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15 Jan 2016

To support the changing and fast-growing bandwidth demands of data centers, the IEEE published the IEEE 802.3ba standard for 40 Gigabit Ethernet in June 2010. 40 Gigabit Ethernet is a standard that enables the transfer of Ethernet frames at speeds of up to 40 gigabits per second (Gbps), allowing 40 Gigabit Ethernet-enabled equipment to handle traffic at the aggregation and core layers. A right and cost-effective solution for 40 Gigabit Ethernet is very necessary in data center communications. This article will introduce some types of cables and optical transceivers used in 40 Gigabit Ethernet.

The cable applied in 40 Gigabit Ethernet can be optical fiber or copper cable. With regard to cabling, OM3 or OM4 is optimal for the 40 Gigabit Ethernet or 100 Gigabit Ethernet data center environment. The major difference is in the maximum span distances. In a 10 Gigabit Ethernet network, OM3 fiber can span up to 300m while OM4 supports even longer channels. In a 40 Gigabit Ethernet or 100 Gigabit Ethernet environment, OM3 can be used up to 100m and OM4 up to 150m, according to the IEEE802.3ba standard. For applications approaching 150m, the cable should be terminated with low-loss connectors.

Besides, the MPO (Multi-Fiber Push On)/MTP (Multi-fiber Termination Push-on) cable is considered the best solution for 40GbE. It can connect the multimode transceivers to support the multifiber parallel optics channels. For 40 Gigabit Ethernet, we can use 8 fibers MPO/MTP harness cables or 12 fibers MPO/MTP trunk cables. The former is to directly connect a QSFP port to other 4 SFP+ ports. The latter is to directly connect one QSFP port to another QSFP port.

MPO / MTP

40 Gigabit Ethernet transceivers mainly include CFP transceiver and QSFP transceiver.

CFP transceiver, which has 12 transmit and 12 receive 10-Gbps lanes, can support one 100 Gigabit Ethernet port, or up to three 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports. This module is used for 40GBASE-SR4, 40GBASE-LR4. The former is based on 850nm technology and supports transmission over at least 100m OM3 parallel fibers and at least 150m OM4 parallel fibers, while the latter is based on 1310nm , coarse wave division multiplexing (CWDM) technology and supports transmission over at least 10km on singlemode fiber.

QSFP transceiver provides four transmit and four receive lanes to support 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications for multimode fiber and copper today. QSFP transceiver is a high performance, low power consumption, long reach interconnect solution supporting 40G Ethernet, fiber channel and PCIe. It is compliant with the QSFP MSA and IEEE P802.3ba 40GBASE-SR4. QSFP direct attach cable is an assembly of 4 full-duplex lanes, where each lane is capable of transmitting data at rates up to 10Gb/s, providing an aggregated rate of 40Gb/s. For example, Cisco QSFP-4X10G-AOC10M compatible QSFP+ to 4SFP+ direct-attach cable is suitable for very short distances and offers a very cost-effective way to establish a 40-gigabit link between QSFP port and SFP+ port of Cisco switches within racks and across adjacent racks.

Fiberstore offers a comprehensive solution for 40 Gigabit Ethernet. We have a wide range of 40G optical transceivers which are 100% compatible with many famous brands, like Finisar QSFP+ and HP QSFP+ transceivers. Besides, we also provide high-quality and cost-effective cables such as MTP trunk cables, MTP cassettes, LC to MTP jumpers, etc.



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