EA at OFC

By Dave Estes


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By:     David Estes, Spirent Communications
David J, Rodgers, Teledyne LeCroy

Due to the pervasive increase in the Covid-19 virus and in support of the health and wellbeing of our members, the Ethernet Alliance made the decision to withdraw from all activities at the Optical Fibre Conference in San Diego CA this year.

A significant number of companies, including most of our “EA@OFC 2020” Participating Members also made the decision to withdraw from OFC, and the EA Booth.  The concerns expressed by many of our members were well founded, and the EA is disappointed we were unable to continue with our planned exhibition activities, meetings and technology showcase.

The Ethernet Alliance has participated in the Optical Fibre Conference, OFC, for many years now and has produced what has become a highlight of the OFC shows, a fully operational network of the leading-edge technologies as presented by the EA members showcasing their solutions and services.

In preparation for this year’s OFC, the participating members gathered at our pre-show hot stage to assemble a technology demonstration incorporating 17 EA member company products into full functioning network. The combined efforts of the switch and routers suppliers, the development and IP vendors, the copper and fibre interconnect solution providers, and test and measurement platforms resulted in a 56.4Tb/s interconnect showcase.  For the third consecutive year, the interconnect demonstration included preparation for several live fibre links, creating a mesh across the convention center to other member company and industry alliance booths.

The equipment in the “EA@OFC 2020” Interoperability demonstration consisted of 5 switches and 1 router from 3 switch/router companies, FPGA evaluation boards from 2 FPGA companies, and copper and optical interconnects supplied by 5 interconnect and switch/router companies.  Interoperability was to be proven with test equipment from seven test and measurement companies.

There were connections from 10GbE up to 400GbE running over passive copper cables (DACs), active copper cables (ACCs), active optical cables (AOCs), and optical modules.  The optical modules included 400GBASE-SR8, 400GBASE-DR4, 400GBASE-FR4, 2x200GBASE-FR4, 200GBASE-SR4, 2x100GBASE-LR4, 100GBASE-SR4, 100GBASE-LR4, 100GBASE-CWDM4, 100GBASE-PSM4, 40GBASE-LR4, 40GBASE-SR4, and 25GBASE-SR.  Form factors were QSFP-DD, OSFP, QSFP56, QSFP28, QSFP+, and SFP28.

Some of the notable highlights include:

  • Up to 56.4 Tb/s of traffic.
  • Optical and electrical interoperability.
  • Demonstration of 100Gb/s PAM4 electrical signaling on an 800Gb/s OSFP DAC cable.
  • Capturing and Analyzing Auto-Negotiation, Link Training, and Ethernet packets on a 50G PAM4 link.
  • Using the 2x200GBASE-FR4 optics to run one link at 100G and the other link at 40G.
  • Using the 100GBASE-PSM4 optics to run a booth-to-booth connection with both 25G NRZ lanes and 10G NRZ lanes.
  • Optical links to 8 other booths spread across the show floor.
  • FlexE testing.

This year’s participating member companies, and their contributions to the efforts include:

Test and Measurement:

  • Anritsu
  • Exfo
  • Keysight
  • Spirent
  • Teledyne LeCroy
  • VeEX
  • Xena

FPGA:

  • Xilinx
  • Intel

Interconnect:

  • Amphenol
  • Cloudlight
  • Panduit
  • Spectra7
  • TE

Switch/Router:

  • Arista
  • Cisco
  • Juniper
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