Are You Ready For 400G Ethernet?

The rapid development in telecom industry is driving massive demand for higher bandwidth and faster data rate, from 10G to 40G and 100G, will this keep going on? The answer is definitely “Yes”. Some time ago, migration from 10G to 40G or 25G to 100G has been a hot spot among data center managers. While recently, 400G solutions and 400G components are coming. Are you ready for 400G? This article will share some information about 400G Ethernet.

Overview of 400G

In the past couple of years, modules with four 25/28G lanes or wavelengths are the solutions for 100G Ethernet. However, they were expensive at the beginning. Until 2016, the optical components industry has responded to the demands with 100G solutions that already cost less per gigabit than equivalent 10G and 40G solutions, and new developments to further drive down cost and increase bandwidths. The next generation is 400G Ethernet. The IEEE has agreed on PSM4 with four parallel fibers for the 500 meters 400GBASE-DR4 specification that is part of the IEEE802.3bs standard being developed for approval by the end of 2017. The industry is already developing optical components for 400G Ethernet solutions. The following figure shows telecom and datacom adoption timelines.

Telecom and datacom adoption timelines

We can visually see that telecom/enterprise applications first adopted 100G technology in the form of CFP modules. Data centers generally did not adopt 100G interfaces until the technology matured and evolved towards denser, lower power interfaces, particularly in the form of QSFP28 modules. However, as the hyperscale data center market scales to keep pace with machine-to-machine communications needs, data center operators have become the first to demand transmission modules for data rates of 400G and beyond. Therefore, the 400G era is now upon us.

Modules for 400G

We know that the QSFP28 modules for 100G Ethernet and SFP28 modules for 25G Ethernet are now the dominant form factors. Though CFP, CFP2 and CFP4 modules remain important for some applications, they have been eclipsed by QSFP28 modules. To support higher bandwidth, what is the right module for 400G? The first CFP8 modules are already available. QSFP-DD is backward compatible with QSFP, and OSFP may deliver better performance, especially as networks move to 800G interfaces.

CFP8 module: CFP8 module is the newest form factor under development by members of the CFP multisource agreement (MSA). It is approximately the size of CFP2 module. As for bandwidth density, it respectively supports eight times and four times the bandwidth density of CFP and CFP2 module. The interface of CFP8 module has been generally specified to allow for 16 x 25 Gb/s and 8 x 50 Gb/s mode.

100G CFP to 400G CFP8

QSFP-DD module: QSFP-DD refers to Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density. It uses eight 25G lanes via NRZ modulation or eight 50G lanes via PAM4 modulation, which can support optical link of 200 Gbps or 400 Gbps aggregate. In addition, QSFP-DD module can enable up to 14.4 Tbps aggregate bandwidth in a single switch slot. As it is backwards compatible with QSFP modules, QSFP-DD provides flexibility for end users and system designers.

QSFP-DD vs QSFP

OSFP module: OSFP (Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable) with eight high speed electrical lanes is able to support 400G (8x50G). It is slightly wider and deeper than the QSFP but it still supports 36 OSFP ports per 1U front panel, enabling 14.4 Tbps per 1U. The OSFP is able to meet the projected thermal requirements for 800 Gbps optics when those systems and optics become available in the future.

OSFP module

Conclusion

Judging from the current trends, 400G will become the mainstream in the near future. But there are still some challenges for it to overcome, such as high capacity density, low power consumption, ever lower cost per bit, and reliable large-scale manufacturing capabilities. You never know what surprise the network will bring to you, let’s wait and see the 400G’s time.

Fiber Optic Connectivity Options for 40G Infrastructure

Dramatic growth in data center throughput has led to the increasing usage and demand for higher speed and more bandwidths. The speed of data center now is increasing to 40 Gbps and eventually to 100 Gbps. Thus, new optical technologies and cabling infrastructure are required. This article will introduce some commonly used fiber optic cabling connectivity options for 40G infrastructure.

Pluggable Optical Modules: 40G QSFP+ Transceivers

As is known to all, fiber optic transceiver is a device that both transmits and receives data. It is the key component in fiber optic transmission. The basic interface of 40G pluggable optical modules are 40GBASE-LR4 and 40GBASE-SR4 in QSFP+ form factor.

