Molex QSFP+ active optical cable supports 56G over 4 km

Molex Inc. has announced the availability of its QSFP+ low-power 56-Gbps Fourteen Data Rate (FDR) active optical cable (AOC), which is suitable for reaches up to 4 km. Requiring less than 1 W per cable, the QSFP+ 56 Gbps AOC provides the flexibility of traditional optical modules by interfacing to systems via a standard multiple-source agreement QSFP (quad small form factor pluggable) connector, Molex says.

Molex Inc. has announced the availability of its QSFP+ low-power 56-Gbps Fourteen Data Rate (FDR) active optical cable (AOC), which is suitable for reaches up to 4 km. Requiring less than 1 W per cable, the QSFP+ 56 Gbps AOC provides the flexibility of traditional optical modules by interfacing to systems via a standard multiple-source agreement QSFP (quad small form factor pluggable) connector, Molex says.

Said Brent Hatfield, product manager, Molex, “As data centers and scalable HPC [high-performance computing] clusters become larger and more distributed, Molex’s singlemode solution provides customers with a lower-cost alternative that can interconnect at medium range distances at a fraction of long-range optics costs. This also provides customers with a clear path to speed upgrades without having to continuously upgrade their structured cabling, and the standard QSFP+ port is an economical, readily available interconnect to support those requirements.”

Featuring four bi-directional optical data links per end, each operating at data rates from 1.0 to 14.0 Gbps, FDR AOC cables from Molex are compatible with multiple protocols including InfiniBand FDR, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, SAS 2.0 and 3.0 (6 and 12 Gbps), and Fibre Channel (8 and 10 Gbps). A low bit-error rate of 10e-18 provides increased data reliability and a robust link compared to standard transceivers with 10e-15 errors per link. The cables are also available in a low-loss pigtail version, which allows customers to install the singlemode fiber separately and connect to the pigtail version to avoid constant high-cost cable upgrades as bandwidth increases.

The 56 Gbps AOC cables from Molex are available in lengths up to 4 km (2.49 miles) for optimal design flexibility. The singlemode fiber technology provides a longer reach than copper and multimode fiber solutions in data center and campus environments. The firmware is field flashable via a I2C bus so cables can be reflashed while in the host system.

The new product will be on display on Molex’s booth 3745 at Super Computing 2012, November 10—16 in Salt Lake City, UT.

For more information on active optical cables and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

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