A Quick Guide to 100GE Ethernet Optical Transceivers
100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GE) is today widely used in data centres around the world. It’s a powerful technology and it’s no surprise that it has found traction so fast. However, the hard part is to choose the right 100GE Ethernet optical transceiver. With so many options available in the market, choosing the one that fits your needs can be very confusing. In this article, we clear some of the confusion you might have about these devices.
An optical transceiver is essentially an electronic and photonic device which transmits and receives signals through optical fiber. There are two things you should know about a 100GE optical transceiver before selecting one – its form factor and specification.
100GE Ethernet Optical Transceiver Specification
100GE optical transceivers are defined by many different specifications in the market. These specifications are developed by a standards body such as IEEE. They could also be developed by an industry consortium as under MSA or multisource agreement.
Optical transceivers do not interoperate with each other if they belong to different specifications. Consider a 100G CLR4 transceiver, for example. It cannot interoperate with a 100G CWDM4 transceiver by default, even if they are pretty much the same.
It is possible to deliver data at a rate of 100 Gbps through the fiber using two mechanisms:
- Duplex: In this case, the data transmission of 100 Gbps is transmitted through one fiber and received on a different fiber.
- Parallel: Here a data transmission of 100 Gbps is transmitted through multiple fibers. So you can have four fibers for transmitting and four for receiving.
100GE Ethernet Optical Transceiver Form Factor
Also important to note is the form factor of the optical transceivers. The 100GE optical transceiver consists of various types of form factors to be used along with the pluggable modules. So you can use the CXP and CFP form factors with the 100GE transceiver. New versions of such transceivers are also available in the market such as CFP2, CFP4 and QSFP28.
Each form factor has a subtle variation when it comes to power dissipation (as in heat dissipation) and size. The transceiver form factors specify the port density of the network on the line cards of the switch. The network port density is critical to users. QSFP28 is the most widely used form factor for the 100GE Ethernet optical transceiver.
We have discussed 100GE Ethernet Optical Transceivers and why they are important. Selecting the right combination of the form factor and the specification of the various transceiver modules increases the complexity of the 100GE Ethernet transceiver according to your requirements. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to know more.