Gigalight 100G Optical Modules Passed the Connectivity Test of Multiple Cloud Service Providers

Shenzhen, China, May 19, 2018 – Gigalight announced the 100G series optical transceiver modules have passed the connectivity test of multiple cloud service providers. The Gigalight 100G series products include 100G QSFP28 SR4 multi-mode VCSEL optical modules and 100G QSFP28 CWDM4 single-mode WDM optical modules. The interconnection test covers the mainstream cloud devices of major brand equipment vendors and the optical transceiver module products of our partners.

Qualified 100G Series Optical Transceiver Modules

Gigalight has always been among the top 10 companies in the world of optical interconnects with its invention of active optical cables and deep innovation. However, Gigalight is essentially an integrated solution provider of optical transceiver modules and optical network devices. Gigalight ships a large number of 10G multimode and 10G single-mode optical modules and 40G multimode SR4 optical modules to the world. In the field of 40G single-mode optical modules, Gigalight's main customers include global TIE1 equipment vendors. The cloud service providers have directly verified Gigalight's 100G optical modules since the end of 2017. The successful interconnection results so far have greatly encouraged Gigalight's confidence in deploying 100G optical modules in bulk in the cloud.

Global Data Center Infrastructure Ecosystem

Global Data Center Infrastructure Ecosystem

Gigalight has a deep optical interconnect product line. Among this product line, the multimode optical interconnect products based on the VCSEL technology applications are the traditional advantages of Gigalight, including the cost-effective and reliable 100G QSFP28 SR4 optical modules with good compatibility. The single-mode 100G series short-range optical modules were developed in 2016 and this time passed the threshold of full-brand compatibility and interoperability testing after optical design thresholds and reliability verification thresholds. Finally, they will not lose pace in the industry's striding forward in 2018.

As a global optical interconnect design innovator, Gigalight has prepared the best 100G optical modules for industry users.

About Gigalight:

Gigalight is a global optical interconnection design innovator. We design, manufacture and supply various kinds of optical interconnect products including optical transceivers, passive optical components, active optical cables, GIGAC™ MTP/MPO cablings, and cloud programmers & checkers, etc. These products are designed for three main applications which are Data Center & Cloud Computing, Metro & Broadcast Network, and WIreless & 5G Optical Transport Network. Gigalight takes the advantages of exclusive design to provide customers with one-stop optical network devices and cost-effective products.


Differences between 10G SFP+ DAC and 10G SFP+ Transceivers

The development of artificial intelligence and Internet of things presents new challenges to the expansion of data centers, and there is often a contradiction between technology and cost. In order to realize high density and high capacity, it is important to control cost factors and reasonable wiring. In the wiring, we can choose the high-speed cable and the optical transceiver cables, so how do we choose these two products in the actual scene? What are the differences and what advantages do they have? Let's study together about the differences between 10G SFP+ DAC and 10G SFP+ transceivers.

As a transmission medium, 10G SFP+ DAC and 10G optical transceivers can be selected. What is the difference between the two?

  • The 10G DAC is connected to two switches through copper cables. The SFP+ optical transceiver is connected to the jumpers to connect the two switches.
  • 10G DAC is short-distance transmission; the longest distance is 15M, used in the engine room.
  • The SFP+ transceiver can perform long-distance transmission. The longest single fiber is 80KM, and the longest dual fiber is 100KM.

The Advantages of 10G SFP+ DAC:

The 10G DAC is a copper cable designed with SFP+ connectors on both ends and is less expensive than a 10G optical transceiver.

The use of 10G DAC wiring is more flexible, transmission distance up to 15 meters, in the actual construction process is less difficult to operate.

10G DAC cabling saves on connected devices, eliminating the need for patch panels, and servers and network equipment can be directly connected to TOR switches, which indirectly save on input costs.

The Advantage of 10G SFP+ Transceivers:

If the vertical distance of the wiring does not exceed the cabinet, 10G DACs can be used for the connection. When the distance between the TOR switch and the network switch is greater than 15M, multimode optical fibers and fiber transceivers can be selected. Usually, OM3/OM4 LC fiber jumpers and 10G SFP+ optical transceivers are used. In other words, 10G SFP+ optical transceivers are widely used in long-distance transmission.

Gigalight provides high-speed direct connection solutions for data center interconnection, including 10G SFP+ to SFP+ high-speed cable solutions, which not only reduces power consumption, but also increases network scalability. Want to learn more about the product details? You can visit our website.


