QSFP-DD MSA group announces two updated specifications

Created July 16, 2019
Applications and Research

The Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group has announced the release of an updated Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) revision 4.0 for the QSFP-DD form factor. To continue to address the evolving industry needs for an improved high-density, high-speed networking solution, 65 companies came together in support of the QSFP-DD MSA.

As the adoption of 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) grows, CMIS was designed to cover a wide range of module form factors, functionalities and applications, ranging from passive copper cable assemblies to coherent DWDM modules. CMIS 4.0 can be used as a common interface by other 2, 4, 8 and 16 lane form factors, in addition to QSFP-DD. Other notable features include firmware upgrade, diagnostic capabilities, improved State Machine support as well as support for WDM / Coherent modules.

The group has also announced the release of an updated hardware specification revision 5.0 for QSFP-DD. This update supports up to 20 watts with improved thermal management. It includes new optical connectors; SN and MDC, a label area specification, improved latching definition and enhanced Pulse Per Second (ePPS) pin.

QSFP-DD is the premier 8-lane data centre module form factor. Systems designed for QSFP-DD modules can be backwards compatible with existing QSFP form factors and provide maximum flexibility for end users, network platform designers and integrators.

“Through strategic collaborations with our MSA companies, we continue to test the interoperability of multiple vendors’ modules, connectors, cages and DAC cables to assure a robust ecosystem,” said Scott Sommers, founding member and MSA co-chair. “We remain committed to developing and providing next-generation designs that evolve with the changing technology landscape.’’

Established in March 2016, the QSFP-DD MSA group accepted the challenge to meet the market demand for a next-generation high-density, high-speed pluggable backwards compatible module form factor. QSFP-DD MSA founder-promoters included Broadcom, Cisco, Corning, Finisar, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, Huawei, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Mellanox Technologies, Molex and TE Connectivity.

“As the industry continues to converge on QSFP-DD, we believe the economies of scale will manifest and allow 400GbE to reach its full potential,” said Mark Nowell, founding member and MSA co-chair. “We are excited to share new updates and grow the previous thermal and high-speed signal integrity validation previously shared by the MSA.”

Contributors include Acacia, ACON, Alibaba, Amphenol, Applied Optoelectronics, APRESIA Systems,  Celestica, Ciena, ColorChip, Credo, Dell EMC, Delta Products, Dust Photonics, Eoptolink, Fourte, Fujitsu Optical Components, Genesis, H3C, Hisense Broadband, Hitachi Metals, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, InnoLight, Innovium, Inphi, JPC, Kaiam, Keysight Technologies , LEONI, Lorom, Luxshare-ICT, MACOM, Marvell, MaxLinear, MultiLane, NeoPhotonics, Nokia, Panduit, PHY-SI, Ranovus, Samtec, SENKO, Semtech, Sicoya, Siemon, Skorpios Technologies, Source Photonics, Spectra7 Microsystems,  Spirent, Sumitomo Electric, US Conec, Xilinx and Yamaichi Electronics.

The QSFP-DD MSA specifications are available for free download at the QSFP-DD MSA website www.qsfp-dd.com.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.