In a post to the CommScope Blog titled “Good News for WBMMF,” Paul Kolesar reports that a proposal made within the IEEE references the TIA’s wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF) standard as media to support a 2-fiber version of 100G.
“Already the standard TIA-492AAAE … published in June … is being referenced in active projects within the IEEE 802.3 working group for next-generation Ethernet,” says Kolesar, an engineering fellow in CommScope’s enterprise solutions division. “For example, Foxconn Interconnect Technology has proposed a solution that would deliver 100-Gigabit per second Ethernet over two multimode fibers—one for transmit and the other for receive—using two wavelengths each carrying 50 Gbits/sec.”
Kolesar further explained that the wavelengths identified in Foxconn’s proposal “are within the spectral range for which WBMMF is optimized,” which is 840 to 953 nanometers. “Thus this proposal uses SWDM [short wavelength division multiplexing] to reduce the number of fibers to just two, compared to the eight needed to support parallel transmission of 100GBase-SR4.”
He added that the proposal before IEEE 802.3 includes a 150-meter reach for two-fiber 100G over WBMMF. That outdistances the proposal’s 100-meter reach over OM4 and 70-meter reach over OM3 fiber.
“That extra reach is often appreciated by customers who can use that capability to serve the longest spans within their data centers, or trade it to support more connections in their channels,” Kolesar noted.
The blog post also provides updates on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) effort to standardize WBMMF, as well as other TIA standards that are including WBMMF within their specifications.
“The past months have seen large advancements in the state of WBMMF and the SWDM applications for which it is optimized,” Kolesar concluded.