7 March 2016 Next-generation wideband multimode fibers for data centers
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Abstract
Short-reach optical links such as those used in data centers pre-dominantly employ VCSELs together with laser- optimized OM4 and OM3 multimode fiber (MMF), mainly due to their reliability, energy-efficiency and low end-to-end system cost. The IEEE 802.3bm specification for 100Gbps Ethernet utilizes four parallel MMFs each operating at a serial data rate of 25Gbps. Due to the rapidly increasing internet traffic, the IEEE P802.3bs Task Force is working towards a 400Gbps Ethernet standard requiring a commensurate increase in the number of parallel fibers deployed. Using 16 parallel lanes, while feasible, is not the most efficient use of cabling. One solution to the data rate - cable density problem is the use of shortwave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) near 850nm. For example, employing four wavelengths separated by ~30nm (with an operational window of ~840-950nm) results in a four-fold increase in the per-fiber data rate. Furthermore, SWDM can be combined with the parallel solution to support 400Gbps with the same cable density as the current 100Gbps Ethernet solution using OM4 fiber. Conventional laser-optimized OM4 gives diminished performance at the longer wavelengths compared to 850nm. Shifting the OM4 optimization wavelength to longer wavelengths sacrifices the 850nm performance. In this paper, we present next-generation wideband multimode fibers (NG-WBMMF) that are optimized for SWDM operation using a novel design approach employing multiple dopants. We have fabricated and characterized a wideband MMF that is OM4 compliant over the 850-950nm wavelength window. BER measurements demonstrate that this next-generation WB MMF satisfies the pre-FEC requirement of 5 × 10-5 even after transmission over 300m.
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Kasyapa Balemarthy, Kasyapa Balemarthy, Roman Shubochkin, Roman Shubochkin, Yi Sun, Yi Sun, } "Next-generation wideband multimode fibers for data centers", Proc. SPIE 9775, Next-Generation Optical Networks for Data Centers and Short-Reach Links III, 977504 (7 March 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2220700; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2220700
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