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200G and 400G Ethernet Technology in Data Center

The requirement of data transmission is rising rapidly. Executing the modern-day task requires massive amounts of data. We have high-quality streaming, VR, ML, 16K video, automotive industry, and a lot of other purposes to satisfy everyday needs. And for the same reason, higher bandwidth like 200G or 400G transmission is being implemented in data centers. IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) standardized 200G or 400G, especially for the DCN. 400G was approved back in 2017 by IEEE 802.3bs Ethernet standard and originally proposed back in 2013. On the other hand, 200GE was approved in 2018 and the initial proposal came to light in 2015. 200G and 400G almost have the same standard and requirement.

Current State of 200G and 400G

400G is thought to be hitting the regular data centers by 2021. As we said before, both have the same standard as 200GE, but use different sets of adapters in the data center network. 100 GE is still common and growing rapidly, with major buffs in network technology is growing quite fast, it is just a matter of implementation. Switch port modes for 400G can support 1x400G or 2x200G or 4x100G modes. Demand for higher speed bandwidth mainly comes from cloud computing. Not only the fields we have mentioned before but also flash distribution of storage and serverless computing depends on it.

We have faster CPUs and GPUs now that can digest bandwidth on a massive scale. To feed data to these machines every possible upgrade is necessary. Cloud computing is being integrated on a massive scale. OSFP and QSFP-DD optics are supported both by 200G and 400G ethernet. They offer more compelling data transmission over the current generation gigabit internet. Switches for 400G has reduced power consumption rate by two times on the existing fiber network. There are new software products that came with new technology eg: EOS and they are known to reduce the price per performance ratio by a significant margin in data centers.

Choosing 400G over 200G?

400GE delivers twice the bandwidth than 200G. As for the transceiver part, QSFP-DD and CFP2 are still going to be used for 200G. 400G will use QSFP-DD and OSFP optical transceivers to work in the mindset of 800G or above transmissions. 400G can transmit over three times the length of 200G wavelength. So, the metro network can utilize properly with improved sufficiency. 400G supports more transceivers and its market is rising for the network companies. SR4 and FR4 transceivers are offered by the 200G package. While 400G offers SR8, SR4.2, DR4, FR4, and ZR for multiple wavelengths. So, the DCN infrastructure has been implementing a wide variety of ranges to work with IoT flawlessly.

According to the IEEE 802.3bs standard, 400G LR4 has an 8x56 GE electrical port rate and a 4x100 GE optical port rate for a 10 km distance. Same with the 100G Lambda MSA standard but for six km. Eighty km distance for 400GE has been standardized by OIF with 400G ZR. It has 8x56 GE, just like Lambda MSA but for the optical port, DP-16QAM has been used. Two km 400 GE scenario standardized by both IEEE 802.3bs and 100 G Lambda MSA as FR4 and FR8 with a different rate on electrical and optical ports. A 100 km IEEE 802.3cm or 400G SR4.2 has an 8x50 GE optical port rate.

Cost Overview

100 G Ethernet replaced 25 GE quite faster than anticipated. Similar is happening with 200G and 400G. Costing matters for large-scale enterprise corporations as they operate on a massive scale. The bandwidth is doubling with the same power consumption properties. 200 GE uses PAM4 optical module and it is the same for 400 GE. But the implementation is higher as 200G is only 4x50 GE, but 400G is 4x100 GE with ‘C’ as the high design and cost-effective method. Also, the design and architecture modules remain the same. Superior density and more effective network solutions with modern architectures are already implemented, resulting in a quicker transformation with little cost.

Conclusion

Upscaling network solution is a necessity. 400G or 200G has its share of benefits. Though requirements are the same, 400G still tops on the value. For expanding the network with the massive IoT, we can benefit from it as fast as it deploys. The need for data is one of the mainstream requirements in today’s Gigabit networking world. We hope to see more than 400 GE architecture than 200G. The Ethernet Alliance is also standardizing with the upcoming 400G and 200G networking solutions for the future.

 

5G Network A to Z

In the era of fast communication and networking industry, 5G brings a lot to the table. The infrastructure is 10-100 times faster than the previous successor 4G. It can download at 20Gbps according to the IMT-20 requirements. Not only the transmission is faster, but also capable of utilizing larger capacity with low latency. 5G is mainly used in mobile networking, mission-critical communications, and the massive IoT. The 5G infrastructure is bringing huge changes in the optical network industry with more Gbps of speed. 5G is also compatible with the next generation of cellular networks (6G) which is still a prototype.


