QSFP-DD800 MSA unveils initial 800G hardware spec

Created March 10, 2020
News and Business

On the heels of its 2019 debut, the Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density 800 (QSFP-DD800) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group has released a new hardware specification for the QSFP-DD800 transceiver form factor. The MSA group was formed to advance the development of high-speed, double-density QSFP modules which support 800 Gbits/s connectivity, and includes the following promoters: Broadcom, Cisco, II-VI, Intel, Juniper Networks, Marvell, Molex and Samtec.

The QSFP-DD800 MSA is focused on the next generation of the QSFP family of modules. The new QSFPDD8001.0 specification is intended to be incremental to the existing QSFP-DD 5.0 specification. The group says that, as signal integrity and thermal performance remain imperative, the transceiver pads have been optimised to improve signal integrity for 100 Gbits/s performance per lane, without affecting backwards compatibility. The new specification additionally defines a novel 2×1 connector/cage, with cabled upper ports as an option to address signal loss issues associated with tradition PCBs. Looking ahead, QSFP-DD800 promoters will continue to work on new connector/cage variants, including 2×1 SMT versions that operate at 100 Gbits/s per lane.

“In the short time our group has collaborated, we are thrilled to introduce this first specification for the next generation of the QSFP family of modules,” said Scott Sommers, Co-chair of the QSFP-DD800 MSA. “As signal integrity and thermal management remain challenges for the optical communications industry, our MSA group is confident that its solutions will meet performance needs.”

“With their superior system integration and design flexibility, QSFP modules continue to be the cornerstone in building next generation networks and network equipment, especially as port speeds increase to 800G,” added Mark Nowell, Co-chair of the QSFP-DD800 MSA. “Furthermore, their ability to increase switch and routing bandwidth density without sacrificing backwards compatibility with QSFPDD, QSFP56 and QSFP28 modules provide network operators tremendous commercial and operational advantages.”

The QSFP-DD800 MSA group has also announced that it will act as an incubator, collaborating with the QSFP-DD MSA, to provide specifications to that group with the intention of it being included within the QSFP-DD specifications. Companies interested in joining and participating in QSFP-DD800 development are encouraged to join the QSFP-DD MSA.

For more information, visit www.qsfp-dd800.com

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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.