12 March 2018
Oclaro’s new 400G QSFP56-DD delivers 400% increase in bandwidth and faceplate density
© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.
Oclaro Inc of San Jose, CA, USA (which provides components, modules and subsystems for optical communications) is integrating its 400Gbps technology into the QSFP-DD high-density transceiver form factor. The new 400Gbps (4x100G PAM4) QSFP56-DD module will enable 36 ports of 400Gbps per 1RU (rack unit), representing a 400% increase in bandwidth and faceplate density compared with similar-sized 100Gbps QSFP28 transceivers.
The data-center market is in constant demand for greater bandwidth to support existing and emerging applications such as streaming video, cloud services, and the Internet of Things, says Oclaro. Data-center traffic is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27%, reaching 19.5ZB per year in 2021. The move to 400Gbps optical interconnects is hence critical, but it must be done cost effectively and with power efficiency. The best way to accomplish this is by maximizing the data rate of each individual laser, which is the proven way to minimize cost and power consumption, adds the firm. Oclaro’s QSFP56-DD optical transceiver contains four lasers operating at 100Gbps each and uses 4-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4) to realize an aggregate data rate of 400Gbps.
“We will deliver unprecedented bandwidth and performance in the 400Gbps QSFP56-DD by leveraging Oclaro’s world-class integrated indium phosphide (InP) technology and our leading 100Gbps PAM4 EML [electro-absorption modulated laser] lasers,” says Walter Jankovic, president of Oclaro’s Optical Connectivity business unit. “This will be the highest-density 400Gbps transceiver that has ever been introduced for Ethernet switch architectures and is the missing link in the ecosystem to fully utilize a new generation of switching ASICs capable of 14Tbps or more,” he reckons.
“The growth of traffic for data-center operators and service providers will demand the adoption of 400G optical interfaces in next-generation networking equipment,” comments Bill Gartner, VP & general manager at Cisco. “The QSFP-DD pluggable optical module form factor provides the highest density while leveraging the industry’s infrastructure that has made QSFP the de facto standard at 40G and 100G. In addition, QSFP-DD provides backward compatibility to lower-speed QSFP form factors providing customers maximum flexibility as they migrate their networks to higher speeds. Cisco considers Oclaro’s support of the QSFP-DD as another step towards broad market adoption of this form factor,” he adds.
“The increased bandwidth capability of the 400G QSFP56-DD module represents a much needed innovation,” comments Vladimir Kozlov, founder & CEO of market analyst firm LightCounting. “With the availability of these modules, data centers will be able to achieve breakthrough switching capability that will drive their future growth,” he adds. “LightCounting forecasts that sales of 400GbE transceivers will reach $300m in 2019 and close to $2bn by 2022.”
Oclaro claims that its 400Gbps QSFP56-DD FR4 module offers superior optical performance, quality and reliability through the use of the firm’s 100Gbps PAM4 (53GBaud) lasers that enable 4x100G PAM4 solutions. The module is compliant to the 53.125GBd PAM4 x 4-wavelength 400G-FR4 optical interface, the 26.5625GBd PAM4 x 8-lane 400GAUI-8 electrical interface, and the QSFP-DD MSA form-factor specifications. Additional features include the following:
- transmission distance of up to 2km (which supports 95% of the links in data centers);
- compact size (that enables as many as 36 ports in 1RU);
- hot pluggability (to allow installation or removal without powering down entire switches or line cards); and
- field pluggability (to enable a ‘pay as you grow’ approach to capacity increase).
Oclaro is showcasing its 400Gbps QSFP56-DD FR4 technology in booth #2812 at the Optical Networking and Communication Conference & Exhibition (OFC 2018) in San Diego, CA, USA (11-15 March). The firm expects to begin sampling modules in third-quarter 2018.