microQSFP MSA Group Releases Specification for Next-Generation Datacom Connectivity
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microQSFP MSA Group Releases Specification for Next-Generation Datacom Connectivity

The microQSFP Version 1.0 Draft Specification Enables Development of New Compact Transceiver Module Solutions Addressing Tomorrow’s Port Density, Data Speed, and System Thermal Requirements.

SANTA CLARA, Ca. – January 15, 2016 – The members of the microQSFP (micro Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable) Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group today released draft mechanical specifications of the microQSFP module and cage.  The module and cage draft mechanical details allow system designers, optical module makers and copper cable assembly providers across the industry to begin the process of developing next-generation hardware based on the microQSFP definition.
The founding Promoter members of the MSA include Broadcom, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Foxconn Interconnect Technology, Huawei, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Microsoft, Molex, and
TE Connectivity.  The MSA group is currently soliciting new contributory members to help expand the adoption of microQSFP in the marketplace.  This reflects the growing stability of the specification.
The microQSFP transceiver module is a compact hot-pluggable style input/output (I/O) connector system with four electrical channels that supports both direct attach copper cable assemblies and optical modules.  The unique features include a higher contact density electrical interconnect that provides 33 percent higher density than the existing QSFP connector system, and integrated thermal management that significantly improves the thermal performance over QSFP connectors and cages.
Having the same width as the existing single-channel SFP form factor, microQSFP ports offer the industry a familiar module width, but with up to four times the data capacity.  The microQSFP form factor may be used with 1, 2, or 4 channels and the enhanced thermal features offer a way to support more thermally challenging applications. 
Connector signal integrity performance will support existing industry specifications for up to 28 Gigabits per second (Gb/s) per channel and it is intended to support 50 Gb/s PAM4 requirements as well.  It is also intended that future generations of microQSFP connectors will address higher data rates.  When operating at 25 Gb/s per channel, the solution enables up to 7.2 Terabit per second (Tb/s) per 1RU line card with 72 ports.
“Networking hardware trends are moving to ever higher density interconnects and higher data rates,” said Dale Murray, Principal Analyst with LightCounting Market Research. “Coupled with higher-capacity switching silicon, this results in a need for next-generation connector systems such as microQSFP that provide more throughput while also addressing the thermal challenge in new ways.” 
The microQSFP MSA group can be contacted at www.microQSFP-MSA.com for any questions, membership applications or requests for interviews.
 
Michael Schoolnik 
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