23 July 2002 -- Eight networking component suppliers, including Agere Systems, Agilent Technologies, JDS Uniphase, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, OpNext, Optillion and Tyco Electronics, have announced a new XENPAK-compatible "X2" multi-source agreement (MSA) for smaller-form-factor 10Gbit/s pluggable fibre-optic transceivers which specifies a module physically shorter than the existing XENPAK MSA specification, mounts on the top side of the host PCB and uses the established XENPAK electrical I/O specification.
X2 is initially focused on optical links to 10km and is targeted at "second generation" 10Gbit/s enterprise, storage and telecom applications that do not require the thermal capacity provided by XENPAK.
The X2 platform is designed so that the heat sink and front bezel can be easily adapted to the different needs of the key 10Gbit/s markets. X2 can be mounted on the front panel, mid-board, or on a conventional PCI card. The MSA offers a more thermally robust solution and provides better electromagnetic shielding than the other "smaller XENPAK" proposals.
The X2 specification supports multiple 10Gbit/s applications, providing network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) with one platform that addresses several 10Gbit/s markets.
Optically, the X2 MSA supports 802.3ae 10 Gigabit Ethernet, ANSI/ITUT OC192/STM-64 SONET/SDH interfaces, ITUT G.709, OIF OC192 VSR, and INCITS/ANSI 10GFC (10 Gigabit Fibre Channel). X2 is suited to Ethernet, Fibre Channel and telecom switches and standard PCI-based server and storage connections, where a "half size" XENPAK optical transceiver is desired.
X2 uses the same Tyco Electronics-designed 70-pin electrical connector as XENPAK and supports XENPAK's four-wire XAUI (10 Gigabit attachment unit interface). X2 will also support the OIF SFI4_P2 and serial electrical interfaces as they emerge.
X2 MSA group companies expect to begin shipping transceivers in first-half 2003.
The X2 MSA welcomes application for membership from both transceiver and network equipment manufacturers.