8 August 2023
OIF announces External Laser Small Form-Factor Pluggable Implementation Agreement
The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has unveiled the External Laser Small Form-Factor Pluggable (ELSFP) Implementation Agreement (IA), defining a front-panel pluggable form factor tailored to co-packaged optical systems and other multiple laser external laser source applications.
The ELSFP IA introduces the first multi-sourced future-proof front-panel pluggable external laser source form factor to address the evolving needs of the industry. This IA is said to offer benefits including definitions for the placement of laser sources at the front panel, the coolest section of the system, enhancing system reliability and allowing for efficient ‘hot-swap’ field replacement when necessary.
The ELSFP uses a multi-fiber blind-mate optical connector positioned at the rear of the module. This strategic design mitigates potential eye-safety risks, particularly in applications where high optical powers are involved. Each ELSFP can supply optical power to one or more optical engines, all seamlessly managed by OIF’s Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS).
The IA also defines interoperability for mechanical, thermal, electrical and optical parameters as well as establishing standard power ranges and fiber configurations to focus the industry’s development. The final feature unique to ELSFP is the pass-through option, which allows systems architects to maximize face-plate real estate, solidifying ELSFP’s position as a versatile and adaptable solution for various optical networking applications.
“By providing a front-panel pluggable external laser source form factor, we’re empowering network operators and equipment manufacturers with a cutting-edge solution that not only improves reliability but also paves the way for future innovations,” says Jeff Hutchins of Ranovus, OIF board member and Physical & Link Layer (PLL) Working Group Co-Packaging vice chair. “The ELSFP’s flexible design accommodates the ever-changing needs of the industry, enabling seamless integration with OIF’s 3.2T co-packaged optical module project and beyond.”
While the ELSFP project was originally envisioned to complement the 3.2T co-packaged optical module, its forward-looking design makes it easily extensible to address future requirements.
“The ELSFP has already garnered a favorable industry reception through its potential to propel external laser source applications forward, as evidenced by strong collaboration among OIF members both in writing the IA and the substantial engagement in numerous interoperability demonstrations facilitated by OIF,” comments Cisco’s Jock Bovington, editor of the OIF ELSFP IA.