Recently, considering on 40G optics sales decreasing of a big vendor in optical communication, there are some sayings of 40G predicting that 40G network and technology may be staying out of the market in the year of 2017. However, that is a partial conclusion according to not only the market status, but also the improving 40G technologies.
40G network of today is largely based on QSFP+ port, which largely relays on MPO cabling system in short distances. The biggest competitor of 40G optics is QSFP28 family, which takes the 10G-25G-100G road and is considered to have greater advantages for 100G beyond transmission in the future. With QSFP28, data centers can use the existing 10G cabling infrastructure for 100G network, which is really attractive. There is no doubt that the emerging of QSFP28 family offers the data centers another good choice for 100G and beyond migration. However, to replace the 40G optics and push 40G network out of the market in the year of 2017, that is not much possible. Why? The following offers the reasons.
Apparently, no transceivers or technology can be all things to all switches. But 40G technology is keeping improving. Different form factors have been introduced to meet various applications. A barrier of 40G migration is the cabling structure which is much different from the existing 10G network. To break this barrier, 40G technologies have provided solutions and some companies have also taken actions. In the previous post I have introduce 40G QSFP BiDi transceivers which support duplex MMF transmission in short distances. With this transceiver, customers can use the existing 10G cabling infrastructure for 40G transmission.
Company like Juniper Network also provides a series of 40G duplex MMF solutions to meet the needs. Juniper Networks JNP-QSFP-40G-LX4 is a 40GBASE QSFP+ transceiver, which operates on wavelength of 1310 nm and support duplex multimode fiber transmission with a duplex LC port. The working principle of 40GBASE-LX4 QSFP+ is similar with 40G QSFP BiDi. Both of the utilizing WDM technologies. Juniper QSFP+ LX4 transceiver using four 10G channels. The four channels of signals are transmitted over four different wavelengths as shown in the following picture. In this way, this transceiver can support 40G link over a duplex of two MMF strands. Juniper QSFP+ LX4 has duplex LC interface and can reach 100 meters on OM3 and 150 meters on OM4. What’s more, Juniper QSFP+ LX4 can also reach 2 km on SMF. Meanwhile, Juniper also provides switches like QFX5200 and QFX10000 that support QSFP+ LX4. Advancement in 40G technologies provide 40G network more possibilities.
In the past few years, the 40G optics has taken on an air of prosperity. A series of 40G standards, switches, and flexible 40G cabling solutions have been provided, which promotes many data centers to finish the upgrading from 10G to 40G. In addition, 40G optics is becoming affordable to many data centers. The decrease of 40G component is not happening on all the vendors. According to the financial report to many companies, there sales of 40G optics is still increasing in the last quarter. Thus, 40G market is still strong and is not likely that it will be staying out the market next year.
With the rapid improvement of the optical communication technologies, no one can claim how long 40G network would go. But in the coming few years, 40G optics still has a place.