A COST-EFFECTIVE 100 GBE OPTICAL INTERFACE?
As the length of cable runs in major data centers only continues to grow, the standard for fiber optics needs to grow with it. Network technologists are now in the process of producing a cost-effective 100 GbE optical interface that uses less power and provides greater range than any of the fiber optic technology we’ve seen so far.
The initiative is being propelled by data centers. The current standard just isn’t meeting the needs or budgets of the big information collection and storage stations. Dr. Mario Paniccia, Intel fellow and general manager stated that an increased footprint of these centers is taxing connectivity and networking capabilities.
The top 5 data centers in the world are all well over 1 million square feet (about 15 football fields.) There are currently two types of fiber-optic cables that provide for data centers like these: single-mode fiber-optic cables and multi-mode fiber-optic cables. Single-mode fiber-optic cables allow signals to travel quickly and narrowly, while multi-mode fiber-optic cables cannot travel as quickly, but have a high-dispersion rate.
There are three initiatives being run to meet this 100 GbE goal. The first is the 100G CLR4 Alliance undertaken by Intel and Arista Networks to design an affordable, low-power interface compatible with a QFSP transceiver. This will have four lanes of 25 Gb/sec in a multi-mode fiber-optic cable.
OpenOptics MSA is taking a different approach and defining 1550nm silicon photonics based QFSP optical transceiver for 100G data centers through a single-mode fiber-optic cable.
CWDM4-MSA, consisting of Avago Technologies, Finisar Corp, Oclaro Inc., and JDSU, will also work with single-mode fiber-optic cables to complete the task.
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