40GBASE-LR4 QSFP+: 40GBASE-LR4 transceiver supports with a link length up to 10 kilometers over 1310 nm single mode fiber with LC connector. It is most commonly deployed between data-center or IXP sites with single mode fiber.

40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+: 40GBASE-SR4 transceivers are used in data centers to interconnect two Ethernet switches with 8 fiber parallel multimode fiber OM3/OM4 cables. It can support the transmission distance up to 100 m with OM3 fiber and 150 m with OM4 fiber. The optical interface of 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ is MPO/MTP.

Extreme 10319

In addition, for single-mode fiber transmission, there are 40GBASE-LR4 Parallel Single Mode (PSM) transceivers which are used to provide support for up to four 10Gbps Ethernet connections on a QSFP+ port over single mode fiber at distances up to 10 km. For multimode fiber transmission, QSFP+ extended SR4 transceivers are developed which is designed with optimized VCSEL with better performance of RMS spectral width compared with QSFP+ SR4. QSFP+ extended SR4 transceivers can support transmission distance up to 300 m with OM3 fiber and 400 m with OM4.

Passive & Active Direct Attach Copper Cables

The QSFP+ passive or active direct attach copper cables are designed with twinax copper cable and terminated with QSFP+ connectors. The main difference between passive QSFP+ DAC and active QSFP+ DAC is that the passive one is without the active component. They provide short distance (same shelf) inexpensive connectivity at up to 40Gbps rates and operate 4 independent 10G channels using the QSFP connector footprint. Each of the four channels can operate at multi-rate speeds Gigabit to 10Gbps. For example, Juniper QFX-QSFP-DACBO-3M compatible QSFP+ to 4SFP+ copper direct attach cables are suitable for very short distances and offer a very cost-effective way to establish a 40-gigabit link between QSFP port and SFP+ port of Juniper switches within racks and across adjacent racks.

Active Optical Cable (AOC) Assemblies

Active Optical Cable (AOC) is used for short-range multi-lane data communication and interconnect applications. It uses electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. AOC brings a more flexible cabling than direct attach copper cables with the advantages of lighter weigth, longer transmission distance and higher performance for anti-EMI. Now, 40G AOC assemblies are popular with users.

40G cabling

Fiberstore offers a comprehensive solution for 40G fiber optic cabling connectivity. Apart from the above-mentioned cabling connectivity options, there are also some typical cabling components you will require when building 40G cabling, such as MTP trunk cables, MTP cassettes, LC to MTP jumpers and so on.

The Application of TDM-PON And WDM-PON

1. Instruction
The bandwidth requirements of the telecommunication network users increased rapidly during the recent years. The emerging optical access network must provide the bandwidth demand for each user as well as support high data rate, broadband multiple services and flexible communications for various end-users. Being considered as a promising access network solution due to the high bandwidth provision and the low operation and maintenance cost, passive optical networks (PONs) represent one of the most attractive access network solutions. TDM and WDM techniques are employed in the PON for higher resource efficiency and capacity, which results in TDM-PON and WDM-PON respectively. TDM-PON provides much higher bandwidth for data application but it has limited availability to end-users. WDM PON can solve the problems encountered in TDM-PON by allocating a specified wavelength to each subscriber. This provides a separate, secure P2P, and high data-rate channel between each subscriber and the CO. This article is mainly written to give you a overview of the application of TDM-PON and WDM-PON as well as the joint application—TWDM PON.

2. Application of TDM-PON
TDM-PON types include ATM PON (APON), Broadband PON (BPON), Ethernet PON (EPON), Gigabit PON (GPON). Now EPON and GPON are extensively used in the telecommunication networks.

2.1 Application of EPON
Ethernet PON (EPON) is a PON-based network that carries data traffic encapsulated in Ethernet frames (defined in the IEEE 802.3 standard). A typical EPON system consists of three components: optical line terminal (OLT), optical network unit (ONU), and optical distribution network (ODN). Utilizing PON topological structure to achieve the access of Ethernet, EPON is equipped with the dual advantages of PON and Ethernet including low cost, high bandwidth, strong scalability, excellent compatibility with Ethernet to facilitate network management, etc. Based on where ONUs are deployed, EPON application mode can be fiber to the curb (FTTC), fiber to the building (FTTB), and fiber to the home (FTTH), as shown in Figure 1.

