Terabit BiDi MSA issues full specs for 800G and 1.6T optical interfaces

Feb. 27, 2023
The Terabit BiDi MSA group maintains that new dual wavelength bidirectional technology enables cost-effective upgrades for terabit short-reach MMF applications in data centers.

The Terabit BiDi Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group today announced the publication of release 1.0 of its optical specifications for 800 Gb/s and 1.6 Tb/s optical interfaces over 70 meters of OM4 multimode fiber (MMF).

The MSA's specifications utilize the widely adopted dual wavelength bidirectional transmission technology, delineating an upgrade path to for large scale deployed parallel MMF cabling infrastructure.

The new specifications are built on the existing 100 Gb/s Ethernet MMF specifications.

"The transition to 100 Gb/s per lane signaling is rapidly underway, and the release of the Terabit BiDi specifications is just in time for the industry to adopt cost-effective and fast interfaces with VCSEL based solutions," pointed out MSA co-chair Tzu Hao Chow.

The Terabit BiDi MSA specification addresses short-reach applications including the critical high-volume interconnects between switches in modern data centers.

Members of the Terabit BiDi MSA include Alibaba, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Cisco, Coherent, CommScope, Corning Incorporated, Dell Technologies, HGGenuine, Hisense Broadband, Lumentum, MACOM, Marvell, OFS, Panduit and Tencent.

In releasing the new specification, the Terabit BiDi MSA participants are responding to an industry need for lower cost and lower power consumption solutions in the 800 Gb/s and 1.6 Tb/s form factors that bidirectional MMF technology can provide.

"Multimode bidirectional optical transceivers have been crucial for preserving the usefulness of already existing fiber cables in data centers as technology has progressed from 10 to 25 to 50 Gb/s per lane," concluded David Piehler, MSA co-chair. "The Terabit BiDi specification is a roadmap to continue this trend."

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