5 March 2012

Avago modules interoperable between 40G QSFP+ and 10G SFP+ components verified to 400m

Avago Technologies has launched fiber-optic modules that enable more efficient switching and greater bandwidth in data centers. The pluggable, parallel optical QSFP+ eSR4 transceiver is claimed to be the first module that can address both 40 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications with a verified link distance of 400m. This gives data-center operators the flexibility to reuse the current 10G wired infrastructure when upgrading to 40G, providing major cost savings, it is claimed. The modules integrate four 10G lanes in each direction to increase bandwidth within a line-card more than three-fold while using 50% less power than that of a one-lane SFP+ module.

The growth of server virtualization and cloud computing, as well as the trend toward network convergence, has increased demand for faster and more efficient data-center networks, says Avago. Currently, 10G switches consist of 48 10G-channels per line-card, constrained by the physical size of the SFP+ form factor.

To accommodate the need for more bandwidth, the QSFP+ eSR4 modules can be used to develop top-of-rack, blade and modular switches with up to 44 QSFP+ ports per line-card. This provides 176 10G-channels with QSFP+ instead of the 48 SFP+ channels available currently.

QSFP+ eSR4 modules can be used for both high-density 10G and 40G aggregated Ethernet applications, providing more flexibility to connect to different levels of switches, reducing latency, and increasing port density with lower power consumption per lane.

Avago has also announced production of its QSFP+ iSR4 modules, which enable interoperability to 10G SFP+ links up to 100m using OM3 multimode fiber (MMF) and 150m using OM4 MMF. The QSFP+ eSR4 version extends this reach to 300m with OM3 MMF and 400m using OM4 MMF. Avago expects to sample the QSFP+ eSR4 modules by this summer.

“Avago introduced the industry’s first 40G Ethernet SR4 module last year, and our new QSFP+ iSR4 and eSR4 modules provide a simpler migration path for data centers to upgrade from 10G to 40G Ethernet and span longer reaches,” says Philip Gadd, VP & general manager of the Fiber Optics Product Division.

“We have worked closely with Avago to test a wide array of Corning Cable Systems’ fiber-optic cables that contained Corning ClearCurve OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers with their parallel-optic transceivers, giving designers the flexibility to develop innovative data-center applications,” says Doug Coleman, manager, Technology & Standards at Corning Cable Systems. “Together, we verified that the interoperability of the Avago QSFP+ eSR4 modules meets link distance specifications for both 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications,” he adds.

Legacy 10G Ethernet switches are based on 10GBASE-SR specifications, using form factors such as SFP+, XFP and X2, which are not reliably interoperable with standard QSFP+ module 40GBASE-SR specifications. Avago’s QSFP+ iSR4 and eSR4 modules are both interoperable with all of these form factors. Also, the modules both incorporate the reliability of Avago’s 850nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) technology and PIN detector technology, providing an effective 10 Gigabit port count of up to 176 ports within one rack.

Avago is demonstrating the QSFP+ iSR4 and eSR4 modules, along with its portfolio of high-speed optical fiber solutions, in Corporate Village booth #1357 at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC 2012) in Los Angeles (6-8 March). Samples and production quantities are available through Avago’s direct sales channel and worldwide distribution partners.

At OFC/NFOEC, Mitchell Fields, Avago’s director of advanced technology solutions for fiber opticsproducts, is participating in two panel discussions:

  • ‘Market Watch Panel IV on Advanced Integrated Photonics’ (8 March, 10:15-12:15pm);
  • The workshop ‘Optics in the Data Center: How Can We Efficiently Move and Control Large Amounts of Data?’ (5 March, 8:00-11:00am).

Tags: Avago

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