The arrival of 5G Network

5G is the successor of the previous 1G, 2G,3G, and the widely used 4G. 1G was implemented in the 1980s as analog voice but then came along 2G in the early 1990s. It was described as a digital voice like CDMA. 3G was available for public use in the ’20s. It brought a massive change in the mobile network industry. We started to believe that a revolution is here. As the tech industry skyrocketed, unlike any other times. Later came 4G as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and we are using this in the current times. But then 5G came along and boosted our expectations from everything we have thought was ever possible. Other generations of mobile networks were strong enough to provide signals via cell or network towers but 5G needs special transmission as it travels up to a 6G radius and on a higher spectrum. Each of the 5GHz towers is placed within a 100-meter radius for that. It has been a long and successful effort made by engineers of Verizon Communications, AT&T, and T-Mobile.


5G Channel Specs

As we have learned about transceivers and know what they are capable of, 5G utilizes the features properly. The 5G network parameters travel short distances compared to the predecessors. It is just a range of 20-100GHz. Signal processing options are required to send the transmission to every corner. Recommended transceivers should be capable of transmitting 25G/100G bandwidth. EJL reports the boost of usage and revenue for the optical transceivers. It is great news as tech is evolving at every glance. Large facilities that are in the shoe of serving out proper bandwidth have sighted appropriate growth in the industry. 25G modules can perform within the -40° C to 85°C temp range in a controlled environment. 100G transceiver is also one of the best choices for the 5G module because it is one of the industry-standard applications with higher lane support.
By the end of 2035, 22.3 million new jobs will be created, and it is because of this expanding growth of network infrastructure. It will be aligned by the economic growth of $13.2 trillion globally by services and products. Also, developers, content creators, and many industries or consumer level benefits will arise. The exponential growth in the IoT will only get a true boost when 5G is available everywhere.


The benefit of Transformation

5G has been implemented in a lot of areas. Testing was decent. Covering all the corners with a new signal transmitting application may still take some time. But once we get the gist of it, our lives will change. Transmitting Gigabytes of data is going to be a matter of milliseconds. The automotive industry will gain much more advantages than general applicants. Newer self-driving cars depend on data. And as much data as possible in the smallest amount of time because it must recalculate routes, take in risk management, and drive safely. When the transmission is super-fast, we are surely going to see a boost in this industry. Networks will be more secure as the listening time of big chunks of data is reduced. Robots and remote vehicles that work anonymously can transmit more data on lighter components. And the overall IoT industry will have a huge impact. More data transmission to the same wavelength will consume less power and it will reduce carbon emissions.


Entertainment Industry

As 5G is the best version of the mobile network, we are going to see massive changes in the entertainment industry. It does not only concern entertainment but also creative applications too. Massive screens with millions of pixels feed on large data. Playing video games on AR, VR, or MR or the screen itself needs more data to function according to the world today than the normal 4G. As data is transferring at a rate of multi Gbps, content creators or streamers will gain huge benefits. Phones and computers are everywhere and in almost every hand. 5G is targeted to cover all the devices to the brim with the data flow.


Fiber Optic Market

The 5G network needs upgrading of systems based on 4G or lower bandwidth channels. This means data centers will be upgraded accordingly. OSFP transceivers should be in control at the core of data centers. Also, the cabling management system will be needing a proper upgrade to cope with the overflow of data. This means more architectural changes may come out from the prototype for robust usage. More service centers and manpower will be needed to handle operations. The demand for fiber cable is predicted to be 420 million core km in 2021 compared to 2020 which was 350 million km.


5G and Current Situation

We are still rocking the 4G mobile network in many parts of the globe. A shadow has been cast of 5G to reach everyone. But it was expected as the 4G network too took quite a while to reach all the areas and some places are still bound to be connected within the range. As the pandemic hit and caused worldwide lockdowns, the growth has been significantly slow. Nonetheless, the need for higher speed is always a necessity. We may see an immerse push from the providers within the slightest chance of increasing this network sustainability after the pandemic. It is hoped that 5G will bring the world much closer and will be usable in every corner by the end of 2035.

How Much Do You Know About QSFP56?

In the past few years, with the growth of new high-speed interconnects and emerging technology, different kinds of optical module form factors are introduced. Among these various form factors, QSFP56 has a very fast emergence. This optical module belongs to the QSFP family which has a very important role in applications of 200G. So, what exactly is new in this QSFP56 than previous optical modules?
Are QSFP56 and QSFP56-DD similar or different than each other? If you all these questions in your mind then you are in the right place.

QSFP56 - Form Factor of 200G Transceivers

In order to understand QSFP56 in-depth, we should have a look at the form factor QSFP. QSFP also is known as “Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable” was designed and developed just after the release of SFP. SFP was originally made to take the place of Single-channel SFPs by increasing the density of these optical modules. As the name suggests, QSFPs is equipped with four lanes of 4 different wavelengths. It also has a greater bandwidth as compared to the previous SFP optical modules.