Application of EPON in FTTB, FTTC and FTTH

Figure 1: The application of EPON in FTTB, FTTC and FTTH

In a FTTC system, ONUs are deployed at roadside or beside the junction boxes of telegraph poles. Usually, twisted-pair copper wires are used to connect the ONUs to each user, and coaxial cables are used to transmit broadband graphic services. Currently, the FTTC technology is the most practical and economical Optical Access Network (OAN) solution for providing narrow-band services below 2 Mbps. For services integrating narrowband and broadband services, however, FTTC is not the ideal solution.

In a FTTB system, ONUs are deployed within buildings, with the optical fibers led into user homes through ADSL lines, cables, or LANs. Compared with FTTC, FTTB has a higher usage of optical fiber and therefore is more suitable for user communities that need narrowband/broadband integrated services.

In a FTTH system, ONUs are deployed in user offices or homes to implement a fully transparent optical network, with the ONUs independent of the transmission mode, bandwidth, wavelength, and transmission technology. Therefore, FTTH is ideal for the long term development of optical access networks.

2.2 Application of GPON
Gigabit PON (GPON) is the far-most advanced PON solution used by European and US providers. It is somehow based on the former ATM access networks (APON, BPON), but GPON’s data encapsulation (GEM) is more generic, and accepts different network protocols, such as ATM, Ethernet and IP. A traditional GPON system is made up of three parts: optical line terminal (OLT), optical network terminal (ONT) or ONU, and optical distribution network (ODU) composed of SM fiber and splitter. GPON possess the advantages of high bandwidth, high efficiency, large coverage, abundant user interfaces, etc. In the access network, GPON can be used to fiber to the building (FTTB), fiber to the curb (FTTC), and fiber to the home (FTTH), as shown in Figure 2.

GPON-application

Figure 2: The application of GPON in FTTB, FTTC and FTTH

In a FTTB system, ONTs are deployed within buildings. GPON can be used to serve for the users of multi-dwelling units (MDU) as well as business users. When serving for MDU users, the services supported by GPON contains asymmetric broadband services (digital broadcast, VOD, IP TV) and symmetric broadband services (content broadcast, e-mail, remote diagnose). When serving for business users, the services supported by GPON are symmetric services (group software, content broadcast, e-mail). Facing diverse services, GPON must flexibly provide private line service at different rate.

In a FTTC system, ONTs are deployed at roadside or beside the junction boxes of telegraph poles. The services supported by GPON consists of asymmetric services ( digital broadcast, VOD, IP TV, files downloading, online games) and symmetric services (content broadcast, e-mail, files interaction, remote education). In addition, GPON supported the expansion of the dedicated line POTS and ISDN.

In a FTTH system, ONTs are deployed in user offices or homes. GPON supports the asymmetric services and symmetric services. The asymmetric services include data broadcast, VOD, IP TV, files downloading, etc. The symmetric services include content broadcast, e-mail, files interaction, remote education, remote diagnose, online games, etc. What’s more, GPON supported the expansion of the dedicated line POTS and ISDN.

3. Application of WDM-PON
As the new-generation access network, WDM-PON makes it possible to transmit multiple wavelengths instead of one wavelength in the PON over the same fiber, thus greatly meet the bandwidth requirements of users. In addition to its efficient use of wavelengths, the WDM-PON also has advantages in its use of optical-transmission power. The network management is much simpler than a TDM-PON, and all future services can be delivered over a single network platform.

WDM-PON can be directly used to achieve FTTC, FTTB and FTTH (see Figure 3) and provide services for business subscribers, the single-family subscribers, the multi-family subscribers and other types subscribers at the same time. WDM-PON offer abundant bandwidth to better meet the bandwidth requirements of the back transmission of 3G and LTE base station, thus becoming the optimal technology for the back transmission of mobile station. WDM-PON also can be used to support reach extension and the transition of existing EPON networks to improve the scalability as well as protect the existing network investment. What’s more WDM-PON can also be adpoted to build the hybrid WDM-TDM PON which combines the dual advantages of TDM-PON and WDM-PON with TDM-PON to be better applied in the optical communication network and provide better services for subscribers. WDM-PON is very suitable for the application environment of telecommunication.

