Prysmian, Berk-Tek report 40-Gbps wideband multimode fiber test results

Prysmian Group and Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, say they have collaborated to demonstrate the transmission of 40 Gbps over 300 m of four-wavelength wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF).

Prysmian Group and Berk-Tek, a Nexans Company, say they have collaborated to demonstrate the transmission of 40 Gbps over 300 m of four-wavelength wideband multimode fiber (WBMMF).

The demonstration used Prysmian's WideCap-OM4 multimode fiber (see "Prysmian WideCap-OM4 multimode fiber supports multi-wavelength applications") and what the participants described as "commercial WDM transceivers" that transmitted at 4x10 Gbps. The duo did not reveal who supplied the 40 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP+ optical transceivers, but a member of the newly announced SWDM Alliance, which includes Finisar and Lumentum, would appear to be a good bet.

The demonstration saw the Prysmian WideCap-OM4 multimode fiber, packaged within Berk-Tek duplex fiber cable configured in a two-connector channel, transmit traffic generated and verified via an Ixia XM2 chassis outfitted with Xcellon-Lava Dual-Speed, 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet Higher Speed Ethernet Load Modules. The combination demonstrated error-free transmission over 300 m, the collaborators say.

In addition to supporting four-wavelength transmission, the WideCap-OM4 fiber is compatible with conventional OM4 multimode fiber. The companies say the trial therefore sets the stage for data center managers to use WBMMF to help ensure a smooth evolution from 10 Gigabit Ethernet to 100 Gigabit Ethernet operation, this last based on 4x25-Gbps transmission.

WBMMF also is expected to streamline 400 Gigabit Ethernet support by reducing the number of parallel multimode fibers required. The 400 Gigabit Ethernet Task Force has tentatively adopted a 16-fiber approach for 100-m multimode links. Since send and receive would require 16 fibers each, a complete connection would demand 32 conventional multimode fibers.

Berk-Tek and Prysmian will present the results of the demonstration in a paper at the Photonics in Switching 2015 technical conference in Florence, Italy, on September 25, 2015.

For more information on fiber-optic cable and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.

More in Data Center