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28 September 2015

SWDM Alliance formed to support duplex multimode fiber for 40 and 100G enterprise and data-center applications

Nine companies have formed the SWDM Alliance to drive cost-effective utilization of duplex multimode fiber (MMF) infrastructure in cloud and enterprise data centers. The interest group will promote shortwave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) technology, allowing data-center operators to continue to extract value from their existing duplex MMF deployments and extend the usable lifetime of newly deployed MMF.

Optical shortwave technology is enabled by vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), which are the most cost-effective lasers used in data-center interconnections. VCSELs have been widely deployed at data rates up to 10Gbps, driving large-scale installations of duplex MMF in enterprise and cloud data-centers. A common technique to increase the data rate beyond 10Gbps is the use of four parallel VCSELs, each running at 10 or 25Gbps, transmitted over ribbons of parallel fiber. This technique requires eight fibers instead of two: four to transmit and four to receive. Installing such parallel fiber can represent an expensive overhaul to the fiber plant in the data center due to the need for increased fiber capacity in the trunk and also new patch cables to the optical modules.

By contrast, SWDM technology allows users to leverage their installed duplex MMF at 40 or 100Gbps, using four VCSELs operating at different wavelengths multiplexed onto a single strand of MMF, hence requiring only one transmit fiber and one receive fiber. This provides the ability to migrate from 10 to 40 or 100Gbps, while minimizing overall power dissipation and maximizing transmission distance.

Founded by CommScope, Corning, Dell, Finisar, H3C, Huawei, Juniper Networks, Lumentum and OFS, the SWDM Alliance is dedicated to promoting the adoption of SWDM technology in order to provide cost-effective data-center technology solutions. The alliance is neither a standards organization nor a multi-source agreement. The group does not address market segmentation, pricing or competitive issues.

"Data-center operators have already invested in duplex MMF infrastructure for their 10Gbps deployments," says Vladimir Kozlov, CEO of Lightcounting Market Research. "Using SWDM technology to maximize the utility of those duplex deployments is an example of how equipment providers can offer innovative, cost-effective upgrades to the higher data rates that are now required," he adds.

"Multimode fiber and VCSEL technology have been the workhorse of the modern data center," adds Finisar's senior director of marketing Steffen Koehler. "SWDM builds on this history of cost-effective, high-bandwidth interconnect technology to continue the evolution of these data centers."

See related items:

Finisar announces technology roadmap for next-gen multimode fiber interfaces

Tags: VCSELs Finisar

Visit: www.swdm.org

Visit: www.finisar.com

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