OIF publishes 400ZR implementation agreement

Created April 29, 2020
Technologies and Products

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has published an Implementation Agreement (IA) for a 400ZR coherent optical interface. This IA,  is the first OIF project focuses on interoperability at a specific distance, and is available now for all to download.

“As a member driven organisation, OIF’s work toward the 400ZR IA was the combination of significant interest from network operator members and component supplier members responding to that demand,” said Karl Gass, OIF Physical and Link Layer (PLL) Working Group – Optical Vice Chair. “The 400ZR IA is the culmination of this significant effort by OIF member companies and is critical for managing cost and driving interoperability for the industry.”

Developed to create an interoperable, low-cost 400 Gigabit coherent interface, the 400ZR IA addresses amplified, point-to-point DWDM links with reaches of 120 km or less, and unamplified, single wavelength links with a loss budget of 11dB.

The 400ZR project was initiated when large-scale data centre operators and their suppliers approached OIF to develop an interoperable coherent interface that transports 400 Gigabit Ethernet over longer distances. Traditional network operators also became interested in 400ZR for their metro needs. Based on their different requirements, OIF developed specs and tweaked the channel requirements so the IA would benefit both data center and network operators. While developing the IA, OIF collaborated closely with other standards bodies.

“400ZR is a key enabler of Microsoft’s regional architecture for the 400G generation,” said Mark Filer, Principal Optical Engineer in Microsoft Azure. “The creation of a multi-vendor, interoperable coherent interface to meet these needs would not have been possible without the extensive work and cooperation of OIF members and leadership.”

The IA aims to enable interoperable, cost-effective, 400Gbps implementations based on single-carrier coherent DP-16QAM modulation, low-power DSPs supporting absolute (Non-Differential) phase encoding/decoding, and a Concatenated FEC (C-FEC) with a post-FEC error floor <1.0E-15. 400ZR operates as a 400GBASE-R PHY. No restriction on the physical form factor is implied by the IA (QSFP-DD, OSFP, COBO, CFP2, CFP8), but the specifications target a pluggable DCO architecture with port densities equivalent to grey client optics.

For more information, visit www.oiforum.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.