CWDM8 MSA targets 400G at 2 km, 10 km via NRZ wavelengths

The CWDM8 MSA (8-wavelength Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) Group has announced its existence and its intention to develop specifications for 400-Gbps optical transceivers. The specifications will target NRZ-based transmission at both 2 and 10 km over duplex single-mode fiber.

The CWDM8 MSA (8-wavelength Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing Multi-Source Agreement) Group has announced its existence and its intention to develop specifications for 400-Gbps optical transceivers. The specifications will target NRZ-based transmission at both 2 and 10 km over duplex single-mode fiber.

The CWDM8 MSA will attempt to address what they see as a near-term need for 400-Gbps optical transceivers at 2 and 10 km. As its name implies, the group's specifications will focus on the use of eight 50-Gbps optical lanes. "There is currently no adequate solution in the market to meet our needs for cost-effective and uncooled 400G optical interfaces for 2 km and 10 km reaches," stated Yu Li, vice president of data center switching at Huawei. "We welcome the formation of the CWDM8 MSA, which offers proven 50G NRZ technology to enable compact and low power dissipation form factors for 400G."

Those form factors could leverage a variety of approaches, the group says, including QSFP-DD, OSFP, and onboard optics options such as those under development by COBO. Founding members of the CWDM8 MSA include Accton, Barefoot Networks, Credo Semiconductor, Hisense, Innovium, Intel, MACOM, Mellanox, Neophotonics, and Rockley Photonics.

While the recently announced 100G Lambda MSA also targets 400G (as well as 100G) over duplex single-mode fiber with a PAM4-based approach, that group appears to be targeting only 2 km at 400 Gbps (see "100G Lambda MSA targets serial 100-Gbps optical lanes for 100GbE, 400GbE"). The CWDM8 MSA group says that modules based on its specifications will maintain full compatibility with standard 50G PAM4 electrical interfaces. More information is available on the group's website.

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