CDFP MSA selects Molex's zCD AOC interface for 400G hot pluggable modules

March 14, 2014
The zCD AOC assembly was highlighted by Molex at this week's OFC 2014 in San Francisco.

The interface of the recently released zCD active optical cable (AOC) interconnect from Molex has been selected by the CDFP MSA as the interface for the consortium’s 400 Gbps hot pluggable module. The zCD AOC assembly was highlighted by Molex at this week's OFC 2014 (March 11-13) in San Francisco.

Scalable up to 400 Gbps, the zCD interconnect is designed for high bandwidth telecommunications, networking and enterprise computing data signaling rates. Based on singlemode silicon photonics technology, Molex says the zCD AOC assembly transmits 28 Gbps over 16 bi-directional channels with excellent signal integrity, electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection and thermal cooling properties. The tight pitch of the zCD interconnect solution enables OEMs to design systems of up to 5 terabytes capacity on one line card.

See also: OIF advances work on 100G and 400G applications

The zCD AOC transmits up to 4km for a fraction of the cost and power of long-reach optical modules, contends Molex. At 6W of power dissipation, it is billed as offering one of industry’s lowest power fiber-optic solutions and longest AOC reaches. “We are pleased to bring to market one of the highest density interconnect assemblies available today,” commented Scott Sommers, global group product manager, Molex. “The zCD AOC solution delivers a winning form factor that will serve to advance industry adoption of 400 Gbps data rate technology.”

The zCD AOC assemblies are designed for Ethernet, InfiniBand and proprietary protocol applications. The mating zCD connector is available in a short body version for passive or active copper cables and a long body version for AOCs and transceivers and features a straight, back-route footprint with a 0.75mm pitch. An elastomeric gasket or metal spring fingers provides EMI containment and suppression. Designed to accept a broad range of thermal modules and heat sinks, the press-fit connector design ensures a robust and simple board termination.

“The zCD interconnect solution offers a high level of integration, performance and long-term reliability for Molex customers requiring 400 Gbps with individual lane data rates up to 28 Gbps,” concludes Sommers. For more information, visit

Related: The push is on for a 400G Ethernet standard

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