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What is a 400G optical module?

Time:2022-02-23 Views:40

400G will be the direction of the next-generation backbone network upgrade and new construction, and will become an inevitable trend in the development of data centers.

The 400G optical module is mainly used for photoelectric conversion. The electrical signal is converted into an optical signal at the sending end, and then transmitted through the optical fiber. At the receiving end, the optical signal is converted into an electrical signal.The transmission rate of 400G optical modules is 400G, which was born to adapt to the network market of 100M, 1G, 25G, 40G to 100G, 400G, and even 1T.400G optical modules play a crucial role and influence in the construction of 400G network systems.

What are the standards and packaging forms of 400G optical modules? There are mainly the following six standards and packaging forms:


The full name of OSFP is Octal Small Formfactor Pluggable. This standard is a new interface standard and is not compatible with existing optoelectronic interfaces. Its dimensions are 100.4 * 22.58 * 13 mm^3, which is slightly larger than that of QSFP-DD and requires more PCB area. The pins for the electrical interface are different from QSFP-DD, with a row on the top and bottom.



The full name of QSFP-DD is Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable-Double Density. This solution is an extension of the QSFP interface, adding one row to the original 4-channel interface to 8 channels, which is the so-called double density. This solution is compatible with the QSFP solution, which is one of its main advantages. The original QSFP28 module can still be used, just plug in another module.



This standard is an extension of the CWDM4 standard, and the rate of each wavelength is 50G, which can also reach 400G. Four new center wavelengths have been added, namely 1351/1371/1391/1411nm. The wavelength range has become wider, the requirements for Mux/DeMux are higher, and the number of lasers has been doubled with a maximum input power of 8.5dBm.

400G CWDW8


The CDFP standard was born earlier, and so far, the third edition of the specification has been released. It uses 16 channels with a single channel rate of 25G. Due to the large number of channels, the size is also relatively large.



CFP8 is an extension of CFP4, the number of channels is increased to 8 channels and the size is correspondingly increased to 40*102*9.5 mm^3. The cost of this solution is high,16 25G lasers are required.

400G CFP8


The full name of COBO is consortium for on board optics, which means that all optical components are placed on the PCB. The main advantages of this solution are good heat dissipation and small size. However, since there is no support for hot swapping, once a module fails, it will be difficult to repair.


At OFC 2018, manufacturers introduced QSFP-DD and OSFP at the show. The advantages of these two solutions are the most prominent. But which solution to use in the future also depends on the network architecture of the next-generation cloud computing operator.

What is the function of 400G optical module?

The main function of 400G optical modules is to increase data throughput and maximize the bandwidth and port density of the data center. The future trend of 400G optical modules is to achieve wide gain, low noise, miniaturization and integration, and to provide high-quality optical communication modules for next-generation wireless networks and ultra-large data centers.

How many chips does a 400G optical module need?

Although only one optical chip is used in a 400G optical module, the cost is high. In 10G/25G optical modules, the cost of optical chips accounts for about 30%; in 40G/100G optical modules, the cost of optical chips accounts for about 50%; in 400G optical modules, the cost of optical chips is as high as 70%.

What is the difference between 400G optical modules and 10G, 25G, 40G optical modules?

Although 10G, 25G, 40G and even 100G optical modules have become the mainstream of the market, with the increasing requirements for bandwidth, port density and system energy consumption, 400G optical modules will further push the technology to a higher level of development.

Compared with 10G, 25G and 40G optical modules, the arrival of 400G optical modules will bring optical communication into a new era. Optical communication is changing from single-carrier modulation coherent detection of low-end optical modules to polarization multiplexing multi-carrier applications.

Photonic integration and electronic integration, ADC/DSP technology will be the key to commercialization of 400G optical communication modules and systems. With the urgent need for Ethernet standardization, the need for optical parallelization will greatly promote the development of photonic integration technology.

What is the market value of 400G optical modules?

As we all know, 100G technology products have matured, 400G is a hot topic of discussion at present, and the industry is very concerned about the progress of 400G optical modules. Today, the progress of 400G optical module development and mass production is relatively satisfactory. In the current market context, the demand for bandwidth in ultra-large data centers is growing, and 400G optical communication modules have become the best choice for improving system performance and reducing bandwidth costs. The emergence of 5G networks will be another positive factor driving the market value of 400G optical modules.