IEEE 802.3bm “Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Operation Over Fiber Optic Cables” was developed by the IEEE P802.3bm 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Fiber Optic Task Force  and approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board on February 16, 2015.  The rapid growth of server, network, and internet traffic drove the need for higher data rate, higher density, and lower cost optical fiber Ethernet solutions, especially in data centers.   The 100 Gb/s optical fiber Ethernet applications specified in IEEE 802.3ba include a ten-lane electrical interface (20 fibers total) for operation over multimode optical fiber cabling (100GBASE-SR10). Advances in technology supported the specification of a new multimode 100 Gb/s Physical Layer (PHY) specification with reduced lane count, which will simplify upgrades from 40GBASE-SR4 using the existing cabling plant.   In addition, this project adds a 40 Gb/s PHY specification for operation over up to 40 km of singlemode optical fiber cabling and two new attachment interfaces supporting 100 Gb/s transmission in electrical backplanes.

The two new PHY specifications and two new attachment interfaces are as follows:

100GBASE-SR4: 100 Gb/s transmission using a four-lane electrical interface (8 fibers total) for operation over multimode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 100 m

40GBASE-ER4: 40 Gb/s transmission using four WDM lanes (2 fibers total)  for operation over singlemode optical fiber cabling with reach up to at least 40 km

100 Gigabit Attachment Unit Interface (CAUI-4): 100 Gb/s four-lane electrical host IC and optical  module interface options for use in electrical backplanes

100 Gigabit Attachment Unit Interface (CAUI-10): 100 Gb/s ten-lane electrical host IC and optical  module interface options for use in electrical backplanes

Operation Highlights:

  • OM3 distance support of 40GBASE-SR4 is specified at 70 m.
  • OM4 distance support of 40GBASE-SR4 is specified at 100 m.
  • 40GBASE-ER4 is specified for an operating range of 2 m – 30 km.  Links longer than 30 km (up to 40 km) are considered engineered links and must have attenuation headroom to meet the link power budget.

Goals and Objectives for the PHY specifications and attachment interfaces:

  • Support full duplex operation only
  • Preserve the 802.3 / Ethernet frame format utilizing the 802.3 MAC
  • Preserve minimum and maximum Frame Size of current 802.3 standard
  • Support a BER better than or equal to 10-12 at the MAC/PLS service interface
  • Provide appropriate support for OTN
  • Define re-timed 4-lane 100G PMA to PMA electrical interfaces for chip to chip and chip to module applications
  • Define a 40 Gb/s PHY for operation over at least 40 km of SMF
  • Define a 100 Gb/s PHY for operation up to at least 100 m of MMF
  • Specify optional Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) for 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s operation over fiber optic cables

* Note the objective to define a 100 Gb/s PHY for operation up to at least 500 m of SMF was dropped due to lack of consensus on an encoding and transmission scheme.

The IEEE 802.3 Next Generation 100 Gb/s Optical Ethernet Call-For-Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/100GNGOPTX/public/jul11/CFI_01_0711.pdf

The IEEE 802.3 Extended reach 40 Gb/s Optical Ethernet Call-For-Interest Consensus Presentation can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/100GNGOPTX/public/CFI_extended40Gb/40G_ER_CFI.pdf

The Project Authorization Request (PAR), approved on May 10, 2013, can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/bm/P802.3bm_May2013.pdf

The project objectives, approved on July 19, 2012, with changes from November 15, 2012 and November 14, 2013, can be found here: http://www.ieee802.org/3/bm/P8023bm_Objectives_1113.pdf

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