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⁣⁡​⁣‌​‍‍‌‍‍​‬⁢​⁢​⁣​⁤‬⁤‬⁤⁡⁡​‬‌‌‬‌​⁣‬​​‍​⁡​‌​‌Advancing Optical Transceiver Technology: From 400G to 800G to 1.6T

Posted on Apr 1, 2024 by
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In the ever-evolving landscape of data communications, the need for faster and more efficient network speeds is relentless. Optical transceiver technology, the cornerstone of modern data transmission, has grown leaps and bounds to keep up with this demand. Technological progress in this field has been revolutionary, moving from 400G to 800G, and is now pushing the horizon towards 1.6T. Let's delve into the evolution of these technologies and explore how each generation has built on the last.

400G Optical Transceivers

Introducing 400G optical transceivers marked a significant leap in data transmission capabilities. Products like the QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable-Double Density) and the OSFP (Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable) emerged as standard form factors for 400G. These transceivers leverage advanced modulation techniques, such as PAM4 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation 4-level), to transmit data at a rate of 400 gigabits per second. By utilizing higher-order modulation and sophisticated error correction mechanisms, 400G transceivers maximize the capacity of fiber optic networks, enabling faster and more efficient data transfer.

Highlights of FS 400G Optical Transceivers

The FS 400G transceivers feature low-power, high-density, and high-speed performance. They can be used for 400G Ethernet network connectivity across the wavelength range of 850nm to 1331nm. FS 400G optical modules with different wavelengths use different types of connectors and fiber cables turning out their different transmission distances. Following are the highlights of them:

  • Variety of Models: FS offers a variety of 400G optical transceiver types, including but not limited to QSFP-DD, OSFP, QSFP112, etc., providing options for customers based on their equipment interfaces and transmission requirements.

  • Advanced Modulation Techniques: These 400G modules use efficient modulation technologies like PAM4 (Pulse Amplitude Modulation), which allow for higher data rates over existing fiber infrastructures while also improving signal quality.

  • Low Power Consumption: With a focus on reducing operational costs and environmental impact, FS 400G modules are designed with low power consumption, maintaining energy efficiency while delivering high-speed transmission.

  • Compatibility and Interoperability: FS 400G modules are typically designed to be compatible with equipment from a range of vendors, including mainstream switches, routers, and servers, making the modules practical due to multi-vendor interoperability.

  • Long-distance Capabilities: Depending on the specific optical module, FS 400G can support various transmission distances, ranging from 100m to 40km, allowing customers to select the appropriate module for their distance requirements.

  • Multi-channel Design: Some 400G modules incorporate multi-channel design, combining 8 channels at 50 Gbps each to enable the full 400 Gbps data rate, effectively increasing the efficiency of fiber utilization.

800G Optical Transceivers

Building upon the success of 400G, the industry embraced the development of 800G optical transceivers to cater to the ever-growing demand for higher bandwidth. With advancements in integrated circuit technology and signal processing algorithms, 800G transceivers achieved an impressive transmission rate of 800 gigabits per second. This breakthrough doubled the data capacity and introduced enhanced spectral efficiency, allowing for the optimization of network resources.

400G to 800G Optics Transition

Key Technologies of 800G Data Center

As data center networks require faster data transmission, two key technologies have emerged: 800G Fiber and 800G Ethernet.

800G Fiber transmits 800Gbps using optical devices over fiber optics, using configurations like dual 400G or eight 100G, but it is costlier and consumes more power. While still in initial deployment, largely for connecting hyperscale data centers, 800G Fiber improves network performance.

Conversely, 800G Ethernet, a standard set in April 2020 by the Ethernet Technology Alliance, sends 800Gbps over Ethernet, supporting various PHY and MAC parameters for different applications and distances. Despite offering greater capacity and flexibility, 800G Ethernet's adoption is slowed by complex technology and standardization needs.

Highlights of FS 800G Optical Transceivers

The FS 800G transceivers come in various form factors, such as QSFP-DD and OSFP, to accommodate different networking equipment and preferences. They use advanced modulation schemes and coherent optics, ensuring robust performance even over long distances. Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies, FS 800G modules are designed to handle ultra-high bandwidth over fiber optic cables with greater energy efficiency and reliability. Below are highlights of FS 800G optical transceivers.

  • Advanced Photonics Technology: FS 800G modules likely incorporate cutting-edge photonics technology, including coherent optics and advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processing) algorithms to handle the complexities associated with higher-speed data transmission.

  • Low Power Consumption: The 800G optical module adopts CPO (Coherent Pluggable Optics) communication technology to utilize the bandwidth of fiber optic cables efficiently, reducing the energy required for data transmission and thus lowering power consumption.

