6 March 2023
QSFP-DD MSA to extend module bandwidth to 1.6Tbps
At the Optical Fiber Communications Conference (OFC 2023) in San Diego, CA, USA, the Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density Multi Source Agreement (QSFP-DD MSA) has announced plans to develop a new specification extending the bandwidth of the form factor to 1.6Tbps. The new specification will leverage the industry’s focus on next-generation systems that will utilize 200Gbps serial PAM4 SerDes technology currently under development.
The new specification will maintain the form factor’s eight lanes to provide an aggregate bandwidth capacity of 1.6Tbps. The 1.6Tbps module port will maintain backward compatibility with the entire family of QSFP and QSFP-DD modules and cables. This will provide the high degree of flexibility that end users and system designers have come to expect from QSFP and QSFP-DD, easing end user’s migration to the industry’s speed transitions. The new specification will also maintain the QSFP-DD’s riding heatsink feature that enables system designers the ability to efficiently cool higher-power modules that may be required in next-generation equipment.
The new QSFP-DD1600 specification will target the existing port density enjoyed by systems utilizing QSFP-DD today and meet the faceplate bandwidth that is expected from next-generation ASICs in the future.
“QSFP-DD’s backwards compatibility has been critical to our operational approach to upgrading the network,” says Jamie Gaudette, partner network engineering manager at Microsoft, “We encourage the MSA’s work on QSFP-DD1600,” he adds.
“The system design flexibility that QSFP-DD enables greatly reduces the challenges in building systems with high-power modules,” says MSA co-chair Mark Nowell. “The riding heatsink, besides enabling backwards compatibility, is an asset to system designers.”
QSFP-DD continues to lead market adoption for 400G across applications and is set to continue to do so at 800G. This new specification will extend that to 1.6Tbps with broad support from component manufacturers to end users. The QSFP-DD MSA is supported by more than 60 companies addressing the technical challenges of achieving a double-density interface and ensuring mechanical, electrical, thermal and signal-integrity interoperability for the next generation of networking equipment.