400G Ethernet demos, plugfest tout hyperscale network power


High-speed Ethernet is taking center stage this week at the European Conference on Optical Communication in Rome, Italy where a number of vendors including Arista, Cisco and Huawei are showing off gear that will power large-enterprise and hyperscale networks.

The key demos come from the Ethernet Alliance and the 100G Lambda multisource agreement (MSA) group that are pushing technology advances needed to support 400G Ethernet, including new pulse amplitude modulation or PAM4 for electrical and optical interfaces, high-bandwidth switching silicon and a new high-density pluggable connector system known as QSFP-DD.

According to the Ethernet Alliance, its demo encompasses one of the widest lineups of 400G optics seen to-date, featuring state-of-the-art PAM4 optical gear and electronics. Among key elements in the group’s display are  routers, switches, Active Optical Cables (AOCs) and Direct Attach Cables (DACs), interconnects, and test and measurement equipment.

The organization’s display spotlights multiple PAM4-based Ethernet optics including 50G, 100bE, 200G, and 400G spanning distances of 100m to 40km, and various form factors such as CFP8, OSFP, QSFP28 and QSF-DD.

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