WDM-PON application

Figure 3: The application of WDM-PON in FTTC, FTTB and FTTH

4.Joint Application of TDM-PON and WDM-PON
The combination of TDM and WDM in a PON network could be the most cost effective way of introducing TDM/WDM PON into the access network, which brings TWDM-PON into being. Figure 4 shows the architecture of TWDM-PON . Four XG-PONs are stacked by using four pairs of wavelengths {(λ1, λ5), (λ2, λ6), (λ3, λ7), (λ4, λ8)}. For simple network deployment and inventory management purposes, the ONUs use colorless tunable transmitters and receivers. The transmitter is tunable to any of the upstream wavelengths, while the receiver can tune to any of the downstream ones. To achieve a power budget higher than that of XG-PON1, optical amplifiers are employed at the OLT side to boost the downstream signals as well as to pre-amplify the upstream signals. ODN remains passive since both the optical amplifier and WDM Mux/DeMux are placed at the OLT side. Taking the advantages of TDM-PON and WDM-PON and overcoming their shortcomings, TWDM-OPN can provide higher rates and bandwidth to better serve users.

TWDM-PON architecture

Figure 4: The network architecture of TWDM-PON

TWDM-PONcould be applied in the following ways. The first one to consider is used for pay-as-you-grow provisioning. The TWDM-PON system could be deployed by starting with a single wavelength pair. It could be upgraded by adding new wavelength pairs to increase the system capacity. In this way, the operators can address the bandwidth growth demand by investing what is needed and expanding the future demand. Another application of TWDM-PON is for local loop unbundling (LLU). A TWDM-PON with multiple OLT arrangement is shown in Figure 5 for LLU. Each operator would have their own OLT, each of which would contain some set of wavelength channels. A wavelength-selective device would be used to multiplex the OLT ports onto a single fiber. The wavelength-selective device could be as simple as a filter-based demultiplexer, or it could be an arrayed waveguide router type of device. This scheme unbundles the shared infrastructure for multiple operators. It also offers the possibility of every operator’s OLT being the same (containing all the wavelengths), and a single operator could add OLT resources as they want. What’s more, TWDM-PON can applied in the above-mentioned ways of TDM-PON and WDM-PON being applied.

TWDM-PON application for LLU

Figure 5: The application of TWDM-PON for LLU

5.Conclusion
TDM-PON and WDM-PON, as the popular optical access network , are extensively used in the communication networks. WDM-PON solves the problems of limited bandwidth to each subscriber, high transmission power and poor network security exsiting in TDM-PON, becoming the new-generation access network. However, the cost WDM-PON components are relatively high, which lessen its population. Nowadays the high-speed broadband penetration and ongoing growth of the Internet traffic among customers have been placing a huge bandwidth demand on the telecommunication network. TWDM-PON, combining the advantages of TDM-PON and WDM-PON, comes into being to become the far-most advanced PON. Being able to provide higher bandwidth, higher rates in downstream and upstream and competitive cost, TWDM-PON will plays a key role in the optical communication networks.

Which cabling tools required for cabling system installation

It is advisable to use the proper tools when you start to install a data and video cabling system. If not, it will cost you many hours of frustration and diminshed quality. So, knowing what the right tools are ang where to use them is an essential part of the job.
Common cabling tools required for cabling system installation
A number of tools are common to most cabling tool kits: wire strippers, wire cutters, cable crimpers, punch-down tools, fish tape, and toning tools. Most of these tools are essential for installing even the most basic of cabling systems.>>Wire strippers

The variety of cable strippers represented in this section is a function of the many types of cable you can work with, various costs of the cable strippers, and versatility of the tools.

1. Twisted-Pair Strippers
Strippers for UTP, ScTP, and STP cablesare used to remove the outer jacket and have to accommodate the wide variation in the geometry of UTP cables. Twisted-pair cables can have irregular surfaces due to the jacket shrinking down around the pairs. Additionally, the jacket thickness can differ greatly depending on brand and flame rating. The trick is to aid removal of the jacket without nicking or otherwise damaging the insulation on the conductors underneath.

