Companies Agree On Module Standards (Fiber News)
Several companies are collaborating on multi-source agreements (MSAs) to set standards that will speed the insertion of the fiber-optic components used in data and telecommunications systems. Agilent and Mitel Semiconductor are developing four-channel parallel fiber-optic modules operating at 10 Gbit/s. The parallel optic module features four transmit and four receive channels in one package, with each channel operating at 12.5 Gbit/s, for an aggregate bandwidth of 410 Gbit/s in each direction. This year the two companies will agree on a common package, and optical and electrical interfaces for modules employed in 10 Gbit/s very short reach (VSR) connections and those recommended by the industrial consortium InfiniBand. A 12 channel MSA was recently announced between Mitel, Agilent and W L Gore (Compound Semiconductor April 2001, p22). Mitel and Agilent expect that the design and manufacturing expertise developed for the 12 channel product will be applied to the new four-channel transceiver. Agilent and Agere support 10 GbE Agilent is also working with Lucent spin-off Agere to develop physical standards for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fiber-optic transceivers. The MSA is the first to support the proposed IEEE 10 GbE standard, and specifies a uniform form-factor, size, connector type and number of electrical pin-outs. A third company, Tyco Electronics, will produce a 70 pin electrical connector that attaches the transceiver to a printed circuit board. Specifically, the agreement covers four types of transceiver, including 850 and 1310 nm serial, 1310 nm wide (also known as coarse) WDM and 1550 nm serial (Compound Semiconductor February 2001, p69). A stipulation is that modules do not exceed 1.5 4.8 inches or be higher than 0.7 inches dimensions that will allow high port densities on typical line cards. The companies expect to begin shipping the transceivers in 2001. According to senior program manager at Agere, Ed Cornejo, the new design will address the major 10 Gbit/s design challenges including heat dissipation, manufacturing issues, pin assignments and flexibility with regard to other technologies.