How to Achieve High Efficiency in Connectivity

When people talk about connectivity, they usually refer to bandwidth; however, bandwidth is not the most important aspect of connectivity. In his blog, Frank Yang discusses all the aspects needed to understand how to increase the efficiency in your Ethernet connectivity.

ConnectivityWhen people talk about connectivity, they usually refer to bandwidth and the trend of network traffic. Bandwidth is certainly an important aspect of connectivity; however, bandwidth is not the whole story. It’s crucial to understand that efficiency is another important aspect of connectivity.

I have the honor of speaking at this year’s Ethernet Technology Summit in San Jose, Calif. The event is April 14-16 and my presentation will take place April 15 at 8 a.m. My topic, “Build a Solid Cabling Foundation for High-Speed Ethernet,” will cover what I believe are the most important aspects to achieving better efficiency in connectivity.

What do I mean by “efficiency in connectivity?” Let me use fiber cabling as an example. It is understood that 10 Gigabit Ethernet can operate over duplex multimode fiber. This means that laser light is transmitted over one fiberand received over the other fiber. The color (wavelength or frequency in technical terms) of the two lasers is the same. The fibers are 100 percent utilized; however, the percentage is not the limit. The efficiency of fiber utilization can be improved from there. Would you like to know how?

Recently, Finisar and CommScope collectively demonstrated short wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) over wide band multimode fiber (WBMMF) at the 2015 Optical Fiber Communications and Conference Exposition. In this technology demonstration, four lasers of different colors were combined through an optical multiplexor, transmitted over one fiber and simultaneously received and de-multiplexed to four photon detectors. The efficiency of fiber utilization is increased fourfold.

The figure below shows the light of four different wavelengths being carried over one multimode fiber strand.

The image of the demonstration setup below includes four pairs of optical transceivers and a multiplexor/de-multiplexor from Finisar and WBMMF cable from CommScope.


The signal carried in each light (represented by a color) operates at the data rate of 25 Gigabit per second (Gbps) in the demo. The aggregated data rate of four lights becomes 100 Gbps.

So, 10 Gbps operates over two multimode fibers and the 100 Gbps operation in the demonstration also ran over two multimode fibers. From 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps, the data rate is increased 10-fold. This is the power of achieving efficiency in fiber connectivity. I believe this is the future of how high-speed Ethernet will operate over multimode fiber.

There is more than one way to increase efficiency in connectivity. If you want to know more, feel free to stop by my presentation at the Ethernet Technology Summit or leave a comment below and I will be sure to respond.