Migration from 10G Ethernet to 40/100G Ethernet

With the growth of bandwidth-intensive applications such as high-performance computing and business continuity, there emerge higher-speed networks of 40/100G Ethernet. And as products become less expensive and more available over time, 40/100G Ethernet will inevitably be commonplace in our daily life. Thus, there is a need to create a migration path by installing a structured cabling system that can support the future 40/100G networking needs. To work efficiently, the following shall be included in this system:

Parallel Optics

Though there are serial optical links available for 40/100G, parallel optical links are a promising candidate for cost effective, higher data rate links within the data center. For the reason that parallel optics need to be cost competitive with copper links at shorter distance, laser optimized multi-mode fibers (OM3 and OM4) are often employed in 40/100G Ethernet. OM3 and OM4 cables are active optical cables that allow for tradeoffs between the transmitter, receiver, and fiber parameters. Therefore, manufacturing costs can be theoretically reduced by improving the yield. In addition, with parallel optics, we can leverage existing 10G serial link technology and volumes by combining either 4 links to create a 40G channel, or 10 links to create a 100G channel.


Since 40/100G Ethernet uses parallel optics technology which requires data transmission across multiple fibers simultaneously, the multi-fiber connectors are needed. MPO/MTP is the designated interface for multi-mode 40/100G Ethernet, and its backward is compatible with legacy 1G/10G applications as well. 40G Ethernet uses a 12 position MPO/MTP connector interface that aligns 12 fibers in a single row. And the 4 leftmost fibers are used to transmit data, the middle 4 fibers are left unused, while the 4 rightmost fibers are used to receive data. 100G Ethernet uses a 24 position MPO/MTP connector with two rows of 12 fibers. And the outermost fibers on either end of the rows are vacant, while 10 fibers in the upper row for transmitting data and the remaining 10 fibers in the lower row for receiving data.

MTP(MPO) connector for 12 and 24 fibers


Polarity will become more and more important as the market moves toward 40G and 100G networking speeds. Since there are multiple channels in a single connector, all components must be manufactured with the same polarity, and differences cannot be reconciled by flipping or switching connector position in the field.

To best meet the future 40/100G networking needs, MPO/MTP-based connectivity utilizing OM3 or OM4 fiber is an ideal solution. The MPO/MTP allows connectivity to be achieved through a simple plug-and-play system. And OM3 and OM4 fibers, which are selected as the only multi-mode fiber for 40/100G consideration, are optimized for 850nm transmission and have a minimum 2000 MHz/km and 4700 MHz/km effective modal bandwidth (EMB), respectively. Fiberstore supplies various kinds of products for migration from 10G Ethernet to 40/100G Ethernet, including the above mentioned OM3 and OM4 fiber cables and MPO/MTP connectors.

Related article:

Data Center Infrastructure of 40G and 100G

Add Comment Register

Leave a Reply