Initially, 40G QSFP was introduced followed by the development of 100G QSFP for the use in applications with high density. As time is passing, in data centres traffic of data is increasing due to the development of advanced application in the field of networking. The market is expanding in order to get high speed. The addition to QSFO family is increasing significantly with 200G QSFP56 and 400G QSFP56-DD being on the list of optical modules.

For 200G Ethernet, a 50 GB QSFP56 is designed and developed. This is carried out after the release of 40G QSFP+ and 100G QSFP28. QSFP 56 means 4 x 50 to in a QSFP form factor. Sometimes, it is also known as a 200 WSFP to make things simple. The optical modules of QSFP56 are identical to QSFP ones both in size and form factor. If you want to look at the distance classification of QSFP then it is divided into four classes, QSFP56 CR, FR, SR, DR and LR. These classifications allow transmission over different distances using SMF, a single-mode Fiber or MMD, a multi-mode fibre.

Generally speaking, two modules are used for MMF or SMF to form a link of 200G. AOC/DACs in QSFP56 can also help information of a 200G link through the connection of two different devices through a very simple process of linking. 200G QSFP56 and 2x100G QSFP28 breakout cables are used to bridge the original 200G QSFP ports on different speeds.

 

Generations of Fibre Channel and their Differences

Fibre Channel (usually abbreviated as FC) is a technology used for high-speed data transfer. Fibre channels finds its main use in storage area networks (SAN). FC is used to transfer data between computer storages and computer systems. Fibre channel can provide data transfer speeds of up to 128 Gbps.

FC is a widely used technology, almost all of the high-end servers and storages have interfaces to support FC. Another variant of fibre channel is Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). FCoE uses ethernet network as a transport medium, FC packets are encapsulated over the ethernet network, thus providing data transfer speeds of 10 Gbps or higher.

In this article, we will look in to the evolution of fibre channel technology, starting from its 1st generation and discussing the subsequent advancements in this technology. In the end, we will draw a comparison of the different generations of fibre channel. A high-level evolution of fibre channel technology is given in table 1.

Sr.#

Name

Year

1

1G FC

1997

2

2G FC

2001

3

4G FC

2004

4

8G FC

2005

5

10G FC

2008

6

16G FC

2011

7

32G FC

2016

8

128G FC

2016

Table 1: Different Versions of Fiber Channel

Fibre channel was standardized by the T11 Technical Committee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS). A close look at table 1 shows that FC started with a 1 Gbps data transfer speed and the speeds are doubled with every generation. Currently, 128G FC is also available.  

1G Fibre Channel

1G FC was the first standardized version of fibre channel technology. Introduced in the year 1997. 1G FC provides a throughput of 200 Mega Bytes per Second (MBps, not to be confused with Mega Bits per second, Mbps). 1G FC instantly gained popularity due to its application in storage area networks. 1G fibre channel remained in use till late mid-2000s.

2G Fibre Channel

2G FC was the next step in the evolution of fibre channel technology. The work on its development started soon after the release of 1G fibre channel and it was released as an industry standard in the year 2001 by T11 Committee. 2G FC doubled the speed offered by 1G FC. 2G FC has a throughput of 400 MBps in full duplex mode. 2G fibre channel was also widely used in the storage area networks.

4G Fibre Channel

In the year 2004, the next version in the fibre channel technology series was made available to the manufacturers worldwide. 4G fibre channel also doubled the service level parameters as compared to 2G FC. 800 MBps of full duplex throughput can be achieved in 4G fibre channel. 4G fibre channel gained so much popularity that it is still in use in some older SAN storages and servers.

8G Fibre Channel

8G fibre channel was released in quick succession to its predecessor. It was standardized and made available in the year 2005, just one year after the release of 4G fibre channel. These two fibre channel versions are the most popular FC versions available in the market. 8G fibre channel is also still in use and the interface cards are still available for 8G FC. 1600 MBps full duplex throughput is available in 8G fibre channel.

10G Fibre Channel

10G fibre channel version was developed for FCoE to make full use of the 10 Gbps ethernet networks. 10G FC is rarely used apart from its application in conjunction with FCoE. FCoE transmits FC data using ethernet frames.

16G Fibre Channel

The next step that followed in the line of fibre channel generations was 16G fibre channel. It was released in 2011 by the T11 Committee. 16G FC followed the “double-throughput” precedence set by the first four versions of fibre channel. Its throughput is 3200 MBps. Although, 16G FC was released in 2011, but it gained in popularity recently. Now a days, 16G fibre channel comes as a standard option in almost all of the latest SAN storages and servers. After the release of 10G fibre channel, the industry decided to change the naming convention of fibre channel versions. With the release of 16G FC, it was decided to discard the speed-based naming and adopt generation-based naming. 16G fibre channel was named 5th generation fibre channel. The first four versions being the 1G, 2G, 4G and 8G fibre channels.