Single-wave 100G Optical Transceivers: the Best Solution for the Next Generation of Data Center

Data center industry is facing unprecedented development opportunity; the development of various applications of network gave rise to the vast amounts of data requirements. The artificial intelligence has brought high density calculation. All of the information technology has led to the data center to develop to a higher density, higher bandwidth.

The number of QSFP28 optical transceivers used for optical interconnection in data centers only in 2017 has reached nearly 3 million, and the annual compound growth rate of over 100 percent has continued to increase to 2021, as shown in figure 1:

100G QSFP28 optical transceiver series products for data centers have entered the technology maturity, and rapidly develop in the second half of 2016, among which the fastest growing is the QSFP28 optical transceivers used in the data center interconnection. 

Single-wave 100G QSFP28 DR1/FR1 Optical Transceivers Have Become Popular Solutions

At the current market, the optical transceivers based on 4*25G NRZ technology are mainly used for the 100G solution. This technology has a wide range of products in transmission distances: 100m SR4/SWDM4, 300m eSR4, 500m PSM4/CWDM4 Lite, and 2km CLR4/CWDM4. These different types of products create great difficulties for the interconnection, interoperability and compatibility of the Internet, thereby increasing the cost of data centers. Therefore, single-wave 100G optical transceivers are increasingly concerned by Internet companies. According to IEEE regulations, DR1/FR1 is based on the PAM4 modulation format and supports a single-channel 100Gbps (53GBd) class of physical media dependence. DR1 can support single-mode fiber transmission at least 500m; FR1 supports 2km transmission. Compared with the current 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers (4*25Gbps), DR1/FR1 uses only one optical device, which can greatly save the cost of optical transceivers. The DR1/FR1 optical transceivers based on the QSFP28 package can be completely compatible with the existing 100G switch. 

Single-wave 100G Optical Transceivers Will Be the Best Solution for the Next Generation of Data Center

From the product application level, 100G QSFP28 DR1/FR1 optical transceiver can be considered as the solution for the next-generation 100G QSFP28 optical transceivers, and they can cover the transmission distance of the vast majority of data center optical interconnections. And it is expected to replace all current QSFP28 optical transceiver solutions within 500m, which effectively avoids the problem of 100G optical transceiver solution selection and interconnection. Another important application of DR1 is that it can be used for fan-out connection with DR4, between the top switch and the server. From the perspective of the evolution of technology R&D, DR1/FR1 can be used as the basis for research on LR1 (electrical solutions are almost the same), and it can also accumulate corresponding data for the development of DR4/FR4 (optoelectronic solutions are all the same, only the expansion of channels).

From the technical level, 100G QSFP28 DR1/FR1 technology uses the PAM4 modulation technology, which greatly improves the signal rate and can effectively reduce the number of signal channels compared to the NRZ modulation technology. The PAM4 modulation technology replaces the existing NRZ modulation technology in the next-generation 400G optical transceiver products, reducing the size of the optical transceivers and reducing power consumption, thereby reducing the cost of the optical transceivers.


An Overview on 100G QSFP28 4WDM and 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite Optical Transceivers

There are two new QSFP28 optical transceiver products appeared in the optical module market: 100G QSFP28 4WDM 40km optical transceiver and 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite optical transceiver in last month. However, many people don’t know too much about the 100G QSFP28 4WDM 40km optical transceiver and 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite optical transceiver. Here Gigalight is going to have a brief introduction about the two products to help you have a better understanding and make the right choice when purchasing them. 

Introduction on 100G QSFP28 4WDM:

4WDM MSA (http://4wdm-msa.org/) defines our familiar CWDM4 and 4WDM products with different distances and wavelengths (2km/10km/20km/40km). It’s shown as follows.

2km and 10km use CWDM wavelength; 20km and 40km use LAN WDM wavelength.
Because of the difference in the size of the CWDM and LAN WDM wavelengths, the wavelength-transmitting TOSA for LAN WDM must be carried with a TEC (Thermo Electric Cooler). As the stable wavelength drifts with temperature, TEC consumes an extra 0.5W of power, so the overall power consumption of optical transceivers with LAN WDM wavelengths will be higher than that of CWDM optical transceivers.

