TE Connectivity seeks partners for new 100G optical transceiver MSA

TE Connectivity (TE) has issued invitations to potential partners in a multisource agreement (MSA) that would target a new small form factor 100 Gigabit Ethernet optical module. The MSA would seek to create an optical transceiver with the functionality of QSFP28 in a size similar to an SFP.

TE Connectivity (TE) has issued invitations to potential partners in a multisource agreement (MSA) that would target a new small form factor 100 Gigabit Ethernet optical module. The MSA would seek to create an optical transceiver with the functionality of a QSFP28 in a size similar to an SFP.

The resultant design would provide better thermal management than both form factors, according to Nathan Tracy, technologist at TE Data Communications. Tracy added that he hoped products based on the MSA would be available at some point this year. The module design would be applicable to direct-attach copper cables, active optical cables (AOCs), and optical transceivers with MPO and LC fiber-optic connectors.

Tracy said that his company has received positive responses from a number of MSA invitees. The MSA members will collaborate on electrical connector, cage system, and module dimensions. Tracy said that TE has already done significant work along these lines, so the MSA will have a head start.

Potential customers also like the idea. "As the industry develops the next-generation datacenter equipment, there is value in an improved pluggable form factor that can support higher density designs and still meet high bandwidth requirements," said Brad Booth, principal network engineer of Microsoft's Global Networking Services, via a press release announcing the effort. "Thermal management becomes more of an issue as form factors get smaller, and this new MSA is an innovative step to address these design and power challenges."

The QSFP28 and the CFP4 are receiving the most current development attention for small form factor 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface requirements. However, systems developers and data center managers are expected to require even smaller devices as 100 Gigabit Ethernet becomes more ubiquitous.

For more information on optical transceivers and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer's Guide.


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