Ixia & TE Connectivity Demo 400G OSFP

OSFP direct-attach cable boasts 8 high-speed PAM4 electrical lanes

June 7, 2017

3 Min Read

CALABASAS, Calif. -- Ixia, a leading provider of network testing, visibility, and security solutions, announced today a collaboration with TE Connectivity Ltd. (TE) (NYSE: TEL), a world leader in connectivity and sensors, to deliver a live demonstration of 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) traffic with an Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable (OSFP) solution, reflecting that this technology is available for adoption.

OSFP is a new pluggable form factor with eight high speed electrical lanes that supports 400 Gbps (8x50G) data rates while allowing up to 32 OSFP ports per 1RU front panel, enabling 12.8 Tbps per 1U. It is expected that 400G optics will require more power than 100G optics, and OSFP addresses this reality by using an integrated heat-sink that significantly improves the thermal performance and enables modules with up to 16W power in a switch chassis with conventional airflow. In addition, the form factor volume (LxHxW) supports packaging of both client side and line side optical solutions (DWDM and/or coherent), as well as supporting 26 AWG direct attach copper cable assemblies for maximum reach. OSFP is the only optimal 400 Gbps form factor solution to demonstrate this combination of features and enhanced performance.

The live demonstration, available to all attendees, will take place in the Ixia Booth 4Y17 at Interop Tokyo, June 7th – 9th at Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan. The first of its kind, this demonstration will include Ixia and TE working together to send and receive IEEE802.3bs compliant, line rate 400 GbE traffic via 50 Gbps four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4) electrical lanes over the OSFP form factor with TE’s new OSFP connector, cage, and 1m copper cable assembly.

Eric Himelright, vice president of Product Management at TE Connectivity’s Data and Devices business unit, stated, “The combination of Ixia’s signaling technology and TE’s OSFP interconnect expertise enables this 400 Gbps demonstration, providing solutions for customers who want to push the limits of connectivity and data capability. We are excited to work with Ixia to lead the next generation of Ethernet signaling based on 400 Gbps and preview our OSFP demonstration at the Interop expo in Tokyo.”

The 400GbE ecosystem has been designed to address the growing bandwidth requirements of expanding hyperscale data centers. In fact, the market size for hyperscale data centers, at $86.9 billion in 2016, is anticipated to be $359.7 billion in 2023.

Ixia currently supports and collaborates with the OSFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) to help drive the effectiveness and efficiency of 400 GbE technology. The OSFP MSA is comprised of approximately 80 industry leaders who are tasked with defining the form factor for new 400 GbE transceiver modules and cables that will support the full range of 400 GbE technologies, from datacenter to metro reach.

Based on its own Forward Error Correction (FEC) and Physical Coding Sublayer (PCS) intellectual property, Ixia was the first company to demonstrate line rate 400GbE technology by combining eight electrical lanes of 50 Gbps, defined as 400GAUI-8 by IEEE802.3bs, via four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4).

“400 GbE technology is crucial to reducing the cost per bit of data traffic, especially as the global growth in cloud computing and big data is driving a massive increase in machine-to-machine traffic and east-west communication in web-scale data centers,” said Matt Bergeron, Chief Technology Officer at Ixia. “However, the development of 400 GbE optics is quite challenging. Ixia is participating in the OSFP MSA to help organizations reduce the obstacles associated with 400 GbE adoption.”

Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA)
TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL)

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