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12 September 2011
 
Avago Technologies has begun manufacturing an SFP+ module supporting the latest speed 16 Gigabit Fibre Channel standard. The introduction of the SFP+ doubles the traffic throughput of storage systems.
 
Sales of the current highest speed 8Gbps Fibre Channel SFP+ module grew threefold in 2010, according to Light Counting. The market research firm says the total Fibre Channel optical module market is worth $300m (€214.6m), and it expects storage vendors to embrace 16 Gbps Fibre Channel quickly.
 
“Avago has worked closely with our top customers to develop solutions with the bandwidth and port density they require, which has helped us to establish a position as the market’s leading Fibre Channel optical supplier in the storage networking segment,” says Victor Krutul, director of marketing for the fiber optics products division at Avago.
 
The Avago 16 Gbps SFP+ module uses a 850nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and is backward compatible with 4 and 8 Gbps Fibre Channel modules. 
 
The module will be used in such platforms as Fibre Channel switches, routers, host bus adapters and RAID controllers. The main customers of Fibre Channel modules include Brocade, Dell, EMC, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM, Oracle and QLogic.
 
The advent of 16 Gbps Fibre Channel will also boost the uptake of 40 and 100Gbps optical transport. Once enterprises start sending 16 Gbps Fibre Channel traffic between sites, they will require light paths faster than 10Gbps.
 
By Roy Rubenstein