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200G or 400G, Which One Will Be More Popular After 100G Optical Transceivers
Date:2018-03-05 17:18:24 | Visits:

With the rapid development of optical communication and Internet in recent years, the demand of users for the network has also increased, which has led to the rapid growth of the traffic of the telecommunications backbone network by 50% to 80% every year. In order to meet the development trend of 10G-40G-100G or 10G-25G-100G in the network market, 100G optical transceiver modules have emerged and developed rapidly in the market, playing a crucial role in building 100G network system.

Since the advent of 100G networks, IEEE, multi-source agreement (MSA) and other agencies have formulated a number of standards for 100G optical modules. Among the many standards, the PSM4 and CWDM4 standards are developed by the Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) industry group, which are more suitable for the mainstream 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers on the market today. The following table is the specific circumstances of some common 100G optical transceiver standard:

Standard Group Connector and Fiber Cabling Reach
100GBASE-SR10 IEEE 24f MPO, pinned parallel MMF, 10-fiber Tx, 10-fiber Rx 850 nm 100 meters on OM3150 meters on OM4
100GBASE-SR4 IEEE 12f MPO, pinned parallel MMF, 4-fiber Tx, 4-fiber Rx 850 nm 100 meters on OM4
100GBASE-LR4 IEEE LC receptacles duplex (2) SMF, 1310 nm, 4λx25G WDM 10 kilometers on SMF
100GBASE-ER4 IEEE 12f MPO, pinned parallel MMF, 4-fiber Tx, 4-fiber Rx 850 nm 40 kilometers on SMF
100G PSM4 100G PSM4 MSA 12f MPO, pinned parallel SMF, 4-fiber Tx, 4-fiber Rx 1310 nm 500 meters on SMF
100G CWDM4 CWDM4 MSA LC receptacles duplex (2) SMF, 1271–1331 nm, 4λx25G CWDM 2 kilometers on SMF
100G SWDM4 SWDM Alliance(preproduction) LC, receptacles duplex (2) MMF, 850–950 nm, 4λx25G SWDM TBD on OM3/4TBD on WBMMF
100G CLR4 100G CLR4 Alliance LC receptacles duplex (2) SMF, 1271–1331 nm, 4λx25G CWDM 2 kilometers on SMF

Depending on the different form factors, 100G optical transceivers can be classified into CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 optical modules, CXP optical modules, and QSFP28 optical modules. The QSFP28 optical transceivers have the same design concept as the QSFP optical modules, which has four transmit and receive ports with a transmission rate of up to 28Gbps per channel. It has many advantages like small size, power consumption without exceeding 3.5W and so on. It has got more attention and is the mainstream form factor of 100G optical modules.

100G optical transceivers achieved 100G optical transmission, at the same time; there have been a series of major technological changes for 100G optical transceivers, including polarization multiplexing phase modulation technology, the third generation of digital coherent receiver super-error-correcting coding technology, thus meeting the market demand. It has become the mainstream of the market.

Meanwhile, HD Video 4K, Live Broadcast, VR and other new applications promoted the rapid development of network traffic. Besides, Cloud Computing, IAAS service, Big Data and other emerging applications have a higher requirement for data transmission in Data Center. All of them promoted the sustainable development of 100G optical transceiver market.

Even though 100G optical transceivers have become the mainstream of the optical communication market, their demand for bandwidth, port density and system energy consumption has been improving continuously. This further drives the technology forward to 200G, 400G or more.

With the constant revision of 200G / 400G standard version, the standard of 200G / 400G optical transceivers has been in synchronization at the same time. At present, module manufacturers have introduced module samples for publicity. In fact, for the next stage of development, the adoption of 200G or 400G solutions has been the subject of controversy in the industry until the competition in the commercial stage is bound to be more intense.

Types of 400G optical transceivers include: CDFP, CFP8, QSFP-DD and OSFP. CDFP is the earliest 400G optical module, since 2014, it has reached the 3.0 version. CFP8 is a new member of the CFP family after CFP4 with a large size. QSFP-DD is currently the most popular type. In addition to slightly longer length, it is basically the same as QSFP28. But gold fingers in the upper and lower sides have two rows. They can achieve the doubled number of signals without increasing the module width.

OSFP is a new 400G optical transceiver type with eight high-speed electrical channels and still supports 32 OSFP ports per 1U front panel. Each 1U can enable 12.8 Tbps. It has integrated heat sinks for significantly improved thermal performance. QSFP optical transceivers can reach up to 15W of power in switch chassis with traditional airflow.

Comparing to 100G optical transceivers, 400G system is able to further improve network capacity based on the foundation of 100G and reduce the transmission cost per bit. In the 40G / 100G product direction, the use of four-channel parallel architecture as the most cost-effective high-bandwidth optical form factor platform has been proven. In the future, whether it is 4x50Gx2 architecture or 4X100G architecture, both of them will be more cost-effective.

Although 400G optical transceiver modules support 200G applications, the module type for the 200G applications is named as "MicroQSFP". MicroQSFP has a total of 4 differential pairs that can support the current 100G applications. Comparing to 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers, it looks a lot smaller. However, it has a 33% increase in panel density and a significant advantage in volume and panel density. At the same time, it comes with heat sink so that the cooling effect is better.

With the rapid development of Internet, Cloud Computing, Big Data and other technologies, the whole communication industry needs to upgrade to a higher level after 10g-40g-100g or 10g-25g-100g. Which one will be most popular in the optical communication market after 100G? It is hard to say which one is better at present. However, in terms of current market situation and technological development, 400G optical transceivers have more advantages.

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