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Oclaro 100G QSFP28 transceiver targets singlemode data centre links

Oclaro has announced initial sampling of a 100G QSFP28 client-side transceiver that is ideally suited for 100G interconnections between data centre switches in addition to interfaces in high-end routers and packet-optical transport systems.

The new module meets both the CWDM4 MSA and CLR4 Alliance optical interface specifications, as well as the IEEE 802.3bm CAUI-4 electrical interface specification, in a single design that features low power consumption of 3.5W.

“The key to our success in the 100G pluggable transceiver market has been our proprietary indium phosphide laser technology,” said Yves LeMaitre, president of Oclaro’s optical connectivity business. “With our new QSFP28 100G transceiver, mega-scale data centre operators will be able to transition from 40G to 100G on their existing single mode fibre infrastructure without significantly expanding footprint, cost or power consumption.”

Data centre architectures have evolved from shorter-reach multimode fibre links to longer-reach singlemode fibre interconnections between switches typically running at 10G or 40G. Until recently, the only 100G standard specified by the IEEE for singlemode fibre links was the 100GBASE-LR4 standard, which employs WDM-based wavelengths requiring temperature-stabilised lasers to achieve a reach up to 10km, even though many links only need reaches up to 2km.

To address these issues, the CWDM4 MSA developed a new interface standard based on CWDM wavelengths which removes the requirement for a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) and allows for a low-cost design at low power consumption.

At the same time, a group of companies also formed a new CLR4 Alliance to generate an open, multi-vendor specification, and this group established and released a specification similar to the CWDM4 standard. Because this new standard did not require forward error correction (FEC), which can sometimes cause latency issues, it was more desirable for applications such as high-performance computing, computer clustering and high-speed trading that cannot tolerate latency.

Oclaro is a founding member of both the CWDM4 and CLR4 MSA and, with its new 100G QSFP28 transceiver, Oclaro can now support both of these standards with a single design that offers low power consumption, low cost and high-quality transmission performance.

The new 100G QSFP28 transceiver includes the company’s proprietary uncooled 1310nm 28Gb/s direct modulation laser (DML) to enable both CWDM4 and CLR4 specifications for low power consumption without compromising on transmission performance. The device design exploits Oclaro’s manufacturing experience gained as a supplier of singlemode 100G client-side transceivers

Oclaro’s 100G QSFP28 transceiver is sampling now. Production is expected to ramp gradually throughout 2016 as data centre operators start to adopt singlemode connections, the company says.


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