A 100-gigabit single-wavelength multi-source agreement (MSA) has been created to provide the industry with 2km and 10km 100-gigabit and 400-gigabit four-wavelength interfaces.
The MSA, backed by 22 founding companies including Microsoft, Alibaba and Cisco Systems, aims to complete a draft specification before the year end.
“Twenty-two companies is a very large MSA at this stage, which shows the strong interest in this technology,” said Mark Nowell, distinguished engineer, data centre switching at Cisco Systems and co-chair of the 100G Lambda MSA.
The 100G Lambda MSA will be implemented in two phases. In the first, three single-mode fibre optical interfaces will be specified: a 100-gigabit 2km link (100G-FR), a 100-gigabit 10km link (100G-LR), and a 2km 400-gigabit coarse wavelength-division multiplexed (CWDM) design, known as the 400G-FR4. A 10km version of the 400-gigabit CWDM design (400G-LR4) will be developed in the second phase.
For the specifications, the MSA will use work already done by the IEEE that has defined two 100-gigabit-per-wavelength specifications. The IEEE 802.3bs 400 Gigabit Ethernet Task Force has defined a 400-gigabit parallel fibre interface over 500m, referred to as DR4 (400GBASE-DR4). The second, the work of the IEEE 802.3cd 50, 100 and 200 Gigabit Ethernet Task Force, defines the DR (100GBASE-DR), a 100-gigabit single lane specification for 500m.
The MSA specification does not dictate the modules to be used when implementing the 100-gigabit-based wavelength designs. An obvious candidate for the single-wavelength 2km and 10km designs is the SFP-DD. The OSFP and the QSFP-DD pluggable optical modules as well as COBO, the embedded optics specification, will be used to implement 400G-FR4.
Once the draft specification of the phase one work is published by the 22 founding companies this year, other companies – ‘contributors’ – will join and add their comments and requirements. Further refinement will then be needed before the final MSA specification, expected by mid-2018. Meanwhile, the development of the 10km 400G-LR4 interface will start during the first half of 2018.
By Roy Rubenstein
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