For wire (TTP/STP) or wire and multiconductor cable from 3.2mm to 9mm Ir-regulate out-shape insulation can be put into the front “V” and “U” guide, rotate the tool 1-3 times by index finger for stripping the outer insulation easily.
Note:When working with UTP, ScTP, or STP cables, you will rarely need Note to strip the insulation from the conductors. Termination of these cable types on patch panels, cross-connections, and most wall plates employs the use of insulation displacement connectors (IDCs) that make contact with the conductor by slicing through the insulation. In case you need to strip the insulation from a twisted-pair cable, keep a pair of common electrician’s strippers handy. Just make sure it can handle the finer-gauge wires such as 22, 24, and 26 AWG that are commonly used with LAN wiring.

2.Coaxial Wire Strippers

Coaxial cable strippers are designed with two or three depth settings. These settings correspond to the different layers of material in the cable. Coaxial cables are pretty standardized in terms of central-conductor diameter, thickness of the insulating and shielding layers, and thickness of

the outer jacket, making this an effective approach.

In the inexpensive (but effective for the do-it-yourself folks) model shown in Figure2, the depth settings are fixed. The wire stripper in Figure 2 can be used to strip coaxial cables (RG-58,RG-59and RG-6) to prepare them for F-type connectors.
 
Figure2:Coaxial Cable Strippers 3-blades model HT-312X

3.Fiber-Opt ic Cable Strippers

Fiber-optic cables require very specialized tools. Fortunately, the dimensions of fiber coatings,claddings, and buffers are standardized and manufactured to precise tolerances.
Figure3:FTTH Drop Cable Stripper                                                 Figure4:NO-NIK 175um Fiber Optic Stripper
                                               

The tools shown in Figure 4 that can strips loose tube (such as a 900um loose tube) and 250um, 400um or 500um coating to expose the 125um cladding without damaging the cladding.
>>Wire Cutters

If you use a regular set of lineman’s pliers to snip through coaxial and twisted-pair cables, or even use them for fiber optic cables, you will find cutting through the aramid yarns used as strength members can be difficult, and dull your pliers quickly. Aramid is used in optical fiber cable to provide additional strength.

So we need a special tool for something as mundane as cutting through the cable. Specialized cutters such as the one shown in Figure 5 are designed for multi-strand of copper or aluminum cable and brass material and preserve the geometry of the cable as they cut. This is accomplished using curved instead of flat blades


Figure5:Stanley Cable Cutting Plier 84-859-22
For fiber-optic cables, special scissors are available that cut through aramid with relative ease. Figure6 shows scissors designed for cutting and trimming the Kevlar strengthening members found in fiber-optic cables.
Figure6:Fiberstore Kevlar Cutter
>>Cable Crimpers
Modular plugs and coaxial connectors are attached to cable ends using crimpers. Crimpers are designed to apply force evenly and properly for the plug or connector being used. Some crimpers use a ratchet mechanism to ensure that a complete crimp cycle has been made. Without this special design, your crimp job will be inconsistent at best, and it may not work at all. In addition, you’ll damage connectors and cable ends, resulting in wasted time and materials.
1.Twisted-Pair Crimpers
Crimpers for twisted-pair cable must accommodate various-sized plugs. The process of crimping involves removing the cable jacket to expose the insulated conductors, inserting the conductors in the modular plug (in the proper order!), and applying pressure to this assembly using the

crimper. Modular plugs for cables with solid conductors (horizontal wiring) Note are sometimes different from plugs for cables with stranded conductors (patch cords). The crimper fits either, and some companies market a universal plug that works with either. Make sure you select the proper type when you buy plugs and make your connections.

Figure 7 shows a higher-quality crimper that has two positions: one for eight-position plugs and one for six four-position plugs.