  • Low Latency: 800G transceivers are featured with photonic integrated circuits (PIC) which lower the latency in 800G links, making it ideal for real-time applications and high-frequency interactions, such as financial transactions, cloud computing, and large-scale data centers.

  • Multi-channel Design: The 800G transceiver adopts an 8-channel design, with each channel having a transmission rate of 100Gbps or 200Gbps. The multi-channel design increases the transmission bandwidth and provides higher data throughput. For example, QDD-DR8-800G is an 800G transceiver that supports 2x400G or 8x 100G breakout for higher port density.

800G QSFP-DD Optical Transceivers

  QDD-DR8-800G QDD-SR8-800G QDD800-PLR8-B1
Center Wavelength 1310nm 850nm 1311nm
Connector MTP/MPO-16 MTP/MPO-16 MTP/MPO-16
Cable Distance (Max.) 500m@SMF 30m@OM3/50@OM4 10km
Modulation 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4
Transmitter Type EML VCSEL EML
Chip Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP
Power Consumption ≤16.5W ≤13W ≤18W
Application

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout、800G to 8x100G Breakout

Ethernet、Data Center

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout、800G to 8x100G Breakout

800G OSFP Optical Transceivers

  OSFP-2FR4-800G OSFP-DR8-800G OSFP800-2LR4-A2 OSFP800-PLR8-B1 OSFP800-PLR8-B2 OSFP-SR8-800G
Center Wavelength 1271nm, 1291nm, 1311nm and 1331nm 1310nm 1271nm, 1291nm, 1311nm and 1331nm 1310nm 1310nm 850nm
Connector Dual LC Duplex Dual MTP/MPO-12 Dual LC Duplex MTP/MPO-16 Dual MTP/MPO-12 Dual MTP/MPO-12
Cable Distance (Max.) 2km 500m@SMF 10km 10km 10km 50m
Modulation 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4 8x106.25G PAM4
Transmitter Type EML EML EML EML EML VCSEL
Chip Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP Broadcom 7nm DSP
Power Consumption ≤16.5W ≤13W ≤18W ≤16.5W ≤16.5W ≤14W
Application

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout、800G to 8x100G Breakout

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout、800G to 8x100G Breakout

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G、Breakout 800G to 8x100G Breakout

Ethernet、Data Center、800G to 2x400G Breakout

Futuristic 1.6T Optical Transceivers

The 1.6T OSFP module, structured to deliver eight channels with each carrying 200 gigabits per second, relies on a solo OSFP interface to provide an aggregate bandwidth of 1.6T per second. Optimized for a variety of uses, particularly within the domain of fiber optics, this module incorporates the PAM4 modulation scheme, effectively doubling electrical signal strength from 50G to 100G within each channel.

Introduction of OSFP-XD Technology

While the OSFP1600 supports future switch silicon with 200G electrical lanes, there is broad interest in 1.6T optics modules with the 100G electrical lane ecosystem. The OSFP-XD (“Extra Dense”) form factor was developed to meet this requirement. By doubling the number of electrical lanes from 8 to 16, the OSFP-XD offers 1.6T density with 16 lanes of 100G and 3.2T density with 16 lanes of 200G in the future.

1.6T OSFP-XD Optics

Advantages of QSFP-XD

  • Enhanced System Performance: It is the densest pluggable optical solution on the market today, and it supports 16 electrical channels, each of which can reach 100G or 200G, resulting in a total data rate of 1.6T or 3.2T. It has the same form factor as the OSFP (Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable) but utilizes a higher-density connector and cable assembly. This makes it compatible with stacked 800G OSFP, greatly simplifying market acceptance and deployment. It meets future chip density growth requirements and improves system throughput and efficiency.

  • High Compatibility in Technologies: The QSFP-XD offers a comprehensive range of optical technologies, including 100G Lambda, 200G Lambda, and Coherent. With adaptability to various transmission distances and scenarios, it supports distances of up to 2 kilometers at temperatures ranging from 0-70°C. With its low power consumption of less than 23W, it enables high-speed, efficient, and highly reliable data transmission. This makes it a perfect fit for data centers, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other demanding fields.

  • Versatile and Customer-Centric: It retains all the benefits of a pluggable optical module, including reconfigurability, serviceability, technical flexibility, and more. It also retains the well-known supply chain business model, allowing customers to choose the most appropriate products and services from multiple vendors.

Summary

The 1.6T transceivers represent the future, where the demand for hyper-scale data transfer and energy-efficient transmission will be met with even further advancements in technology. These transceivers will build upon the foundational advancements in PAM4, DSP, and silicon photonics, pushing the envelope with potentially new modulation technologies such as Coherent Optics or higher-order PAM schemes. However, the marathon of optical transceiver technology doesn't pause at 1.6T. Beyond that, the industry envisions 3.2T and more. It is a journey of continuous innovation, where each leap in technology enables our data-driven world to thrive and expand.

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