Consortium targeting high speed optical connectivity

14th May 2019
Alex Lynn

The Open Eye Consortium has announced the establishment of its Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) outlining its mission to standardise advanced specifications for lower latency, more power efficient and lower cost optical modules targeting 50G, 100, 200, and up to 400Gbps optical modules for datacenter interconnects over single-mode and multimode fibre. 

The MSA aims to accelerate the adoption of PAM-4 optical interconnects scaling to 50, 100, 200, and 400Gbps by expanding upon existing standards to enable optical module implementations using less complex, lower cost, lower power, and optimised clock and data recovery (CDR) based architectures in addition to existing digital signal processing (DSP) architectures. 

Minimising the need for digital signal processing in optical modules has many advantages including significantly lowering latency, power consumption and cost. The Open Eye MSA is committed to investing its collective innovation and engineering resources for the development of an industry-standard optical interconnect that leverages seamless component interoperability among a broad group of technology providers, including providers of electronics, lasers and optical components. 

“LightCounting forecasts that sales of next-generation Ethernet products will exceed $500 million in 2020,” said Dale Murray, Principal Analyst at LightCounting. “However, this is only possible if suppliers can meet customer requirements for cost and power consumption. The new Open Eye MSA addresses both of these critical requirements. Having low latency is an extra bonus that HPC and AI applications will benefit from.”

The Open Eye MSA consortium’s approach is a natural evolution relative to today’s high-volume optical nodes, enabling users to scale to next generation baud rates. The initial Open Eye MSA specification will focus on 53Gbps per lane PAM-4 solutions for 50G SFP, 100G DSFP, 100G SFP-DD, 200G QSFP, and 400G QSFP-DD and OSFP single-mode modules. Subsequent specifications will aim to address multimode and 100Gbps per lane applications. 

MACOM and Semtech Corporation initiated the formation of the Open Eye MSA with 19 current members in Promoter and Contributing membership classes. 

Promoters include Applied Optoelectronics, Cambridge Industries (CIG), Color Chip, Juniper Networks, Luxshare-ICT, MACOM, Mellanox, Molex and Semtech. 

Contributors include: Accelink, Cloud Light Technology, InnoLight, Keysight Technologies, Maxim Integrated, O-Net, Optomind, Source Photonics and Sumitomo Electric. 

The initial specification release is planned for Fall 2019, with product availability to follow later in the year.

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