Technology development has always been driven by emerging applications: big data, Internet of Things, machine learning, public and private clouds, augmented reality, 800G Ethernet, etc.
OIF’s Common Electrical Interface Development
The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) is the standards body – a nonprofit industry organization – that develops common electrical interfaces (CEIs) for next-generation technology to ensure component and system interoperability.
The organization develops and promotes implementation agreements (IAs), offering principal design and deployment guidance for a SerDes (serializer-deserializer), including:
OIF’s CEI specifications are developed for different electrical interconnect reaches and applications to ensure system service and connectivity interoperability at the physical level:
System-level interconnects (server to switch, switch to switch and switch to router) employ predominantly edge-pluggable modules (with copper and fiber cable) for easy failure replacement and pay-as-you-go deployment, enabled by chip-to-module VSR implementation agreements.
Ethernet Switch Evolution with Pluggable Modules
Currently, switch ASICs with 3.2 Tbps throughput (e.g. Broadcom Tomahawk) support a mainstream 1 RU 32-port (QSFP28) 100G Ethernet switch.
To achieve 6.4 Tbps, 9.6 Tbps and 12 Tbps throughput in a 1 RU switch, QSFP-DD or OSFP can help get there earlier; eight-lane pluggable modules reuse the same technology that was developed for four-lane QSFP28 modules, with double the amount of bandwidth. Both QSFP-DD and OSFP can support 200G and 400G Ethernet with a pluggable module.
Merchant Silicon switch ASIC chip development roadmap
QSFP-DD and OSFP have both been embraced and adopted by major industry leaders (connectivity, optical component and system vendors) and end-users (cloud service providers). A few differences to note:
Evolution of a 1 RU rack switch faceplate density and throughput (Click to enlarge)
Make sure to subscribe to our blog updates to find out what else is set to change as we keep head down the road to 800G Ethernet. We’ll be covering topics like:
Belden’s copper and fiber solutions will help you get your data center ready for the road to 800G. And don’t forget to download our new application note about getting ready for new fiber infrastructure in your data center!
With 13 years of experience in optical communications and photonics device design, Qing Xu is a subject-matter expert in not only optical fiber technology, but also signal transmission, data center trends, fiber/copper connectivity and structured cabling. Joining Belden in 2014, he closely monitors and participates in industry activities related to optical fiber communications systems, data center technology and trends.