JDSU Joins XFP Fray
XFP is one of four multiservice agreements (MSAs) for 10-Gbit/s optical transceivers, the others being XENPAK, XPAK, and X2 (see PHY Chips).
Because XFP is a serial option -- the others split 10-Gbit/s signals into four slower channels -- it's sort of a high-end play that was expected to develop after the other three. But transceiver vendors have claimed XFP is finding some early interest among OEMs (see XFP Gets the Fast Track).
Today, JDSU plans to announce the JXP series of XFP-compliant modules. The first JXPs, using 850-nanometer Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs), are available for volume shipments.
A tangled zoo of vendors is pursuing the XFP market, and a few have begun shipping full modules. A couple of random examples: Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX) announced samples of its 850nm and 1310nm XFP modules in March. And Ignis Optics has been sampling beta versions of 1310nm modules since February, says Ignis's director of marketing, Steve Joiner.
The 850nm modules are more suited for short distances -- less than 300 meters, typically -- whereas 1310nm devices target longer reaches. So by starting with 850nm parts, JDSU will first be targeting short-reach connections, such as linking boxes within a data center, rather than in access or metro networks.
But it's not as if the company is betting entirely on 850nm. It plans to announce its 1310nm XFP modules by the end of the year, once they're ready to ship in volume.
Some customers might have preferred seeing the 1310nm part ship first -- "It depends on your view of where XFP is going to go," says JDSU product manager Leland Day. The only certainty in planning the XFP launch was that 1550nm, suited for wide-area networking, was going to wait. "There are some people that would push a very small amount [of 1550nm XFP sales] perhaps later this year -- but that's extremely small volumes," Day says.
— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading