IEEE 802.3bs™ ”Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for 200 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s Operation” is currently under development by the IEEE P802.3bs 200 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force and anticipated to publish in December, 2017. The ever increasing data traffic attributable to more internet users, higher bandwidth content, new applications, and other advances is driving the need for more and faster servers and core network devices in the data center. In fact, industry experts predicted that the necessary processing capacity in 2015 would be 10x that required in 2010 and the necessary processing capacity in 2020 will be 100x that required in 20101. While 400 Gb/s Ethernet solutions were initially targeted to support this increased capacity, the P802.3bs Task Force added 200 Gb/s capability to this project in May, 2016 to support a cost and performance optimized migration path to 400 Gb/s.

The new PHY specifications under development are as follows:

200GBASE-DR4: 200 Gb/s transmission over four lanes (i.e. 8 fibers total) of singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 500 m

200GBASE-FR4: 200 Gb/s transmission over a 4 wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) lane (i.e. 2 fibers total) of singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 2 km

200GBASE-LR4: 200 Gb/s transmission over a 4 wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) lane (i.e. 2 fibers total) of singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 10 km

400GBASE-SR16: 400 Gb/s transmission over sixteen lanes (i.e. 32 fibers total) of multimode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 100 m

400GBASE-DR4: 400 Gb/s transmission over four lanes (i.e. 8 fibers total) of singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 500 m

400GBASE-FR8: 400 Gb/s transmission over an 8 wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) lane (i.e. 2 fibers total) of singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 2 km

400GBASE-LR8: 400 Gb/s transmission over an 8 wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) lane (i.e. 2 fibers total) of singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 10 km

An MPO-16 plug and receptacle will be required to support the 32-fiber 400GBASE-SR16 multimode application. The MPO-16 plug is designed with an offset key to prevent accidental mating with a standard MPO/MTP receptacle. All other applications may be supported with a 2‑fiber LC singlemode interface.

MPO-16 Two Row Plug with Offset Key

The current focus of the IEEE P802.3bs 200 Gb/s and 400 Gb/s Ethernet Task Force is circulation of their draft document for Sponsor ballot review and comment resolution.

The IEEE 802.3 400 Gigabit Ethernet Call-For-Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/400GSG/public/mar13/index.html

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on March 27, 2014, with changes from May 12, 2016, can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/bs/PAR_P802.3bs_16_0516.pdf

The project objectives, approved on March 20, 2014, with changes from March 17, 2016, (refer to: http://www.ieee802.org/3/bs/Objectives_14_0320.pdf) are as follows:

  • Support a MAC data rate of 400 Gb/s
  • Support a MAC data rate of 400 Gb/s
  • Support a BER of better than or equal to 10-13 at the MAC/PLS service interface (or the frame loss ratio equivalent)
  • Support full-duplex operation only
  • Preserve the Ethernet frame format utilizing the Ethernet MAC
  • Preserve minimum and maximum Frame Size of current Ethernet standard
  • Provide appropriate support for OTN
  • Provide physical layer specifications, which support 200 Gb/s operation over:
    • At least 500 m of 4-lane parallel SMF
    • At least 2 km of SMF
    • At least 10 km of SMF
  • Provide physical layer specifications, which support 400 Gb/s operation over:
    • At least 100 m of MMF
    • At least 500 m of SMF
    • At least 10 km of SMF
    • At least 2 km of SMF
  • Specify optional Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) capability
  • Support optional Attachment Unit Interfaces for chip-to-chip and chip-to-module applications

1 Information on the anticipated future bandwidth requirements for core networking and computing applications can be found in the IEEE 802.3 Industry Connections Ethernet Bandwidth Assessment report (refer to: http://www.ieee802.org/3/ad_hoc/bwa/BWA_Report.pdf).

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