth, channel capacity and port density. Defined by the QSFP-DD MSA Group, the module addresses the need for high-density, high-speed networking solutions in a backward-compatible form factor.
400G QSFP-DD LR8 and FR8 transceivers
Finisar is unveiling what is claimed to be the first demonstration of a 400G QSFP-DD LR8 transceiver, whose 10km reach is a critical requirement for service provider applications. Using 50G PAM4 technology, the demonstration shows an optical module transmitting data over 10km of duplex single-mode fiber (SMF). In addition to the 10km LR8 module being demonstrated, a 2km FR8 variant of this module will also be available from Finisar, primarily for intra-data-center applications. Both the LR8 and FR8 modules leverage directly modulated laser (DML) transmitter technology, providing a low-power, low-risk, cost-effective solution for 400G.
400G QSFP-DD active optical cable
Finisar is adding what it claims is the first 400G active optical cable in the QSFP-DD form factor. Leveraging vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology to achieve the lowest power dissipation and lowest cost structure, it provides an alternative to copper cables, which cannot scale to the required cable lengths at these high data rates. In a joint collaboration, Finisar is demonstrating the 400G QSFP-DD AOC running traffic through a Cisco demonstration switch using Cisco’s 36 Port QSFP-DD Demo Platform. “This demonstration effectively quadruples the aggregate switch bandwidth while maintaining port density, which is critical to support the continuing growth in network bandwidth demand and data-center traffic,” says Cisco product line manager Ray Nering. “Cisco expects that QSFP-DD will become the de facto standard for 400G, just as other QSFP form factors have done so at 40G and 100G.”
100G serial QSFP28 FR transceiver
Finisar is introducing a 100G serial FR transceiver in the popular QSFP28 form factor for inter-data-center, transport and router applications with 2km reaches. While leveraging a standard 4x25G electrical interface so that it plugs into standard QSFP28 slots, this module employs just one serial 100G PAM4 optical channel. Once deployed in sufficient volume, it is expected to replace existing 100G QSFP28 CWDM4 modules. Finisar also plans to introduce a 500m DR version of this module. Four of these FR or DR modules will be able to be used in a fan-out configuration with an IEEE standard 400G DR4 module, providing both 100G point-to-point and 100G-to-400G fan-out connectivity at 100G per lane. During OFC, the module is being shown transmitting data over 2km of SMF.
50G SFP56 SR and LR transceivers
Enabling the next generation of 50G single-lane optical connections, Finisar is also introducing what is claimed to be the first 50G SFP56 SR and LR transceivers, using serial PAM4 technology. The firm says that these modules represent the next step in the popular SFP+ family of optical modules that have become ubiquitous in worldwide enterprise, data-center and service provider networks. Primary applications for these products include server-to-switch and switch-to-switch 50G Ethernet connections, and future 5G wireless applications.
During OFC, Finisar is demonstrating the SFP56 SR module transmitting over 100m of OM4 multi-mode fiber (MMF), and the SFP56 LR module transmitting over 10km of SMF. Leveraging in-house vertically integrated optics and ICs, the modules support interoperability with previous generations of 25G SFP28 and 10G SFP+ optical transceivers. Both modules comply with the corresponding 50GBASE-R specifications, as defined in the IEEE standards, and offer 50G PAM4 electrical and optical interfaces.
“Today, we have established a number of industry-first optical modules that will enable Finisar to maintain its leadership position for the next generation of products,” believes Rafik Ward, senior VP, global marketing. “Building upon 30 years of success, we are gearing up for a new era of optical interfaces that will be built on 50G and 100G PAM4 technology. This will enable us to deliver unprecedented bandwidth to customers in form factors that are backwards compatible with industry established footprints,” he adds.