The Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO) has selected the electrical connector its will use in its upcoming standard, thus defining how it will propose mounting the on-board optical modules it will specify to printed circuit boards (PCBs). It also launched a coherent transmission initiative.
The connector specifications combine proposals from TE Connectivity and Samtec. TE Connectivity's connector proposal will be used for the high-speed connection, where 50 Gbps per lane electrical signals pass between the PCB and the module. Samtec's connector proposal will apply to the low-speed connection, bringing DC power, control, and management interface to the module. With input from COBO members, the combination will ultimately advance to a final socketed form factor for on-board optics.
COBO's Data Center Networking (DCN) working group has been focused on developing an 8-lane wide and a 16-lane wide connector to enable modules to support 400 Gbps to 2x400 Gbps modules, respectively. Investigation is underway to consider modules that can support 1.6 Tbps using the 16-lane wide connector. With the connector selected, the DCN working group is now refining the dimensions of the optical module to permit detailed mechanical design and electrical evaluation to enable module integrators to begin the development and testing of prototypes.
"This is a significant achievement which is the culmination of months of joint effort that allows our work to move forward and provides a stellar example of industry collaboration," says Jeffery J. Maki, vice president of COBO and chairman of the DCN working group. "As a result of the selection of an electrical connector specification, system companies and module integrators will be able to develop solutions based on on-board optics to satisfy their end-customers' requirements."
Meanwhile, COBO also has launched the Coherent working group, chaired by Hugues Tournier, of Ciena. The new working group plans to re-use the connector specification adopted by the DCN working group with a focus on higher thermal performance. The two groups run in parallel.
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