QSFP-DD MSA to extend module bandwidth to 1.6 Tbps

March 6, 2023
New specification will leverage the industry’s focus on next generation systems that will utilize 200 Gbps serial PAM4 SerDes technology currently under development.
Qsfp Dd Log 64065c33b8915

The QSFP-DD Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group announced at this year's Optical Fiber Communications Conference (OFC 2023) in San Diego (Mar. 5-9) plans to develop a new specification extending the bandwidth of the form factor to 1.6 Tbps.

Per the group, the new specification will leverage the industry’s focus on next generation systems that will utilize 200 Gbps serial PAM4 SerDes technology currently under development.

The new specification will maintain the form factor’s eight lanes to provide an aggregate bandwidth capacity of 1.6 Tbps. The 1.6 Tbps module port will maintain backward compatibility with the entire family of QSFP and QSFP-DD modules and cables.

This will provide the high degree of flexibility that end users and system designers have come to expect from QSFP and QSFP-DD, easing end user’s migration to the industry’s speed transitions.

The new specification will also maintain the QSFP-DD’s riding heatsink feature that enables system designers the ability to efficiently cool higher power modules that may be required in next generation equipment.

The new QSFP-DD1600 specification will target the current port density enjoyed by systems utilizing QSFP-DD today and meet the faceplate bandwidth that is expected from next generation ASICs in the future.

Jamie Gaudette, partner network engineering manager for Microsoft, remarked:

“QSFP-DD’s backwards compatibility has been critical to our operational approach to upgrading the network. We encourage the MSA’s work on QSFP-DD1600.”

The MSA notes that the QSFP-DD form factor continues to lead market adoption for 400G across applications and is set to continue to do so at 800G. The new specification will extend that leadership to 1.6 Tbps with broad support from component manufacturers to end users.

Mark Nowell, MSA co-chair, concluded:

“The system design flexibility that QSFP-DD enables greatly reduces the challenges in building systems with high-power modules. The riding heatsink, besides enabling backwards compatibility, is an asset to system designers.”

The QSFP-DD MSA is supported by more than 60 companies addressing the technical challenges of achieving a double-density interface and ensuring mechanical, electrical, thermal, and signal-integrity interoperability for the next generation of networking equipment.

For more information, visit the QSFP-DD MSA website, www.qsfp-dd.com.

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About the Author

Cabling Installation & Maintenance Staff

Cabling Installation & Maintenance publishes news and technical information for information and communications technology (ICT) professionals.

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