Since Tencent began to explore next generation 400G datacenter networks in 2018, Rosenberger and Tencent have maintained a close-working, cooperative, relationship in the application of 400G technology. On April 10, 2019, Tencent Beijing held a “400G Interconnection Networking Performance Test” organized by Tencent, Rosenberger, Cisco, Ixia, and many optical transceiver manufacturers. Tencent’s test is the earliest, most advanced, and most comprehensive 400G test known to date in the industry. This 400G test serves as a milestone for the entire data center industry as we migrate into this next generation of data center networks.
Due to the IEEE and MSA participants proposing more than ten different types of 400G application models, optical module manufacturers have developed a wide range of products to cover the requirements of 400GBASE-SR8, 400GBASE-SR4.2, 400GBASE-DR4, and 400GBASE-FR8. Within each transmission scheme, there are various interface choices. For example, 400GBASE-SR8 ports can be divided into 16 or 24 fiber, and connectors can be APC and/or UPC as shown in the following figure.
QSFP-DD MSA QSFP-DD Hardware Specification
For this test, Rosenberger provided a full set of 400G data center cabling solutions which fully support the industry’s various 400G transmission models, including port transmission jumpers using single-mode, multi-mode OM3 and OM4, and the most advanced OM5 optical fibers. Based on Rosenberger’s 400G solutions, all physical channels adopt ultra-low loss connectors with stringent manufacturing tolerances, which ensure the stability and reliability of physical channel performance.
Throughout the network testing simulation, it became evident that there is a wide variety of performance and port types among the various brands of 400G optical transceivers on the market. The testing also uncovered that transmission performance within different batches of the same manufacturer varied. It was also observed that some brands achieved better performance than others. With these highlighted variables, it is clear that the compatibility of optical transceivers among, and within, different manufacturers does not paint a very optimistic picture at this time.
As mentioned before, Rosenberger provided a complete set of 400G data center cabling system for this interoperability test including MTP assemblies with 16 and 24 fibers, in both UPC and APC configurations, along with others. Rosenberger has a broad portfolio of connectivity and cabling solutions specifically designed for the various standardized 400G applications. This interoperability test highlighted that more uniform interface types of optical modules will be beneficial to the industry as a whole as 400G continues to evolve.
Rosenberger, an industry leader and pioneer of high-quality cloud cabling and connectivity infrastructure solutions, has been working with key partners around the world to create forward-looking technological innovations and provide application support to end customers and stakeholders.