Standard for pluggable 4-channel parallel transceiver modules

17 September 2002 -- Zarlink Semiconductor and Agilent Technologies have announced an MSA intended to create a standard for pluggable 4-channel parallel optic transceiver modules that offer an aggregate bandwidth of up to 10Gbit/s.

17 September 2002 -- Zarlink Semiconductor and Agilent Technologies have announced a multi-source agreement intended to create a "POP4" common standard for pluggable optics 4-channel parallel transceiver modules that offer an aggregate bandwidth of up to 10Gbit/s.

The companies say that the agreement promotes flexible and reliable system design by ensuring that customers have access to multiple, reliable sources for 4-channel transceivers used for high-bandwidth optical interconnections in next-generation switches, routers, and other networking equipment.

Agilent and Zarlink will design standardised packaging, optical and electronic interfaces for their respective 4-channel transceiver modules, which are currently under development. The companies will also work to encourage the POP4 specification as the global industry standard for 4-channel parallel optic transceivers.

Zarlink and Agilent's transceiver modules feature four transmit and four receive channels in one package, each operating at 1-2.7Gbit/s, for an aggregate bandwidth of 4-10.8Gbit/s in each direction.

"With this agreement our customers gain flexibility and the advantages of competitive sources," said Olof Svenonius, product line manager for Zarlink's Parallel Fiber Modules. "We are encouraging other vendors to design to the POP4 specification to further promote customer choice."

"Parallel fibre-optic modules for very short reach optical interconnect are key components in the intra-system backplanes being designed for scaleable, multi-chassis networking equipment," said David Eastley, product marketing manager for Agilent's Fiber Optics Product Division. "This agreement provides customers with multi-vendor pluggable transceivers that will also be compatible with Infiniband and VSR OC-192 specifications."

Truly scaleable equipment uses a multi-chassis design that allows network operators to increase capacity simply by adding one or more chassis to the original configuration. Pluggable parallel fibre-optic modules are the only cost-effective and reliable method of optical interconnection in multi-chassis equipment, offering the speed, density and reach that designers demand.

Agilent and Zarlink's pluggable 4-channel parallel optic transceivers are designed to meet rising demand for capacity in intra-system backplane interconnects, including chassis-to-chassis connections up to 300m, VSR OC-192 as per OIF VSR4-3 specifications, and InfiniBand connections.

The modules use a 100-pin MEG-Array connector and are based on 850nm VCSEL technology. The transceivers support transmission requirements of up to 10.8Gbit/s, occupy less than 1" of board space, and are compatible with an industry-standard MTP/MPO fibre connector.

Product design, development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of the parallel fibre-optic transceiver modules will take place independently.

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