Molex touts QuatroScale active optical cable based on 28-Gbps silicon photonics

Molex Inc. at OFC 2014 has unveiled plans for the QuatroScale line, a planned portfolio of products based on 28-Gbps silicon photonics. The family will include offerings that will support 100G, 200G, and 400G requirements.

Molex Inc. at OFC 2014 has unveiled plans for the QuatroScale line, a planned portfolio of products based on 28-Gbps silicon photonics. The family will include offerings that will support 100G, 200G, and 400G requirements. Two of the three initial products in the line will be active optical cables (AOCs).

The new products will leverage the silicon photonics technology the company has used since it acquired the active optical cable product line of Luxtera (see “Molex buys Luxtera’s active optical cable line”). Molex says the technology enables the QuatroScale portfolio to combine low power For example, the QuatroScale 100-Gbps zQSFP+ Active Optical Cable and on-board module consume 1.5 W per 100 Gbps, yet can support 4 km of reach.

Meanwhile, the QuatroScale zCD AOCs deliver 16 bi-directional channels operating at 28 Gbps, with data rates scalable up to 400 Gbps. The CDFP MSA recently selected the zCD as the interface for the consortium’s 400-Gbps hot pluggable module.

“Market indications are that the average data center interconnect in the U.S. is now over 130 meters in length, operating with 25-Gbps MM [multimode] VCSEL solutions which target a reach of only 100 meters,” said Brent Hatfield, product manager for active optics, Molex, via a company press release. “Data center architects and OEM providers are discovering that silicon photonics-based optics bring significant advantages in terms of longer reach, with exceptionally low power consumption.”

The first members of the QuatroScale portfolio will begin sampling this summer. In addition to the 100G QSFP28 AOCs and the 400G CDFP MSA AOC, Molex also will offer Mid-board Optical Modules available in 1x200G or 2x100G port configurations.

“The added economic value of the soon-to-be-released modular QuatroScale solutions, combined with the lowest cost singlemode structured cabling, translates into Molex providing customers with the most economical choice in silicon photonics solutions for next generation data centers,” Hatfield concluded.

For more information on cables and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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