The BER requirement of module product defined by 4WDM MSA is better than 5E-5, because the system or switching equipment has the FEC front-end error correction function to meet the overall link bit error rate requirements. FEC has pros and cons, it increases packet delay and overall power consumption of the device while enabling. For example, when multiple devices in the network architecture enable FEC, the delay of FEC is cumulative, which is fatal for a dedicated network requiring high real-time performance, like financial trading system and so on.

Introduction on 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite:

IEEE 802.3ba defines that the 100GBASE-LR4 / 100GBASE-ER4 series has a BER requirement of better than 1E-12 w / o FEC for optical modules. Since the receiving sensitivity of 100GBASE-ER4 is not satisfied with the existing APD technology, the SOA size is too large for the QSFP28 series; many optical module companies in the industry defined a non-standard 100GBASE-ER4 Lite with QSFP28 package that the largest transmission distance is up to 30km without FEC.

The receiving sensitivity of 100GBASE-ER4 Lite 30km has no clear definition in IEEE802.3ba. At the current level of 100G APD ROSA, the average of OMA Sensitivity is around -17dbm (BER 1E-12@25.78125Gbps). The description of the100GBASE-ER4 Lite products in the industry is defined as 30km w/o FEC, 40km with FEC. During product development, I deliberately tested 40km OTU 27.95Gbps 70-degree long-distance running error in a laboratory environment. It meets the 1E-12 BER w / o FEC. The receiver sensitivity data cannot meet the requirements of protocol 100GBASE-ER4. The running fiber can meet the 40km application.

Difference between 100G QSFP28 4WDM and 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite

The 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite supports dual rate 100GE and OTU4 applications, while the 100G QSFP28 4WDM 40km only supports 100GE applications.


With the development of device packaging technology, there is a plan to develop a small SOA + PIN integrated ROSA in the industry. When the technology is mature, the QSFP28 products meeting the 100GBASE-ER4 standard will also be released. And now Gigalight has released the latest 100G QSFP28 4WDM 40KM optical transceiver and 100G QSFP28 ER4 Lite 40KM optical transceiver. For more product details, you can directly visit its official website.


Why 100G Optical Transceivers Are So Popular in 5G Fronthaul

Today we are going to talk about a segmentation closely related to the 5G theme - 100G optical transceivers. Recently, there has been a new landmark theme, which is "100G optical transceiver", what are the reasons?

What Are 100G Optical Transceivers?

1. The first explain is that the 100G "G" refers to the optical signal transmission rate of units, rather than the 5G "G" (Generation, 5th generation mobile communications).

2. Optical transceiver is one of optical devices to achieve high-speed conversion between optical signals. It includes the optical receiver, optical transmitter, laser, detector and other functional modules.

3. According to the packaging types (CFP / XFP / SFP / QSFP, etc.), the transmission rate (155Mbps ~ 200Gbps), optical link (CWDM / DWDM / PSM), mode (Single-mode / Multi-mode), Plug-in/out mode (Fixed / Hot-pluggable) and other categories, optical transceivers have various kinds of categories. If considering the operating temperature range, whether the number of self-diagnostic functions and performance classification elements, optical transceiver categories are more.

4. The basic structure of an optical transceiver includes a laser (TOSA) + driving circuit, a detector (ROSA) + receiving circuit, a multiplexer (MUX), a demultiplexer (DEMUX), an interface, an auxiliary circuit and a housing.

5. Driven by technological upgrading and cost reduction, the optical transceiver continues to be "high speed, miniaturization and integration." 100G optical transceivers use 25G laser chip technology. According to the different packaging methods, 100G optical transceivers are CFP / CFP2 / CFP4, CXP and QSFP28. QSFP28 is a new generation of 100G optical transceiver packaging, and has now become the mainstream packaging of optical transceivers.

6. 100G optical transceivers have different models and standards. Generally speaking, the transmission rate of optical signals is much higher than that of low-rate 10G and 25G products. Now they have become the star products in large-scale data centers and telecom markets.

Why Are 100G Optical Transceivers So Popular?

1. From the Market Segmentation Point of View

 The optical transceiver market can be subdivided into Telecom, Datacom and Access markets. Access market generally use 10G and below the low-speed optical transceiver. North American data center market is undergoing 40G to 100G upgrading, the current high-speed optical transceiver is the main growth point. After 5G construction started, the telecommunications market for high-speed optical transceiver demand will be larger than the data center market.

2. The Relationship between Optical Transceivers and 5G

With the evolution of 5G technology, based on the requirement of higher base station density, there will be greater new demand and market space for high-rate optical transceivers. At present, LTE base stations of 4G mainly use 10G optical transceivers, and 25G / 100G optical transceivers are the preferred solutions of the front 5G optical transmission modules in the future.

