microQSFP MSA Group Releases Specification for Next-Generation Data Communications Connectivity

By News Release | March 17, 2016

The microQSFP Specification Version 2.0 enables development of new compact transceivers that address future 100G port density, data speed, and system thermal requirements.



The members of the microQSFP (micro Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable) Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) group today announced that it has released the microQSFP Specification Version 2.0, which allows system designers, optical module manufacturers, and copper cable assembly providers across the industry to develop next-generation hardware based on the microQSFP definition. The microQSFP document includes final electrical, mechanical, thermal, and management specifications of the microQSFP module and cage.

The microQSFP transceiver module uses a compact connector system, sufficient for four input/output (I/O) electrical channels, that supports direct-attach copper cable assemblies, optical modules, and active optical cable assemblies. Having the same width as the existing single-channel small form-factor pluggable (SFP) form factor, microQSFP ports offer the industry a familiar module, but with up to four times the data capacity. 
This new form factor may be used with one, two, or four channels and its enhanced thermal features offer a way to support more thermally challenging applications. For example, microQSFP products could be used for one- or two-channel applications where higher thermal loads are required, such as 1×50 or 2×50 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) applications. In these applications, the users benefit from the familiar SFP density, but with significantly higher thermal management.

The microQSFP specification defines an electrical interconnect that provides 33 percent higher density than the existing QSFP (quad small form-factor pluggable) connector system, along with integrated thermal management features that significantly improve the thermal performance when compared with QSFP-style connectors and cages. The microQSFP connector signal integrity performance will support existing industry specifications up to 28Gb/s per channel, and it is intended to support 50Gb/s PAM4 requirements as well. It is also intended that future generations of microQSFP connectors will address higher data rates. When operating at 25Gb/s per channel, the solution enables up to 7.2 Terabit per second (Tb/s) per 1RU line card with 72 ports.

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. Subsequent contributor members include Amphenol, Finisar, Lorom, MultiLane, Oclaro, Rosenberger, and Semtech. The MSA group is currently soliciting new contributory members to help expand the adoption of microQSFP in the marketplace.

The microQSFP MSA group can be contacted through its website for any questions, membership applications, or requests for interviews.

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