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3 November 2006


X40 MSA launched to improve multi-rate 40Gb/s optical transceiver reach and cost

Nine networking, system, optical module, semiconductor, and connector companies - Aeluros Inc, Broadcom Corp, Emcore Corp, Finisar Corp, Infinera Corp, Juniper Networks Inc, MergeOptics GmbH, Tyco Electronics Corp and Vitesse Semiconductor Inc - have formed the X40 Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group. The collaboration aims to develop a new, integrated, data-agnostic, multi-rate optical transceiver, intended to support a range of 40Gb/s links
that may be used for telecom (e.g. SONET/SDH and G.709) and datacom (e.g. packet switching) applications. The founding members invite companies from all sectors of the industry to express interest and submit views on requirements.

The X40 MSA is expected to enable network equipment manufacturers to increase port density and system data throughput, extend link distances, and reduce power and cost per Gb/s significantly compared to existing 40Gb/s
solutions on the market. The hot-pluggable transceiver module uses a mechanical form-factor similar to XENPAK to integrate four transmit and four receive channels and optically multiplex them into a single pair (transmit
and receive) of optical fibers. Supported nominal per-channel data rates range from 9.953Gb/s to 11.1Gb/s, providing an integrated data throughput range of 39.8-44.4 Gb/s. The X40 module's electrical interface to the host
board is based on four lanes of XFI, as defined by SFF-INF-8077i.

"The X40 transceiver module will make 40Gb/s networks more economical by bringing the cost points and maturity of 10Gb/s components to the 40Gb/s world," said Drew Perkins, chairman of the X40 MSA Group and co-founder and chief technology officer of Infinera.

"The deployment of 40Gb/s networks has been limited by the high costs of many components and modules required for 40Gb/s systems," said Dr Daryl Inniss, vice president of Ovum-RHK's Communication Components research.
"Bringing together a broad group of leading industry players to focus on producing a standard X40 MSA can lead to greater deployment of 40Gb/s systems and lower costs."

The initial X40 physical media interface will be defined to meet the requirements for short-reach metro access links up to 10km. Current 40Gb/s transceivers based on the industry-standard 300-pin MSA are generally limited to 2km before chromatic dispersion makes compensation required. The X40 will use four uncooled CWDM wavelengths around 1310nm, and will carry 10Gb/s data per channel, with the same 10km reach as 10GBASE-LR interfaces. The X40 will also feature digital diagnostic capability to monitor link

The X40 MSA group will make details of the specification available to the industry so that other optical transceiver manufacturers can produce compatible products and system vendors can begin to design equipment to use
the transceivers.

The X40 MSA Group welcomes applications for membership from component, transceiver and network equipment manufacturers as well as carriers and other network operators.