(1) At present, the market demand for digital communications is growing rapidly: the demand for high-end optical transceivers in Internet data centers is accelerating, especially in overseas digital communications markets. In the data center server and switch, a large number of connections are using optical communication technology; data center network has become the driving force for the growth of optical transceivers. With the construction of large-scale data centers and the outbreak of traffic, the demand for optical transceivers in the data center has been shifted from 10G / 25G to 40G / 100G and 100G has become the mainstream since 2017. 

(2) The rapid increase of optical transceiver industry profit in 2016 was mainly due to the sharp increase in the demand for 100G optical transceiver in North American cloud computing center. The demand for optical transceiver increased sharply, and 100G optical transceiver in the market was in short supply. It is estimated that the global 100G optical transceiver shipments in 2017 will reach 200-300 million.

(3) Telecommunication Network Market (Three Major Carrier Capital Expenditure Items): Optical communication is the cornerstone of 5G and the demand of 5G for high-rate optical transceivers increases. At present, LTE base stations of 4G mainly use 10G optical transceivers, and 25G / 100G optical transceivers are the preferred solutions of the 5G fronthaul optical transceivers in the future.

Each base station needs 12 25G / 100G optical transceivers: one base station has one BBU and connects to three RRUs, and each BBU uses three pairs of six optical transceivers, each pair uses two pairs of RRUs, for a total of 12 optical transceivers. Theoretically, due to the characteristics such as high frequency, high density and high connection of 5G, the domestic future needs to build nearly 10 million base stations, that is, the demand of hundreds of millions of optical transceivers, and the number of base stations in North America is 10 million, The demand for high-speed optical transceivers brought by 5G construction will be even greater. At present, there are many kinds of mature 100G optical transceivers in the market, like 100G QSFP28 CWDM4, 100G QSFP28 PSM4 and 100G CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 optical modules provided by Gigalight. They cover the mainstream form factors: CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 / QSFP28 and can be used for a variety of optical network bearer demand.


The Differences between CWDM Optical Modules and Other Modules

CWDM optical module adopts CWDM technology, which can combine optical signals with different wavelengths through an external wavelength division multiplexer. It saves fiber resources by transmitting through one optical fiber. At the same time, the receiving end needs to use the wave-demultiplexer to decompose the complex optical signal. In addition, CWDM optical modules can be plugged into switch or router SFP ports. This article will describe in detail what CWDM optical modules are and what are the differences between CWDM optical modules and other modules.

The Main Form Factors and Type of CWDM Optical Modules

There are three types of CWDM optical module form factors: SFP, SFP + and XFP. The transmission distance is generally as follows: 40KM, 80KM, 100KM, and 120KM.
CWDM optical modules can be divided into: CWDM SFP optical module, CWDM GBIC optical module, CWDM SFP + optical module, CWDM XFP optical module, CWDM X2 optical module, CWDMXENPAK optical module and CWDM LX-4 optical module.

The Differences between CWDM Optical Modules and Ordinary Optical Modules

CWDM optical modules are passive modules that do not emit laser. They generally use optical planar waveguide (PLC) technology; just a beam of light is divided into several beams of light. The ordinary optical modules belong to the photoelectric conversion device, which are active optical modules. Each module has two ports for receiving and transmitting, and the launch port inside is a laser.

CWDM Optical Modules VS DWDM Optical Modules: Which One to Choose?

The principle of DWDM optical modules is similar to CWDM optical modules, except that DWDM optical module are optical modules for dense wavelength division multiplexing, and has 40 common channels to choose from.

CWDM optical modules are widely used in schools, data centers, FTTH (Fiber to the Home), 1G and 2G Fiber Channel, metro Ethernet, security and protection systems and other fields.

DWDM optical modules are mainly used in long-distance optical synchronous digital transmission networks, such as Ethernet / Fiber Channel with 200km links and 80km links.

From a cost point of view, CWDM optical modules are cheaper than DWDM optical modules. CWDM optical modules provide a convenient and cost-effective solution for using Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel.

DWDM optical modules, on the other hand, typically use denser channel spacing and are used for large optical networks over longer distances. If you want long-distance SFP modules, DWDM optical modules are the ideal choice.

