How to Easily Upgrade Your Network to 40G Ethernet

The increasing need for higher bandwidth and faster data transmission drives the evolution of network Ethernet. 40G Ethernet is gradually becoming commonplace in telecommunication networks, as 10G cannot satisfy the never-stopping longing for higher speed communication any more. Unlike 1G migrating to 10G, 10G migrating to 40G gets across a much larger span in terms of not only transmission data rate but also technologies. Thus, the deployment of 40G is much more complicated than that of 10G. Today, I’d like to introduce several indispensable components to help those who want to easily upgrade their network to 40G Ethernet.

QSFP+ Fiber Optic Transceiver

Fiber optic transceiver is a very basic component in today’s telecommunication network. It is composed of both a transmitter and a receiver that are arranged in parallel so that they can operate with their own circuity that enables each of them to handle transmission in both directions. There are different types of optical transceivers for different Ethernet networks, such as GBIC for 1G, SFP+ for 10G, CFP for 100G. As for 40G data transmission, QSFP+ (quad small form-factor plus) transceiver module is the most commonly used type.

QSFP+ transceiver (shown in picture below) is a compact, hot-pluggable transceiver, which is evolved from QSFP transceiver, used for high-speed data communications applications. It provides four channels of data in one pluggable interface, with each channel capable of transmitting data at 10Gbps and supporting a total of 40Gbps. The 40G QSFP+ transceiver offers customers high-density 40G connectivity option for data center, high-performance computing networks, enterprise core and distribution layers, and service provider transport applications.

QSFP-40G-LR4-testing-on-cisco-switch

High-Density MPO/MTP Cables

Unlike standard fiber patch cables with the maximum data rate of 10Gbps, a patch cord terminated with 12-fiber or 24-fiber MPO/MTP connectors is available for 40G, or even 100G Ethernet. MPO/MTP trunk cable and MPO/MTP harness cable are the two widely applied high-density fiber cables in upgrading network to 40G Ethernet.

MPO/MTP Trunk Cable—MPO/MTP trunk cable, terminated with MPO/MTP connectors at both end, are typically available with 12 to 144 fibers and create a permanent fiber links between panels in a structured environment. With plug and play architecture, MPO/MTP trunk cable greatly reduces the initial installation and ongoing maintenance costs. Generally, 12-fiber and 24-fiber MPO/MTP trunk cables are respectively commonly used types for 40G and 100G applications. Here is a 72-fiber MPO/MTP trunk cable with 6 MPO/MTP connectors at both ends.

2-fiber MPOMTP trunk cable with 6 MPOMTP connectors at both ends

MPO/MTP Harness Cable—MPO/MTP harness cable, also named MPO/MTP fan-out cable or MTP/MPO breakout cable, is terminated with a male/female MTP connector on one side and several duplex LC/SC connectors on the other side, providing a transmission from multi-fiber cables to individual fiber or duplex fiber connectors. Compared to normal LC fiber optic cable, these cables are designed for high density applications which require high performance and fast installation. MPO/MPO harness cables are ideal for interconnecting MPO/MTP cassettes, panels or backbone MPO/MTP assemblies with the active equipment, saving costly data center rack space and easing fiber management. The image below shows a 1m MTP-4LC SMM harness cable.

1m MTP-4LC SMM harness cable

40G QSFP+ Cable Assemblies

40G QSFP+ cable is a cost-effective solution for 40G data center. It is a low-power alternative to optical QSFP+ system. 40G QSFP+ direct attach cable (DAC) and 40G QSFP+ active optical cable (AOC) are two types os 40G QSFP+ cables.

40G QSFP+ DAC—QSFP+ DAC is a copper 40 Gigabit Ethernet cable which comes in either an active or passive twinax cable assembly and connects directly into a QSFP+ housing. An active twinax cable has active electronic components in the QSFP+ housing, while the passive twinax cable is mainly just a straight “wire” and contains few components. Generally, twinax cables shorter than 5 meters are passive and those longer than 5 meters are active.

40G QSFP+ AOC—QSFP+ AOC is a cabling technology that accepts the same electrical inputs as a traditional copper cable, but uses optical fiber between the connectors. QSFP+ AOC uses electrical-to-optical conversion on the cable ends to improve speed and distance performance of the cable without sacrificing compatibility with standard electrical interfaces. The following picture shows a QSFP+ to 4SFP+ AOC and a QSFP+ to QSFP+ DAC.

AOC-and-DAC-cables

Conclusion

To upgrade your network to 40G Ethernet, you should prepare components like QSFP+ transceivers, MPO/MTP fiber cables and QSFP+ cables, etc. All of these devices can be purchased in FS.COM. Just need a click, you can take all these components to home and upgrade to 40G Ethernet easily.

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Optical Communication

Work as an English editor at FS.COM, a professional supplier and manufacturer of fiber cables.

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