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26 March 2015

Finisar announces technology roadmap for next-gen multimode fiber interfaces

At the Optical Fiber Communication conference & exposition (OFC 2015) in Los Angeles (24-26 March), fiber-optic communications component and subsystem maker Finisar Corp of Sunnyvale, CA, USA has announced details of its technology roadmap for next-generation multimode fiber (MMF) interfaces. This includes a new suite of products capable of links as long as 300m at 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s. 

Multimode fiber leverages technology based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which represents the lowest-power, lowest-cost and highest-density interconnect technology available. MMF is the most common optical interconnect between systems (i.e. servers, network switches and routers), and Finisar says that its investment in the technology will help to ensure that multimode fiber continues to be the most cost-effective interconnect for all but the largest data centers.

According to market research firm Gartner (in a consulting project for Corning Optical Communications), 94% of all data-center sites built in 2014 were smaller than 250,000ft2, and this percentage is not expected to change through 2018. A 300m optical link is sufficient for even the longest distances inside a 250,000ft2 data center. Finisar says that its MMF technology roadmap will support current- and next-generation requirements for the vast majority of data centers at cost points typical of traditional VCSEL-based solutions.

To support this roadmap, Finisar and industry partners aim to drive major advances in multimode technology, designed to enable higher bandwidth, longer reach and reduced infrastructure cost for both enterprise and data-center applications. The firm's multimode technology roadmap is based, in part, on four key themes:

  1. Support of the installed base: support for 40GbE, 100GbE and beyond on the existing installed MMF fiber plant;
  2. Short-wave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM): the ability to multiplex multiple lanes onto a single fiber to reduce the fiber count and enable duplex-LC interfaces for 40GbE, 100GbE, and beyond;
  3. Lane rates of more than 25Gb/s: developing and standardizing technology that enables multimode VCSELs to operate at 50Gb/s and beyond, to enable future generations of both single-lane and multi-lane optical interfaces; and
  4. Wideband MMF: support for the definition and standardization of wideband multimode fiber to enable WDM transmission over links that are greater than 300m.

Product demonstrations at OFC

To support this roadmap, at the Optical Fiber Communications conference & exposition (OFC 2015) in Los Angeles (24-26 March), Finisar is demonstrating various implementations of its MMF technology roadmap. Based on the firm's SWDM VCSEL technology, these demonstrations include:

  • a 40Gb/s SWDM4 transceiver in a QSFP+ form factor, capable of 300m on duplex OM3 MMF (at less than 1.5W power consumption, this device enables a simple upgrade path for data centers that have deployed duplex MMF for 10Gb/s applications); 
  • a 100Gb/s SWDM4 technology demonstration of 70m transmission over duplex OM3 MMF and 100m over OM4 MMF, and with a roadmap to 300m using OM4 MMF.

"Finisar is committed to the most cost-effective technologies for our enterprise and data-center customers, and we are investing more in VCSEL-based products than ever before," says Rafik Ward, VP of marketing. "Through these investments, we expect to build a pipeline of new high-speed products that ensures MMF continues to be the most cost-effective deployment decision for data centers for years to come."

Tags: Finisar VCSELs QSFP+ transceiver module

Visit: www.finisar.com

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