Molex zCD Interconnect Solves Next-Gen Data Transmission Requirements

By News Release | February 02, 2014

Compact-form-factor Molex zCD connector delivers data rates scalable up to 400Gb/s.

020414-CS-NP-Molex-zCDMolex Incorporated has developed the compact zCD interconnect system to support next-generation applications in telecommunications, networking, and enterprise computing environments. The Molex zCD interconnect system will transmit 400Gb/s data rates (25 Gb/s over 16 lanes) with excellent signal integrity, electromagnetic interference (EMI) protection, and thermal cooling properties.

“Addressing demand for high-speed applications has become a shared priority within the industry as network bandwidth continues to surge,” said Joe Dambach, global new product development, Molex. “The zCD interconnect delivers a winning form factor that will help enable widespread adoption of 400Gb/s technology.”

Molex zCD connectors will be available in a short-body version for passive or active copper cables and a long-body version for active optical cables (AOCs) or transceivers. The zCD connectors feature a straight, back-route footprint with a 0.75mm pitch. An elastomeric gasket provides EMI containment and suppression.  Designed to accept a broad range of thermal modules and heat sinks, the press-fit connector design ensures a robust and simple board termination.

Providing industry-leading bandwidth density, zCD passive copper cable assemblies feature 32 pairs (16 channels) per I/O port at 25Gb/s. A dual-paddle card system improves cross-talk performance through the cable interface. An embedded microcontroller/cable-management interface allows custom host-management capabilities through a standard I2C bus. Designed for use with 30AWG Twinax cable, the passive copper bundle (up to 32 pairs) improves bend radius and flexibility in short-reach 400 Gb/s Ethernet or legacy and proprietary applications.

Based on single-mode silicon photonics technology, Molex AOC assemblies for the zCD connector deliver 16 bi-directional channels operating at up to 28 Gb/s, or 400 Gb/s, of bandwidth in a compact standard interface. A hot-pluggable transceiver allows insertion and removal of devices without powering down the system. Module I/O equalization enables optimization of performance for each host system. Transmitting up to 4km for a fraction of the cost and power of long-reach optical modules, the zCD AOC assemblies are primarily designed for 400Gb/s Ethernet applications and will function with InfiniBand and proprietary protocol applications.

“The zCD interconnect system offers a high level of integration, performance, and long-term reliability for customers requiring 400Gb/s with individual lane data rates up to 25Gb/s,” said Dambach.

Molex is among the founding members of the CDFP multi-source agreement (MSA) consortium, which is dedicated to defining specifications and promoting adoption of interoperable 400 Gb/s hot-pluggable modules.

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