The Main Differences between CWDM4 and PSM4 

CWDM4 optical module transmission rate is 103.1Gbp, mainly used in computing, high frequency trading and other fields. Its cost is significantly higher than QSFP28 PSM4.

1. The optical transmitter: PSM4 needs four integrated silicon photonic modulator and a distributed feedback laser, and CWDM4 needs four CWDM direct modulation laser;

2. The connector: PSM4 needs a MPO connector with 8 fibers, CWDM4 needs duplex LC connector;

3. The optical fiber: PSM4 is a ribbon SMF (8 core), CWDM4 is a duplex SMF;

4. The transmission distance: PSM4 is 500 meters, CWDM4 is 2000 meters

5. The four wavelength of CWDM multiplexer: PSM4 does not need, but CWDM4 needs.

In Conclusion 

CWDM optical modules are multi-rate optical modules with 20-40km, 40-80km and 80-120km transmission distances. The optical modules of different wavelengths are marked with different colors to better meet customer requirements.


5G Ultra-dense Networking Drives the Outbreak of Optical Module Market

Mobile communication is an important driving force for the development of optical networks. It is also self-evident that the development of optical modules is of great importance. We know that the optical module market can be subdivided into the Telecom market, the Datacom market and the Access market. Among them, the Telecom market is the "main battlefield" competed by the optical module industry. The biggest surprise for the future Telecom market is the evolution of 5G technology. Based on the requirement of 5G higher rate, higher capacity and higher base station density, there will be greater new demand and market space for high rate optical modules.

The Demands of Optical Transceivers for 5G Network

Although the current 5G is still in the standard stage, major equipment manufacturers have actively carried out joint trials with operators to strive to achieve 5G commercial use by 2020. "5G is commercial, carrying is the first.” It is predicted that the future number of 5G base stations will exceed 10 million, which will bring the surge in demand for optical modules in quantity. Compared with 4G technology, 5G data transmission rate is 10 to 100 times that of 4G, which means that the number of optical modules used by a single base station will increase substantially when the optical module rate remains unchanged.

We simply use a formula to represent the demand of a 5G optical module: optical module requirement (F) = base station number (m) * single base station module requirement (n). In the 5G era, compared with 4G, m and n will be significantly improved. Therefore, under the 5G construction period, the optical module will become one of the most flexible segments in the 5G industry chain. In addition, the demand for optical modules for the construction of large-scale data centers will also increase with the outbreak of 5G traffic.

To sum up, it is helpful for optical module suppliers to get ahead in the 5G era when they grasp the demand for optical modules in 5G networks in advance. So what are the specific demands of 5G optical modules? What are the mature products in the industry can initially meet the needs of 5G load? We try to analyze in the following parts.

Why Will the 100G Optical Transceivers Become the Mainstream for 5G Network?

Compared with 4G networks, 5G rebuilds the BBU into a separate architecture of CU (Centralized Unit) and DU (Distributed Unit), so its bearer needs an additional layer of intermediate network. Fronthaul - middlehaul – backhaul, the three carrier network requirements for optical modules are different. For 5G fronthaul, the CPRI bandwidth per 10MHz single-antenna port is about 614.4Mbps under ideal transmission conditions. The typical 5G wireless bandwidth is 100M ~ 1G, the peak is 20G, the antenna port may be 64 or 128. After a simple conversion, 5G fronthaul network granularity should be 25Gbps, which has been generally accepted by the industry. It can be inferred that the future 50Gbps and 100Gbps of the 5G pre-transmission modules will be the mainstream. For 5G middle haul, it will use DWDM ring network structure, transmission distance 10 ~ 40km, n * 25G technology. This means that 100G optical modules are highly likely candidates for 5G messenger. For 5G backhaul, either with the network can be merged, but also separate. According to the future OTN networking, n * 100G technology will be adopted; if there is no OTN networking and 200G / 400G optical module technology. But no matter what kind of technology, 100G and above ultra-high-speed optical module must become the mainstream for the 5G market.


In conclusion, the demand of the 100G optical module by the 5G network is very urgent. At present, there are many kinds of mature 100G optical transceivers in the market, like 100G QSFP28 CWDM4, 100G QSFP28 PSM4 and 100G CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 optical modules provided by Gigalight. They cover the mainstream form factors: CFP / CFP2 / CFP4 / QSFP28 and can be used for a variety of optical network bearer demand. In particular, 100G QSFP28 and 100G CFP4 have the advantages of more compact, high module integration, transmission efficiency, power consumption and cost-effectiveness.