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'X40' group to cut cost of 40G links

07 Nov 2006

Comms industry system developers unveil "X40" collaboration to cut 40 Gbit/s costs with hot-pluggable multi-rate 40Gbit/s optical transceiver.

Nine networking, optical module and semiconductor companies have formed the X40 Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group to develop an integrated, data-agnostic, multi-rate optical transceiver, intended to support a range of 40 Gbit/s links for telecoms and datacoms applications.

The founding companies are Aeluros, Broadcom, Emcore, Finisar, Infinera, Juniper Networks, MergeOptics, Tyco Electronics and Vitesse Semiconductor. They are now inviting other companies across the industry to express interest and give their views on the development of such an application.

The X40 MSA is expected to enable network equipment manufacturers to increase port density and system data throughput, extend link distances, reduce power and reduce cost per Gbit/s compared to existing 40 Gbit/s solutions.

The proposed hot-pluggable transceiver module will utilize a mechanical form-factor similar to Xenpak to integrate four transmit and four receive channels and optically multiplex them into a single pair of optical fibers.

"The X40 transceiver module will make 40 Gbit/s networks more economical by bringing the cost points and maturity of 10 Gbit/s components to the 40G world," said Drew Perkins, chairman of the X40 MSA Group and co-founder and CTO of Infinera.

"The deployment of 40 Gbit/s networks has been limited by the high costs of many components required for 40G systems," said Dr. Daryl Inniss, VP Ovum-RHK's Communication Components research. "Bringing together a broad group of industry players to focus on producing a standard X40 MSA can lead to greater deployment of 40 Gbit/s systems and lower costs for customers."

X40 roadmap

The initial X40 physical media interface will be defined to meet the requirements for short reach metro access links up to 10 km. Current 40 Gbit/s transceivers based on the industry-standard 300 pin MSA are generally limited to 2 km before chromatic dispersion makes compensation required.

The X40 will use four uncooled CWDM wavelengths around 1310 nm, and will carry 10 Gbit/s data per channel, with the same 10 km reach as 10GBase-LR interfaces. The X40 will also feature digital diagnostic capability to monitor link performance.

The X40 MSA group will make details of the specification available to the industry so that other optical transceiver manufacturers can produce compatible products and system vendors can begin to design equipment to utilize the transceivers.

Schaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHSWIR Vision Systems Inc.BRD Optical Co., LtdVR/AR AssociationALIO IndustriesDIAMOND SAISUZU GLASS, INC.
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