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200 GE vs. 400 GE: Data Center Network Development Focus

Updated on Jun 16, 2022 by
15.4k

400G

With the rise of high data rate applications such as 5G and cloud computing, 200G and 400G Ethernet are getting much attention in data centers. In most cases, 400G Ethernet is more competitive than 200G Ethernet with regards to the applications in data centers. In this post, we are about to reveal how 400G Ethernet outperforms 200G Ethernet in several aspects.

 

100G vs. 50G Server: More 400G Ethernet Applications

  • Network switch speed is always driven by server uplink speed. No matter in the past or at present, a one-to-four structure is often used to connect switches and servers to increase the port density of switches. And this structure is likely to be adopted in the future as well. Then, choosing between the 200G Ethernet and 400G Ethernet mainly depends on the server we use.

How to Connect Servers in Data Centers.jpg

  • 100G server connections are expected to be favored by most network operators in the future. According to Crehan's research and forecast, the momentum of 100G servers has surpassed that of 50G servers since 2020, suggesting that it will become the mainstream choice for most suppliers in the future. In other words, it is possible to skip 200G and opt for 400G Ethernet that is paired with 100G servers.

50G vs 100G Server Adoption Rates.jpg

 

400G vs. 200G Ethernet:More Comprehensive and Suitable for Future Network Upgrades

  • More Comprehensive Standardization: During the evolution of the IEEE protocol standard, the 200G standard was issued later than the 400G standard. The 400G standard was first proposed in 2013 by IEEE 802.3 Working Group and was approved in 2017 with IEEE 802.3bs 400G Ethernet standard. While the 200G standard was proposed and approved in 2015 and 2018 respectively. And the 200G single-mode specification is generally based on the 400G single-mode specification but halved the 400G one. With the fast upgrades of 400G technology and its products due to market needs, the 400G standard is more comprehensive and maturer than that of 200G.

  • 400G Ethernet Is More Suitable for Future Network Upgrades: The 200G optical modules will include two main form factors, namely QSFP-DD and CFP2. The 400G optical transceivers will mainly include QSFP-DD and OSFP packages. Since the OSFP is expected to offer a better path to 800G and higher transmission rates, the 400G transceiver is more suitable and convenient for future network migration.

 

Main Types of FS 400G & 200G Optical Modules

As 400G transceivers become more popular with manufacturers, many vendors are focusing more on 400G Ethernet than 200G.Many suppliers pay more attention to 400G Ethernet rather than 200G. Even if the total cost of 200G transceiver and 400G transceiver is the same, the cost and power consumption per bit of 400G transceiver is half of the 200G’s because of the doubled bandwidth of 400G. More importantly, the total revenue data among 100G, 200G and 400G shows that 400G is far beyond 200G in the whole market. FS strategically focuses on 400G technology, aligning with industry demands. We have developed QSFP-DD transceivers to cater to the growing needs of metro networks, data centers, and DCI infrastructures. 400G &200G transceivers are introduced respectively in the following table.

Type
Reach
Optical Connector
Wavelength
Optical Modulation
Protocol
up to 70m over OM3 or up to 100m over OM4
MTP/MPO-12 UPC
850nm
4x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 100m over MMF
MTP/MPO-24
850nm
8x 25G NRZ
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 2km over SMF
LC
1271, 1291,
1311, 1331nm
4x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3cd, IEEE 802.3bs
up to 10km over SMF
LC
1310nm
4x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 100m over OM4 or OM5 up to 70m over OM3
MTP/MPO-16 (APC)
850nm
8x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 100m over OM5 or up to 70m over OM3
MTP/MPO-12
850nm
8x 53.125Gb/s PAM4
IEEE802.3.cm
up to 500m over parallel SMF
MTP/MPO-12 APC
1310nm
8x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 2km over duplex SMF
LC
1271nm, 1291nm,
1311nm, 1331nm
8x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 10km over duplex SMF
LC
1271nm, 1291nm,
1311nm, 1331nm
8x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3bs
up to 40km over duplex SMF
LC
1310nm
8x 50G PAM4
IEEE 802.3cn
400G ZR: ≤120km or 400G ZR Gray: 30~40Km (unamplified)
LC
1528.77~1567.13nm
DP-16QAM
IEEE Std 802.3
 

400G vs. 200G Optical Module: 400G Offers Lower Costs with a Mature Industry

There are two main factors that push 400G Ethernet more popular than 200G Ethernet in the optical transceiver market. One is the module supply, another is the cost.

400G Optical Modules Support More Applications with Fewer Cost

Compared to 200G transceivers, 400G transceivers could support more applications including DCI and 200G applications. And they can double the traffic carrying capacity between applications than 100G/200G solutions. With 400G solutions, fewer transponders will be needed, resulting in less transportation and operating costs. This will make the 400G market more lively in return.

400G Optical Transceivers Gain More Market Supplies and Acceptance

According to shipment data of the top suppliers gathered by Omdia, the 400G transceiver market is more prosperous than that of 200G. There are more options for users in 400G deployment. While the leading suppliers offer both 200G and 400G transceivers, the range of options for 200G models is more limited, typically including 100m SR4, 100m 2SR4, 2km FR4, and 10km LR4. On the other hand, 400G transceivers provide a wider variety, such as SR8 for 100m, SR4.2 for 100m, DR4 for 500m, FR4 for 2km, LR4 for 10kmER8 for 40km, and even ZR for 120km, among others. In addition, 400G products, such as 400G DAC and 400G DAC breakout cables and solutions are maturer and more perfect than 200G because of their earlier release.

Supplier Support FS Finisar Innolight FIT Lumentum Accelink Source Photonics AOI Hisense
200G SR4            
200G 2SR4                
200G FR4      
200G LR4          
400G SR8
400G SR4.2          
400G DR4
400G FR4
400G LR4          
400G ER8              
400G ZR            
 

Conclusion

In summary, with the rapid advancement of the digital wave, 400G Ethernet demonstrates competitive advantages over 200G Ethernet in various domains. Whether it is in Ethernet standardization, server connectivity, the optical transceiver market, or future network upgrades, 400G Ethernet can meet the increasing demands for higher throughput and provide enterprises and service providers with more flexible and reliable network solutions. With ongoing technological developments and innovations, we can expect 400G Ethernet to continue leading the evolution of high-speed networks and provide enduring support for the data transmission needs of the digital era.

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