Multi-wavelength multimode fiber subject of TIA standards query

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42.12 Engineering Committee on Optical Fibers and Cables has issued a call for interest for the creation of a multi-wavelength multimode fiber specification. The new multimode fiber type would address the evolution of fiber requirements for data center networks, particularly the high fiber counts that applications such as 400 Gigabit Ethernet would require based on current fiber optic cable technology.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) TR-42.12 Engineering Committee on Optical Fibers and Cables has issued a call for interest for the creation of a multi-wavelength multimode fiber specification. The new multimode fiber type would address the evolution of fiber requirements for data center networks, particularly the high fiber counts that applications such as 400 Gigabit Ethernet would require based on current fiber-optic cable technology.

Document TIA-492AAAE, initially titled "Detail Specification for 50-µm Core Diameter/125-µm Cladding Diameter Class 1a Graded-Index Multimode Optical Fibers with Laser-Optimized Bandwidth Characteristics Specified for Wavelength Division Multiplexing," would specify transmission of four wavelengths of at least 28 Gbps each. Transmission would occur at 850 nm and other wavelengths.

The IEEE currently specifies multimode transmission of 100 Gigabit Ethernet across 20 fibers (approximately 10 Gbps per fiber in both transmit and receive directions) in 100GBASE-SR10. Specifications are in process for the transmission of approximately 25 Gbps per multimode fiber to leverage advances in VCSEL technology. Even at these more advanced rates, however, a 400 Gigabit Ethernet link would require 32 multimode fibers (16 in each direction). The ability to support 100 Gbps per multimode fiber would significantly simplify and likely lower the cost of multimode fiber links at such high data rates.

According to Lightwave sister site Cabling Installation & Maintenance, CommScope introduced the project request at the TIA’s most recent meeting earlier this month. The company explained the rationale for the effort in a recent blog post.

Such multi-wavelength multimode fibers have already been unveiled (see "Prysmian WideCap-OM4 multimode fiber supports multi-wavelength applications"), which indicates that the fiber community is ready to support such a specification.

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