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16 August 2011
 
The 10x10 MSA consortium has announced the public availability of 10km and 40km transceiver specifications that will allow it to expand into campus and metro applications.  The group says it was compelled to develop a new specification for longer reach applications to “eliminate the need for custom or proprietary solutions, while also reducing both development and manufacturing cost”.
 
The MSA (multisource agreement) was originally motivated by Google’s desire for a lower-cost, faster to market alternative to the 100GBase-LR4 specification based on 10Gbps rather than 25Gbps signalling. 
 
Formed in December 2010, the consortium has developed specifications for a 2km-reach optical module in a CFP form factor, and vendors are delivering compliant products. “Optical modules based on the 10X10 standards have become the most popular singlemode 100Gbps optics,” claimed Milind Gokhale, Santur’s chief technology officer.
 
The 10 km-reach specification builds on existing 2 km specifications to ensure backward compatibility and interoperability with the existing 10X10-2km standard. This helps service providers extend data centre networks to campus networks and beyond.
 
The 40km specification employs 10 wavelength channels on a 100GHz DWDM grid to enable seamless upgrade of existing 10Gbps metro links to 100Gbps over up to 40km of singlemode fibre without the need for regeneration or amplification.
 
“The new 10X10-40Km standard enables up to 800 Gbps of data to transmit over a single fibre – that’s the speed the industry needs,” said Scott Kipp, chair of the 10X10 MSA and senior technologist at Brocade.
 
By Pauline Rigby