Cost is one of the most important factors influencing an end user’s adoption of any emerging technology.

Recently, I conducted some research on the cost of 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). To have the same level of comparison, my research was focused on the cost of optical transceivers for end users. I gathered all the cost information on August 31, 2011 from the website If you did not know, an optical transceiver is a pluggable electronic module that transmits and receives signals over optical fiber media.

The horizontal axis of the Chart 1 shows the IEEE standard 10, 40 and 100GbE technologies across multimode and single-mode fiber. The vertical axis is the cost of the corresponding optical transceivers normalized to the one of 10GbE short reach. The 10GbE SR (short reach) is the IEEE standard that specifies 10GbE operations over multimode fiber while LR stands for long reach.

As Chart 1 illustrates, 40 and 100GbE optical transceivers over multimode fiber currently are five and 23 times the cost of 10GbE short reach, respectively. Also, 40 and 100GbE transceivers over single-mode fiber currently are 39 and 388 times the cost of 10GbE SRs. Chart 1 clearly illustrates that 40/100GbE is more cost-effectiveover multimode fiber than over single-mode fiber.

So, what does this all prove? Well, it proves that OM3/OM4 multimode fiber is optimal for 40/100GbE application in data center environment because the support distance of OM3/OM4 fiber cabling can cover most of the cable reach needs in data centers.

Chart 2 illustrates that SYSTIMAX LazrSPEED exceeds the standards and provides end users extra flexibility covering most of the cable needs data centers require and demand.

How has LazrSPEED added benefits to your data centers?

About the Author

Frank Yang

Frank Yang is manager, Market Strategy Development, for the ISP Fiber business unit of CommScope. Frank leads the market strategy development for data center, central office and enterprise campus markets. Prior to CommScope, Yang worked at Dell and was responsible for server hardware development. He serves as Marketing Chair for Next Generation Enterprise Cabling Subcommittee of Ethernet Alliance. He received a Master of Electrical Engineering from Texas Tech University, and has several patents, articles, white papers and publications under his name. Frank is a frequent speaker at various global and national level opportunities, for example, Data Center Summit, Ethernet Technology Summit, OFC conference, the Ethernet Alliance’s Technology Exploration Forum, Cable Installation and Maintenance (CI&M) Webinars, BICSI conference, etc. Frank holds CloudU, Cisco Certified Network Design Professional (CCDP) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) certificates.

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1 comment for "40/100GbE Economics"
Ispran Kandasamy

Frank, Great info! It would be interesting to overlay the costs of copper based 10Gbe transceivers? Normalized against 10GbE SR (MM) it should be in negative territory? It may explain why Copper based technology continues to persist. (however, I know that we are not comparing apple to apple).

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