Molex drives development of next-generation network technologies

Created October 23, 2017
Technologies and Products

Lends expertise to industry groups developing specifications for SFP-DD and QSFP-DD Interfaces, 100G Lambda MSA Optical Link.

Optical components and systems developer Molex is serving in several leadership roles in Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Groups aimed at fostering development of new high-speed, high-density interfaces and links used in telecommunication, data centre equipment and networking platforms.

“Building and sustaining the pipeline of interoperable interconnect solutions is absolutely critical to support advances in transceiver modules, switch technologies and servers. Through strategic collaborations, we can provide the expertise needed within the industry to continue pushing the boundaries of high-speed, high-density networking,” said Scott Sommers, group product manager at Molex and co-chair of the QSFP-DD MSA and chair of the SFP-DD MSA.

Data centre and cloud computing
“Fast growing data centre and cloud computing are demanding more efficient optical transceivers at every stage of high speed transitions,” added Rang-Chen (Ryan) Yu, vice president of business development, GM of optoelectronic solutions at Oplink, a Molex Company and co-chair of 100G Lambda MSA.

“At Molex, we are working with industry leaders to establish 100G Lambda multi-source agreement and accelerate development of single channel 100G technology as a foundation for next generation 100G and 400G optical connectivity solutions.”

The company is a founding promoter, editor and member of the QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor Double Density) MSA, the SFP-DD MSA, and the 100G Lambda MSA groups, all of which support multi-vendor interoperability.

QSFP-DD MSA
Established in 2016, the QSFP-DD MSA today released an updated 3.0 hardware specification for the new QSFP-DD form factor. A QSFP28 compatible double-density interface, QSFP-DD pluggable modules can support up to 400 Gbps in aggregate over an 8 x 50 Gbps electrical interface—quadruple the bandwidth of conventional QSFP modules, allowing networking equipment to keep pace with advances in ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) technology.

Systems designed for QSFP-DD modules will be backwards compatible with existing 28 Gbps QSFP and QSFP+ form factors and provide flexibility for end users, network platform designers and integrators. Providing excellent signal integrity and thermal protection, Molex QSFP and QSFP+ Integrated Product Solutions support Ethernet, Fibre Channel, SAS and InfiniBand applications.

Established in May 2017, the SFP-DD MSA recently released the initial hardware specification and drawings for the SFP-DD electrical interface. The SFP-DD specification builds on a full range of Molex SFP+ and SFP Interconnect Solutions, including cages, connectors and cable assemblies, and optical modules.

Targeting support for thermal management up to 3.5W optical modules, the new interface features two lanes that operate at up to 56 Gbps per lane, providing throughput of 116 Gbps over the two lanes with PAM4 modulation. By doubling the lane density and data rate of an SFP connector, the SFP-DD interface will significantly boost port density and deliver optimal scalability in networking cables and equipment.

100G Lambda MSA
Most recently, Molex and other industry leaders established the 100G Lambda MSA to develop specifications based on 100 Gbps per wavelength optical technology, and addressing the technical challenges of achieving optical interface interoperability for transceivers produced by different manufacturers.

Molex provides optoelectronic solutions for a broad range of high speed networking applications. By close collaboration with industry leaders, we are driving industry adoption of 100G Lambda MSA, which effectively doubles the data rate per wavelength for 100 Gbps and 400 Gbps applications with extended reach to 2km and 10km, and also provide a technology platform required for next generation networking equipment.

For more information, visit www.molex.com

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.