Connectors for next generation optical links

Jon Lawson

Twenty-two companies have come together to create a specification for the next generation of optical link connectors that support up to 100 Gbit/s per wavelength.

The 100G Lambda Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) Group is addressing the technical challenges of achieving optical interfaces at this speed with optical interoperability for transceivers and interfaces produced by different manufacturers and in various form factors.

The group’s founding members include all the major networking companies, including: Alibaba, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Ciena, Cisco, Finisar, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, Inphi, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Luxtera, MACOM, MaxLinear, Microsoft, Molex, NeoPhotonics, Nokia, Oclaro, Semtech, Source Photonics, and Sumitomo Electric.

The new interfaces will double the speed per wavelength for 100 Gbit/s and 400 Gbit/s  applications in data centre designs.

This will extend the current 500m standard being defined by IEEE P802.3 to 2 km and 10 km over duplex single-mode fibre optic cable for next generation networking equipment.