OIF targets risk reduction for optical interconnect technology investment

Bandwidth growth has driven system requirements, while interconnect performance is starting to become a limiting factor, contends the forum.

Feb 6th, 2012

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) held a workshop in support of next-generation interconnect technology at its Q1 member meeting last week in Cupertino, CA. The OIF hoped to use the workshop to develop a Framework Document this year that looks 5-8 years forward and identifies application spaces that may require industry consensus. Necessary projects would then be developed to look at what technology is needed to link various distances.

“Bandwidth growth has driven system requirements for scale, size, power, and cost, while interconnect performance is starting to become a limiting factor in system performance,” said Steve Joiner of Finisar, and a member of the OIF board. “OIF members are working together in a pre-competitive environment to consider ways of reducing the investment risk in future optical interconnect technology.”

The workshop featured presentations by industry leaders from Brocade, Cisco, Ericsson, Finisar, Hewlett Packard, Infinera, Luxtera, Molex, TE Connectivity, Tellabs, and Xilinx.

Related Story: OIF's seeks to ease 'growing pains' for 100G+ interconnect

Two new projects were launched at the meeting. The Physical and Link Layer (PLL) Working Group proposed a 28G Medium Reach (MR) Common Electrical Interface (CEI) project to support chip-to-chip interfaces. It will build on the previous 28G CEI projects, including short reach and very short reach distances, all of which enable 100G applications. A low-power medium reach chip-to-chip interface is needed to enable high density and lower power line-card designs, the OIF members agreed. This project will facilitate increased channel density in carrier equipment and will specify operation of 1 to n lanes of data operating at up to 28 Gbps over 0 to 500 mm using one connector.

The PLL group then agreed to begin work on the Generation 2.0 100G Long-Haul DWDM Transmission Module MSA. This project will be based on the technical feasibility of creating a smaller module size with reduced power consumption for the next generation 100G MSA. Shrinking the size of the current generation 1.0 100G MSA module and lowering the power dissipation will open the possibility of having multiple modules or cards in a system rack slot, the working group believes.

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