QSFP+ transceivers interoperate with fielded SFP+ modules, preserve 10-GbE infrastructure amid 40G data center upgrades

Avago's QSFP+ eSR4 modules meet link distance specifications for OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber for both 10- and 40-Gigabit Ethernet applications.

Avago Technologies (NASDAQ: AVGO) has introduced a pair of QSFP+ optical transceiver modules that interoperate with fielded SFP+ modules, offering data center operators the flexibility to reuse current 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) infrastructure when upgrading to 40G bandwidth. The pluggable, parallel optical QSFP+ eSR4 transceiver addresses both 40-Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet applications with a verified link distance of 400 m. Concurrently, Avago's QSFP+ iSR4 modules enable interoperability to 10G SFP+ links up to 100 m using OM3 multimode fiber (MMF), and 150 m using OM4 MMF.

The company says the QSFP+ eSR4 modules integrate four 10G lanes in each direction to increase bandwidth within a line card by more than 3x while using 50 percent less power than a one-lane SFP+ module. The new modules are designed to enable development of top-of-rack, blade, and modular switches with up to 44 QSFP+ ports per line card. These switches will provide 176 10G-channels with QSFP+ instead of the 48 SFP+ channels available today.

The QSFP+ eSR4 modules can be used for both high-density 10G and 40G aggregated Ethernet applications, providing more flexibility to connect to different levels of switches, reducing latency, and increasing port density with lower power consumption per lane, Avago says. The QSFP+ eSR4 extends reach to 300 m with OM3 MMF and 400 m using OM4 MMF.

“We have worked closely with Avago to test a wide array of Corning Cable Systems’ fiber-optic cables that contained Corning ClearCurve OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers with their parallel optic transceivers, giving designers the flexibility to develop innovative data center applications,” commented Doug Coleman, manager, technology and standards at Corning Cable Systems. “Together we verified that the interoperability of the Avago QSFP+ eSR4 modules meets link distance specifications for both 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications.”

Avago expects to sample the QSFP+ eSR4 modules by this summer. The QSFP+ iSR4 modules are now in production. Both modules were displayed at the recent OFC/NFOEC trade show.

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