Leading Communications Companies Release the QSFP Specification: The Industry's Highest Density Pluggable Optical Module
Highest Density Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) optical module complements industry standard SFP optical module for Telecommunications and Data Communications Equipment.
August 2, 2006 – Several industry leading communications companies today announced the release of a Quad (4-channel) Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) optical module specification draft for public review. The group has developed a common specification for multi-sourcing, application-agnostic, highest density, pluggable optical modules. These modules optimize real-estate, power, and port density requirements in networking equipment while keeping synergy and compatibility to installed optical module interconnect infrastructure.
Current members of the QSFP MSA group include the following companies:
The QSFP Specification defines a highly integrated 4-channel optical transceiver to replace four standard SFP transceiver modules providing increased port density and total system cost saving. The device will support Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and SONET/SDH standards with different data rate options. The QSFP MSA document specifies a transceiver module mechanical form factor with latching mechanism, host board electrical edge connector and cage. The hot-pluggable module integrates four transmit and four receive channels with a standard MPO parallel optical connector. The QSFP device features digital diagnostic capability to monitor the link performance. The module is designed to enable extremely high-density applications with stacked and ganged configurations. This highly integrated transceiver module will enable network equipment manufacturers to increase port density and system data throughput and consequently reduce costs per Gigabit per second.
With a port density of three times higher than traditional SFP transceivers, the QSFP can be used to replace four standard SFP modules in space that is only 30 percent larger than a single SFP; The QSFP requires approximately the same front-panel space of an XFP module. Due to the increased capabilities, over 3X (3.11) times more transceivers can be placed in a given area on a switch or product. The QSFP's unique design repackages the existing SFP transceiver in a way which utilizes a 12-fiber ribbon instead of individual fibers.
Additionally the QSFP design supports Ethernet, Fibre Channel, Infiniband and SDH/SONET with data rates up to 5Gb/s per channel. The QSFP platform demonstrates potential for aggregated higher volumes and improved economics realized from several protocols/applications using the same transceiver. The QSFP MSA is the world's first Z-pluggable parallel optical transceiver and has multi-vendor support offering potential customers a variety of purchasing options.
The QSFP group brings together leading networking, system, optical module, semiconductor and connector companies from both the telecommunications and data communications markets. In addition, the inherent 4+4 channel architecture of QSFP lends itself to increase distances supported by multi-lane serial I/O electrical interconnects like PCI Express (PCIe) and Infiniband.
Benefits of QSFP
the QSFP MSA:
All trademarks mentioned in this release are properties of their respective owners.
MSA members can be contacted directly by visiting the QSFP MSA website