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Optical Internetworking Forum launches 25-Gbit effort

Posted: 28 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optical networking? common electrical i/o?

The Optical Internetworking Forum's physical link-layer working group will work on a new 25-Gbit Common Electrical I/O standard to augment existing 6- and 11-Gbit physical standards for optical networks.

The electrical standard could be used with either Sonet hierarchies scaling from 40 to 80 to 160Gbps, or with the current 10-Gbit Ethernet standard as it evolves to a new 100-Gbit standard.

"OIF is unique in having equal representation in membership from the enterprise and telco space," said Mike Lerer, a consultant with Xilinx who serves as chairman of the physical link-layer group. "Therefore the work on 25-Gbit, which will definitely be a multi-year project, will take both the Ethernet and Sonet camps into account."

It is likely that a 25-Gbit standard will need forward error correction overhead even more than its slower predecessors, so FEC will be a key issue. The group will consider optical interface options ranging from coarse wave division multiplexing to parallel optics, and will consider various electrical signaling methods, with differential signaling deserving a particular close look.

Lerer, who also chairs the Network Processing Forum's hardware working group, said that OIF 25-Gbit group will take its time to fairly consider all technology options for fast electrical interfaces.

The forum has not projected a timeline for completion of the spec, but Lerer said that the group hopes end equipment incorporating the standards would be in the field by 2010.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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