32G Fibre Channel & 128G Fibre Channel

Sixth generation of fibre channel technology consists of two versions, 32G FC and 128G FC. Both of these versions were released in 2016. The sixth generation of fibre channel provides incredible increase in the throughputs. 32G FC is capable of providing 6400 MBps of throughput whereas the 128G FC is capable of providing 25600 MBps of throughput. The sixth generation fibre channel technology was designed to make full use of the Solid State Drive storage. SSD storage is a diskless storage providing faster data transfer rates as compared to the traditional hard disk drives. The sixth generation fibre channel also introduced new features for better security and lesser power consumption as compared to its predecessors.

Comparison

Fibre channel technology has seen a great evolution in speed, security and power consumption. It has kept its pace with the changing technologies and stayed in the market for so long. The popularity of fibre channel is gaining day by day. Almost all of the enterprise grade servers and storage devices come with pre-installed fibre channel adapters. The pace with which this technology is advancing, we see a long-term prospect for its continued usage in the information technology industry.

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What is a 25G SFP28 Optical Transceiver?

The 25G Ethernet solution is a solution standardized and developed by IEEE 802.3 task force P802.3by. This solution is mainly concentrated for use in datacenter environment. The 25 G Ethernet consortium has been formed in July 2014 to support the deployment of single lane 25GB/s solutions and dual-lane 50GB/s Ethernet solutions. The 25GB Ethernet consortium has been finished since September 2015. In November 2015 the 802.3 task force has been formed to develop the single-lane 25 GB/s Ethernet solution and on June 30 the IEEE 802.3by standard has been approved by the IEEE-SA Standards board.

The IEEE 802.3by standard defines the technologies below:

  • A single lane 25 GB/s 25GBASE-KR PHY for printed circuit backplanes. PHY is a type of chip which is an abbreviation for the physical layer of the OSI model
  • A single-lane 25 GB/s 25GBASE-CR-S PHY for 3 meters twin-ax cables (in-rack)
  • A single-lane 25 GB/s 25GBASE-CR-L PHY for 5 meters twin-ax cables (inter rack)
  • A single-lane 25 GB/s 25GBASE-SR PHY for 100 m OM4 or 70 m OM3 Multi-mode optical fiber

The 25GB Ethernet equipment has been available on the market for purchase since June 2016 and it uses the SFP28 and QSFP28 Optical transceivers. Also, direct attach SFP28 to SFP28 cables are available with fixed lengths of 1, 2, 3 and 5 meters. These are manufactured by various manufacturers. Also, lately have been announced the optical transceivers which will support 1310nm “LR” optics which will be able to reach from 2 kilometers up to 10 kilometers over a two strands of Single-mode fibers.

There are several factors to successfully create a fully functioning 25GB Ethernet Network. Optical transceivers and Direct Attach Cables that would support the 25GB and 50GB Ethernet are a must and at the end of the connection the NIC cards which have to support these solutions will guarantee the maximum performance. The deployment of 25GB Ethernet solution in Datacenters will definitely boost the whole core network, storage network and cloud computing network, thus providing the customers with greater bandwidth and stability utilizing the 10GB Ethernet solutions.

The SFP28 optical transceiver, which is a transceiver based on the widely popular SFP+ Form-Factor, introduces a new generation of high-density 25 GB/s Ethernet applications for Datacenters and Enterprise companies. It provides a conventional and cost-effective upgrade.

CBO BlueOptics© offers two models of SFP28 with Duplex connector:

  • BO27Q13610D 25GBASE-LR, SFP28 Optical transceiver
  • BO27Q856S1D 25GBASE-SR, SFP28 Optical transceiver

BlueOptics© SFP28 25GBASE-LR, 1310nm, 10KM, Optical Fiber Transceiver, DDM/DOM

BlueOptics© SFP28 25GBASE-SR, 850nm, 100M, Optical Fiber Transceiver, DDM/DOM

The CBO BlueOptics© BO27Q13610D 25GBASE-LR, SFP28  is a superior performance optical transceiver capable for long range distances up to 10 kilometers on Single-mode fibers and speeds up to 25.78 Gigabits per second. It features the Digital Diagnostic Monitoring feature and it can be used in 1310 optical window. This transceiver fulfills the 802.3by standard and even exceeds the Multiple Source Agreements (MSA). It features the Digital Diagnostic Monitoring feature for real-time parameter monitoring and the option for alarms if the high level threshold is exceeded.

The CBO BlueOptics© BO27Q856S1D 25GBASE-SR, SFP28 is a short range optical transceiver capable for reaching distances up to 100 meters over Multi-mode fibers. Unlike the previous model, this transceiver can be used in the 850 nm optical window, however it provides the same speed like the LR (long range) model with up to 25.78 Gigabits per second. The Digital Diagnostic Monitoring feature comes standard and it has up to 3.000.000 MTBF working hours.

Both models come with 5 year warranty and a lifetime support.

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