Open Eye MSA targets hi-speed optical connectivity apps

Created May 15, 2019
News and Business

The Open Eye Consortium has announced the establishment of its Multi-Source Agreement (MSA), outlining its mission to standardise advanced specifications for lower latency, more power efficient and lower cost optical modules. The MSA is targeting 50 Gbits/s, 100 Gbits/s, 200 Gbits/s, and up to 400 Gbits/s optical modules for datacentre interconnects over single-mode and multimode fibre.

The MSA aims to accelerate the adoption of PAM-4 optical interconnects scaling to 50, 100, 200, and 400 Gbits/s by expanding upon existing standards to enable optical module implementations using less complex, lower cost, lower power, and optimised clock and data recovery (CDR)-based architectures in addition to existing digital signal processing (DSP) architectures.

Open Eye notes that minimising the need for DSP in optical modules has many advantages, including significantly lowering latency, power consumption and cost. The industry consortium says it is committed to investing its collective innovation and engineering resources for the development of an industry-standard optical interconnect that leverages seamless component interoperability among a broad group of industry-leading technology providers, including providers of electronics, lasers and optical components.

“LightCounting forecasts that sales of next-generation Ethernet products will exceed US$500 million in 2020,” said Dale Murray, Principal Analyst at LightCounting. “However, this is only possible if suppliers can meet customer requirements for cost and power consumption. The new Open Eye MSA addresses both of these critical requirements. Having low latency is an extra bonus that HPC and AI applications will benefit from.”

The Open Eye MSA consortium states that its approach is a natural evolution relative to today’s high-volume optical nodes, enabling users to scale to next generation baud rates. The initial Open Eye MSA specification will focus on 53 Gbits/s per lane PAM-4 solutions for 50G SFP, 100G DSFP, 100G SFP-DD, 200G QSFP, and 400G QSFP-DD and OSFP single-mode modules. Subsequent specifications will aim to address multimode and 100 Gbits/s per lane applications.

MACOM and Semtech Corporation initiated the formation of the Open Eye MSA with 19 current members in Promoter and Contributing membership classes. Promoters include: Applied Optoelectronics Inc., Cambridge Industries (CIG), Color Chip, Juniper Networks, Luxshare-ICT, MACOM, Mellanox, Molex and Semtech Corporation. Contributors include: Accelink, Cloud Light Technology, InnoLight, Keysight Technologies, Maxim Integrated, O-Net, Optomind, Source Photonics and Sumitomo Electric.

“Through its participation in the Open Eye MSA, AOI is leveraging our laser and optical module technology to deliver benefits of low cost, high-speed connectivity to next generation datacentres,” commented David (Chan Chih) Chen, AVP, Strategic Marketing for Transceiver, AOI.

“As one of the earliest promoters of this technology, we had a live module demo at OFC2019. With the recent acquisition of Lumentum/Oclaro’s datacentre product portfolios, CIG is expanding its product offering for both telecom and datacom markets. Our participation in the Open Eye MSA will enable us to apply this expertise to serve our customers with lower power and lower cost transceivers,” added Michael Xin, VP of Sales and Marketing, CIG.

The initial Open Eye specification release is planned for autumn 2019, with product availability to follow later in the year.

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.