Figure7: Twisted-Pair Crimping Tool 6p+8p HT-500R

2.Coaxial-Cable Crimpers

Coaxial-cable crimpers also are available either with changeable dies or with fixed-size crimp openings. Models aimed strictly at the residential installer will feature dies or openings suitable for applying F-type connectors to RG-58, RG-59, and RG-6 series coax. For the commercial installer, a unit that will handle dies such as RG-11 and thinnet with BNC-type connectors is also necessary.>>Punch-Down Tools

Twisted-pair cables are terminated in jacks, cross-connect blocks (66-blocks), or patch panels(110-blocks) that use insulation displacement connectors (IDCs). Essentially, IDCs are little knife blades with a V-shaped gap or slit between them. You force the conductor down into the V and
the knife blades cut through the insulation and make contact with the conductor. Although you could accomplish this using a small flat-blade screwdriver, doing so is not recommended. It would be sort of like hammering nails with a crescent wrench. The correct device for inserting a

conductor in the IDC termination slot is a punch-down tool.

A punch-down tool is really just a handle with a special “blade” that fits a particular IDC. There are two main types of IDC terminations: the 66-block and the 110-block. The 66-block terminals have a long history rooted in voice cross-connections. The 110-block is a newer design, originally associated with AT&T but now generic in usage. In general, 110-type IDCs are used for data, and 66-type IDCs are used for voice, but neither is absolutely one or the other. Different blades are used depending on whether you are going to be terminating on 110-blocks or 66-blocks. Although the blades are very different, most punch-down tools are designed to accept either. In fact, most people purchase the tool with one and buy the other as an accessory, so that one tool serves two terminals.

1.Punch-down tools are available as nonimpact in their least expensive form. Nonimpact tools generally require more effort to make a good termination, but they are well suited for people who only occasionally perform punch-down termination work.

2.The better-quality punch-down tools are spring-loaded impact tools. When you press down and reach a certain point of resistance, the spring gives way, providing positive feedback that the termination is made. Typically, the tool will adjust to high- and low-impact settings. Figure 8
shows an impact punch-down tool. Notice the dial near the center of the tool—it allows the user to adjust the impact setting. The manufacturer of the termination equipment you are using will recommend the proper impact setting.
Figure8:Pros’kit Impact Punch Down Tool PD-3141C

Fluke Networks Introduced New Versiv Familiy Cable Certification

Network test and monitoring solutions provider Fluke Network recently unveiled a new line of Versiv cable certification tester, which greatly improved the test time and accuracy as well as simplified the testing setup, planning, and reporting. This new line has an interchangeable module for copper, fiber and Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) testing with new software innovations.

The new Versiv family addresses the entire certification lifecycle and lower instances in which mistakes are made, thereby increasing the amount of installations that can be performed. The The new ProjX management system provides the overall umbrella for the Versivfamily of capabilities. It enables team leaders to set up test parameters to work across multiple jobs and media, as well as accelerates the planning and setup of projects by enabling technicians to capture consistent test parameters across an entire job. Test can be also performed across the entire job or switching between jobs by checking the different projects stored within the Versiv tester.

Versiv system’s interface is designed for ease of use in global ISO Level V test compliance applications. The tester is interfaced with an intuitive touchscreen which will give the detailed project analysit. If technicians run into a problem that can’t be addressed immediately, they can create a to-do list so it can be assessed by a more experienced technician. The new Versiv Cabling Certification family lets installer perform:

One platform for copper certification, fiber loss and OTDR testing

Certifies to Level V accuracy requirements for Cat6, Cat6A or Class FA

Test fibers with fully-compliant Encircled Flux measurement and merged Tier 1 (Basic) and Tier 2 (Extended) results

Versiv’s ProjX management system makes managing complex jobs easy.

Certify copper to Cat6A or Class FA in just 10 seconds.

Certify two fibers at two wavelengths in both directions in just three seconds

“When doing cabling installation and certification, the difference between having a job be profitable versus a loss, is often times just a few percentage points,” said Jason Wilbur, vice president and general manager of the datacom cabling installation business unit at Fluke Networks, via a press release. “In 2004, we defined the certification market with the introduction of our industry leading tester, the DTX, which was focused on certification testing speed. But today’s challenges have changed and our customers must improve their agility and reduce errors when working across multiple mediums, codes, and projects. The Versiv family is razor focused on helping our contractors profitably manage the complexities that are now part of their new normal.”

This new Versiv Cabling Certification family will shortly be available at FiberStore.