Finisar brings 400G QSFP-DD active optical cable and transceivers to OFC 2018

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Amongst its new product launches at the recent OFC conference and exhibition, Finisar introduced what it says is the industry’s first 400G QSFP-DD transceiver and active optical cable for switching and routing applications.

The QSFP-DD is the latest module form factor targeting 400G data rates. Defined by the QSFP-DD MSA Group, it addresses the need for high-density, high-speed networking solutions in a backward compatible form factor. At the show, Finisar demonstrated for the first time, a 400G QSFP-DD LR8 transceiver, whose 10km reach is a critical requirement for service provider applications. Using 50G PAM4 technology, the demonstration showed an optical module transmitting data over 10km of duplex single mode fibre (SMF). In addition to demonstrated module, a 2km FR8 variant will be available from Finisar, primarily for intra-data centre applications.  Both modules leverage DML transmitter technology, providing a low power, low risk, cost-effective solution for 400G.

In addition to the transceivers, the company introduced a 400G active optical cable (AOC) in the QSFP-DD form factor. Leveraging VCSEL technology to achieve the lowest power dissipation and lowest cost structure, the product offers an alternative to copper cables, which cannot scale to the required cable lengths at these high data rates. In a joint collaboration, Finisar demonstrated the 400G QSFP-DD AOC by running traffic through a Cisco demonstration switch.

Said Ray Nering, product line manager at Cisco: ‘This demonstration effectively quadruples the aggregate switch bandwidth while maintaining port density, which is critical to support the continuing growth in network bandwidth demand and data centre traffic. Cisco expects that QSFP-DD will become the de facto standard for 400G just as other QSFP form factors have done so at 40G and 100G.’