Dual Small Form-Factor Pluggable transceiver MSA releases first specification

The Dual Small Form-Factor Pluggable Multi-Source Agreement Group (DSFP MSA) has announced a Rev. 1.0 Hardware Specification for the optical module form factor. The DSFP aims to double SFP module density in the same footprint, while interoperating with existing SFP modules and cables.

Sep 20th, 2018

The Dual Small Form-Factor Pluggable Multi-Source Agreement Group (DSFP MSA) has announced a Rev. 1.0 Hardware Specification for the optical module form factor. The DSFP aims to double SFP module density in the same footprint, while interoperating with existing SFP modules and cables.

Targeted, at least initially, at 5G mobile and other wireless infrastructure applications, the DSFP optical transceiver specifications support up to 28 Gbps via NRZ and 56 Gbps via PAM4 modulation over each of two electrical lanes, twice the number of lanes standard SFP transceivers can support. The doubling of electrical lanes enables DSFP modules to support transmission rates of up to 56 Gbps (NRZ) and 112 Gbps (PAM4), respectively. The group said it expects to develop additional specifications that will enable an aggregate data rate of up to 224 Gbps using PAM4 in the future.

The newly published specifications, available on the DSFP MSA website, include electrical, mechanical, and thermal specifications for module and host card, including connector, cage, power, and hardware I/O. Operating parameters, data rates, protocols, and supported applications are included as well. The DSFP Management Interface Specification (MIS), an abridged version of the CMIS (Common MIS) being developed by the QSFP-DD, OSFP, and COBO Advisors Group, is currently under development.

The eight founding members of the MSA are Amphenol, Finisar, Huawei, Lumentum, Molex, NEC, TE Connectivity, and Yamaichi. “Publication of the DSFP Hardware Specification is part of an industry trend of quickly developing solutions optimized for specific applications,” said Chris Cole, chair of the DSFP MSA Group and vice president of advanced development at Finisar. “Stringent cost, power, and size constraints in demanding market segments, like mobile infrastructure, lead to solutions focused strictly on required functionality.”

“We are very excited about the introduction of a highly competitive new form factor by the DSFP MSA, which will double interface bandwidth and port density while maintaining compatibility with the existing SFP family of optics,” added Zhoujian Li, president of research and development, wireless networks, at Huawei. “The DSFP form factor is low cost, has excellent high-speed signal integrity, reduces PCB area, and is easy to design and manufacture. It is a great platform that enables 5G deployment and evolution, while fully protecting our customers’ investment.”

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