Today, the Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable (OSFP) Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group has released the OSFP 4.0 Specification for 800G OSFP modules. While the OSFP module was meant to provide 800G performance from the start, the OSFP 4.0 specification includes support for dual 400G and octal 100G breakout modules with dual LC, dual Mini-LC, dual MPO, and octal SN/MDC fiber connector options.
“At 800G, the number of use cases involving aggregation or breakouts is growing,” said Andreas Bechtolsheim, Chair of the OSFP MSA. “The ability to use existing standard fiber connectors for these breakout ports is critical since it eliminates the optical performance impact and cost of fiber adaptor cables, splitter cables, or patch panels.”
According to Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director of Dell’Oro Group, “cloud providers have deployed tens of millions of LC and MPO fiber connectors with current optics transceivers.” “Backward compatibility with this huge installed base of fiber connectors is required for a smooth transition from a single port to two-port 400G optics in the 800G form factor.”
“Because cloud data centers are constantly on, the ability to conduct rolling networking upgrades in existing cloud data centers is critical,” stated Alan Weckel, Founding Technology Analyst at the 650 Group. “As the Cloud expands in size, most new equipment is deployed in existing facilities, which is a fundamentally different dynamic from prior upgrade cycles. One of the most critical difficulties clients have as they convert to 800G optical form factor modules is the ability to install new network switches without having to replace millions of established fiber connectors. ”
“The OSFP 4.0 specification provides customers with compatibility with existing fiber connectors as well as a wide range of potential optical breakout options, which will likely become even more important with the upcoming early adoption of 800GbE data center switching beginning next year,” said Seamus Crehan, President of Crehan Research.
The OSFP MSA has funded a working group to define 200G/Lane electrical specifications to support 1600G OSFP modules, now that the 800G OSFP module specification has been finished. This activity will be incorporated into a future OSFP 5.0 Specification when it is completed.
“There has been a lot of interest from OSFP MSA members in starting the 200G/Lane Electrical Signaling Group,” said Brian Kirk, Director of Engineering at Amphenol Corp. “Based on the work we’ve done so far, we’re sure that the OSFP module will be able to achieve 200G electrical signaling speed per lane while remaining backward compatible.”
“1600G-OSFP enables next-generation switch designs with 57.6T bandwidth per rack unit,” stated Nathan Tracy, TE Connectivity Technologist. “It’s incredible that the OSFP can sustain this level of bandwidth density in such a small form factor.”
The OSFP MSA Specifications can be downloaded free from the OSFP website at www.osfpmsa.org.