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How To Use QSFP28 Transceivers For 100g Data Centre Connectivit

Dec. 24, 2021

The most straightforward way to connect 100G traffic is to use standard transceivers, and there are a variety of cables and transceivers available for this purpose. In order to provide a cost-optimized solution for connecting switches together in a rack or data center, Ethernet switch suppliers want to maximize the density of optical transceiver ports on their equipment. This allows them to offer the maximum number of channels and the lowest cost per bit of traffic.

Most of these switch suppliers choose the smallest form factor transceiver available: the QSFP28 transceiver. It is the smallest module available and has the lowest power consumption of any module capable of handling 100G traffic. It is also worth noting that the QSFP28 has the same physical dimensions as the QSFP+, which is typically used for 40G traffic. This means that switch vendors can increase traffic throughput by a factor of 2.5 without having to redesign the front panel of their switch.

QSFP28 SR4 100G Optical Transceiver Module

QSFP28 SR4 100G Optical Transceiver Module

QSFP28 cable assemblies

A convenient, low-cost way to connect 100G devices, using a single assembly instead of three discrete components. Fewer parts are required, but most importantly, the use of cable assemblies eliminates many of the problems associated with dirty connectors. DAC (direct connect cable) exists from 0-15m and AOC (active optical cable) up to 70m. AOC cable assemblies offer similar performance to discrete transceivers and fiber optic cables.

QSFP28 transceivers

The short-range QSFP28-SR4 transceiver supports connections of up to 100m over multimode fiber. This method is similar to using AOC cables, but here structured cabling can be used. They use more expensive non-standard MPO (multi-push/pull cable) connectors, which offsets some of the cost savings of the transceiver.

The long-range QSFP28-LR4 versions support connections of up to 10 km over single-mode fiber. They use standard LC connectors and use existing structured LC cabling.

100GBASE-QSFP28-CWDM4-10km Optical Transceiver Module

 100GBASE-QSFP28-CWDM4-10km Optical Transceiver Module      

How to achieve the best of both worlds in the enterprise data center

The ideal solution would allow best-in-class 100G switches and routers with low power consumption and maximum port count - at a low cost per bit - to be used in the data center. Then, for those situations where traffic from these switches and routers needs to be connected over long distances or over DWDM networks, there should be a simple, easy to install and operate solution that is cost-effective to own and operate. 

Guanglian’s 100G QSFP28 ER4 Optical Transceiver Module is designed for use in 100GBASE Ethernet and 4x28G OTN client interfaces throughput up to 40km over single-mode fiber (SMF) with duplex LC connectors. Taking EML TOSA+SOA+PIN ROSA+PCBA separate design, it has great reliability, airtightness, and heat dissipation performance. This transceiver is compliant with IEEE 802.3ba 100GBASE-ER4 and OTU4 4I1-9D1F standards. 

100G QSFP28 ER4 Optical Module

 100G QSFP28 ER4 Optical Module 

Digital diagnostics functions are also available via the I2C interface, as specified by the QSFP28 MSA, to allow access to real-time operating parameters. It is suitable to be used in various applications, such as 100G Ethernet, 112G OTN OTU4, telecom, access network, data center interconnection, and 5G wireless network.

Providing the best of both worlds allows users to get all the benefits of a QSFP28 transceiver in a data communications device, while also getting the benefits of carrier quality traffic transport between sites. Enterprise data centers can now use simpler, plug-and-play solutions that are flexible, scalable, and designed to meet their needs, rather than using expensive products designed for large telecom operators.

For more information on using QSFP28 transceivers for data center connectivity without sacrificing the need for long-distance traffic, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.  

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