Zarlink debuts QSFP transceiver for InfiniBand

NOVEMBER 9, 2006 -- Zarlink Semiconductor has introduced the industry's first Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP) high-density, quad-channel, front-panel pluggable optical transceiver for InfiniBand architectures.

NOVEMBER 9, 2006 -- Zarlink Semiconductor (search for Zarlink) has introduced the industry's first Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP) high-density, quad-channel, front-panel pluggable optical transceiver for InfiniBand architectures.

Zarlink will demonstrate the new transceiver module with QLogic at next week's SuperComputing06 exhibition (November 13-16, Booth #1024).

Zarlink's 4x2.5-Gbit/sec (IB SDR) QSFP module, now available for sampling, will be demonstrated in a QLogic InfiniBand host-channel adaptor. By combining four ultra-high-capacity, independent fiber transmit and receive channels into one integrated module, Zarlink's QSFP product provides InfiniBand equipment manufacturers with edge and board density savings of greater than 60 percent while reducing power consumption to 250 mW per transceiver channel, the company says. The QSFP module also integrates comprehensive digital diagnostic monitoring.

Zarlink is developing a complete QSFP product family for other applications, such as the Gigabit Ethernet and storage markets.

"The InfiniBand QSFP transceiver responds to the market need for a reliable, high-density, 1-W power dissipation, hot-pluggable, scalable data-rate, multi-lane networking and data center optical link," said Dr. Marco Ghisoni, QSFP product manager, Zarlink Optical Solutions. "Building on Zarlink's market-proven expertise in developing fully qualified multi-channel parallel optical modules, VCSELs, and optical IC technologies, and employing multimode fiber ribbon, the InfiniBand QSFP family will play an important role in high-density bandwidth-intensive applications, up to 40 Gbits/sec."

"The growing demand for bandwidth, longer link distances for optimum data center configuration, and InfiniBand port scalability requires new PHY layer media interconnect solutions," said Lloyd Dickman, chief technical officer, System Interconnect Group, QLogic. "Zarlink's dense pluggable optics solution, like its QSFP module demonstrated with our high-performance InfiniBand adapter, is an excellent example and the first of many new optical products that enrich the flexibility and scalability of InfiniBand deployment."

The module follows the mechanical form-factor, electrical pin-out, and diagnostic management interface specifications outlined in the QSFP MSA rev0.9x. Zarlink is one of 21 member companies involved in defining the QSFP MSA.

"Zarlink has been one of the main contributors to the QSFP MSA, so it's no surprise that they were the first to release a module that supports the specification," said Scott Kipp, chair of the QSFP MSA. "At 5 Gbit/sec on each of the eight fibers, the Zarlink module offers the densest, pluggable transceiver bandwidth on the market."

Zarlink is now sampling 4x2.5-Gbit/sec and 4x5-Gbit/sec InfiniBand QSFPs, supported by evaluation boards and a graphical user diagnostic interface. Pre-production parts will be available in early 2007, with full production parts released by mid-2007. Zarlink's complete range of QSFP modules is planned for production over the next 12 months.

Visit Zarlink Optical Solutions

More in Transmission