QSFP-DD MSA group touts plug fest success

The Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group says it successfully completed a mechanical plug fest with participation of 15 of the group’s 64 members. The members successfully demonstrated compatibility and interoperability during the event, which focused on testing the electrical, latching, and mechanical designs of QSFP-DD optical transceivers, including compatibility with QSFP28 optical modules. MSA member Cisco hosted the event at its headquarters in San Jose.

The Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group says it successfully completed a mechanical plug fest with participation of 15 of the group’s 64 members. The members successfully demonstrated compatibility and interoperability during the event, which focused on testing the electrical, latching, and mechanical designs of QSFP-DD optical transceivers, including compatibility with QSFP28 optical modules. MSA member Cisco hosted the event at its headquarters in San Jose.

The QSFP-DD MSA group launched in March 2016 to develop a module form factor for 200 and 400 Gbps applications that would show backwards compatibility with the QSFP28, which is popular for 100 Gigabit Ethernet applications (see "QSFP-DD MSA targets 200G, 400G optical transceivers"). The form factor features an eight-lane electrical interface. Each lane will operate at up to 25 Gbps with non-return-to-zero (NRZ) modulation or 50 Gbps with four-level pulse amplitude modulation (PAM4). The group recently released a 3.0 Hardware specification that defines mechanical, electrical, and thermal management requirements to enable multi-vendor interoperability.

“Bringing together the expertise of our MSA companies to test the interoperability of multiple vendors’ modules, connectors, cages and DAC cables assures a robust ecosystem,” said Scott Sommers, founding member and MSA co-chair. “We are committed to providing next-generation designs that evolve with the changing technology landscape.’’

“Through this event, the QSFP-DD MSA have provided further validation to the industry that this form factor is ready for broad industry adoption,” added Mark Nowell, distinguished engineer, founding member and MSA co-chair. “This builds on the previous thermal and high-speed signal integrity validation that has been previously shared by the MSA.”

Founders of the QSFP-DD MSA include Broadcom, Brocade, Cisco, Corning, Finisar, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, Huawei, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Luxtera, Mellanox Technologies, Molex, Oclaro, and TE Connectivity. The QSFP-DD is fighting for similar sockets as the OSFP form factor (see “OSFP MSA targets 400-Gbps optical transceiver module”).

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