IEEE launches task forces for high-speed electronic interfaces, 400G over multimode fiber standards development

The IEEE launched two task forces at its May 21–25, 2018, interim meeting in Pittsburgh. The IEEE P802.3ck 100 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, and 400 Gb/s Electrical Interfaces Task Force will specify electrical interfaces based on 100-Gbps signaling. The IEEE P802.3cm 400 Gb/s over Multimode Fiber Task Force will define one or more lower-cost alternatives to the current 400GBASE-SR16.

The IEEE launched two task forces at its May 21–25, 2018, interim meeting in Pittsburgh. The IEEE P802.3ck 100 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, and 400 Gb/s Electrical Interfaces Task Force will specify electrical interfaces based on 100-Gbps signaling. The IEEE P802.3cm 400 Gb/s over Multimode Fiber Task Force will define one or more lower-cost alternatives to the current 400GBASE-SR16.

P802.3ck will seek to define electrical interface specifications that will enable electrical lanes to keep pace with the accelerating data rates of optical lanes in Ethernet applications. The IEEE recently has completed specifications work not only on 400 Gigabit Ethernet, but 200 Gigabit Ethernet for single-mode fiber. Meanwhile, work is ongoing to create a more cost-effective version of 100 Gigabit Ethernet. The new task force will tackle the creation of electrical interfaces based on 100-Gbps signaling that would be more efficient and less expensive than current interfaces, the fastest of which uses 50-Gbps lanes.

The IEEE P802.3cm 400 Gb/s over Multimode Fiber Task Force is a follow-on to the "Next-Generation 200 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s PHYs over Fewer MMF Pairs Than in Existing Ethernet Projects and Standards" Study Group (see “IEEE Study Group explores future multimode fiber roles”). As its name implies, that effort examined the requirements and interest in alternatives to current PMDs based on parallel fiber specifications that, in the case of 400GBASE-SR16, would require 16 fibers for transmit and another 16 for receive traffic for a total of 32 fibers per interface. The task force likely will explore WDM-based approaches such as those offered by shortwave WDM technology (SWDM; see “SWDM MSA publishes two shortwave WDM standards”).

The Ethernet Alliance hosted the IEEE interim meeting, and used the opportunity to elect and install its 2018 officers and Board of Directors. They include:

  • John D’Ambrosia, senior principal engineer, IP Standards Team, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; chairman and Board of Directors
  • Greg McSorley, technical business development manager, Amphenol Corp.; president and Board of Directors
  • Mark Nowell, director of engineering, Cisco Systems, Inc.; vice president and Board of Directors
  • Craig Carlson, senior technologist, QLogic Corp.; treasurer and Board of Directors
  • David Chalupsky, network product architect, Intel Corp.; Board of Directors
  • Jeff Maki, distinguished engineer II, Juniper Networks, Inc.; Board of Directors
  • David J. Rodgers, senior program manager, Teledyne LeCroy; Board of Directors
  • Rob Stone, technical director, Broadcom Corp.; Board of Directors

Ethernet Alliance members also confirmed Rodgers as the group’s Marketing Chair, and George Zimmerman, principal, CME Consulting, as Technical Chair.

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