QSFP-DD MSA Group intros new specs, plus white paper

May 24, 2021
With the inclusion of support for 100 Gb/s electrical host interfaces, this 7th public release of the specification adds QSFP-DD800 and QSFP112 Mechanical and Board Definitions.
Qsfp Dd Logo 60abc44685c6a

The Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group today announced the release of its hardware specification revision 6.0 updating QSFP-DD, introducing QSFP-DD800 and introducing QSFP112.

As explained by the QSFP-DD MSA Group:

QSFP-DD is the premier 8-lane data center pluggable module form factor. Systems designed for QSFP-DD modules can be backward compatible with existing QSFP form factors and provide maximum flexibility for end users, network platform designers, and integrators.
With the inclusion of support for 100 Gb/s electrical host interfaces, this 7th public release adds QSFP-DD800 and QSFP112 Mechanical and Board Definitions. It also adds QSFP112 electrical and management timing.
Revision 6.0 includes updated power supply test methods and support for an increased module power rating to 25 W. The module power contact rating is increased from 1 A to 1.5 A. An appendix with normative connector performance data has also been added.

The QSFP-DD MSA Group also announced the release of an updated Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) revision 5.0 for QSFP-DD, QSFP-DD800 and QSFP112. The CMIS defines the host-to-module interactions needed to ensure that modules will initialize and operate consistently.

The group says this revision provides several extensions and a comprehensive technical and editorial consolidation. It is harmonized with timing parameters defined in QSFP-DD MSA HW Spec revision 5.1 previously published and in this revision 6.0.

As noted by the QSFP-DD MSA Group, CMIS is broadly implemented across the industry, beyond just the QSFP/QSFP-DD family of module types. The feedback from many implementers has also been consolidated to improve and extend the specification.

“It is exciting to see how the 63 companies involved came together to harmonize these important QSFP/QSFP-DD form factors and software to future-proof data centers while maintaining backward compatibility,” said Scott Sommers, founding member, and MSA co-chair.

The QSFP-DD MSA Group also announced the release of a new thermal management white paper. Per the paper's summary:

High performance network environments need efficient cooling of pluggable optical modules. This is particularly true for the new high power 25 W modules for QSFP-DD800 systems, which must dissipate heat effectively to ensure operational performance. Careful thermal design of module, cage, heatsink, and the overall system for QSFP-DD modules is required for efficient heat dissipation. This new white paper explains techniques that can be used to achieve this goal in QSFP-DD/QSFP-DD800 module design and QSFP-DD/QSFP-DD800 system design. It includes both experimental and simulation studies to demonstrate the efficacy of these techniques.

“The performance and power demands for high-speed network solutions are constantly increasing,” commented Mark Nowell, founding member, and MSA co-chair. “This white paper captures the design experience garnered over the recent years from many companies and was written to help design engineers understand how they can achieve the thermal characteristics their system requires, even when using new 25 W modules, thus ensuring the reliable operation of their products.”

The new specifications as described above can be found at www.qsfp-dd.com.

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