Back in May, Microsoft and Facebook announced that they are teaming up to build a trans-Atlantic submarine cable to
connect Virginia Beach, VA. with Bilbao, Spain. When the MAREA cable goes live
sometime in 2017 it will handle up to 160 Tb/s. Let that sink in (pun intended):
160 Tb/s! That’s the power of Wavelength
Division Multiplexing (WDM).
WDM puts several optical carrier signals onto a
single fiber by using different wavelengths (i.e.,
colors) of laser light. For years, the capacity-multiplying benefit
of WDM has resided exclusively with singlemode fiber. As the predominant cable of
choice for most data center applications is multimode fiber, the exceptional
ability of WDM had been something data center managers can drool over but not
actually use. Until now.
In 2015, CommScope
introduced an innovative new technology that transferred the power of WDM on to multimode fiber. Known as wide band
multimode fiber (WBMMF), it can carry at least four times more traffic than OM4.
Essentially, WBMMF works by providing multiple lanes
within a single fiber; at least four different wavelength lanes. This
enables the use of four data streams operating at 10G (for 40G total) or 25G
(for 100G total). These signals are multiplexed at each end into the
fibers. Because WBMMF provides multiple separate lanes, it also enables efficient Bi-directional
(BiDi) traffic for proprietary applications.
The WBMMF solution is
also backwards compatible with legacy optical equipment and connectors, making
it something of a disruptive technology when it comes to your migration path to
higher speeds. Since its introduction, the standards bodies have moved quickly
to incorporate WBMMF into their roadmaps. By the end of 2016, the TIA is
expected to approve standard 942-B which, among things, recognizes WBMMF as an allowed and recommended fiber for data center
Now is the time to start thinking about how WBMMF
figures into your migration strategy. What are the best applications? How will
it support the shift to fabric network switching? How well does it pair with
MPO and LC connectors?CommScope has developed a short and fun quiz to test
your knowledge of this new game-changing
your fiber IQ to the test now.
When you take the quiz, you’ll also have the option
to download our new white paper on WBMMF. It’s loaded with takeaway information
and timely research.
While WBMMF is a big leap forward, it’s only one piece of a much larger
infrastructure puzzle that includes advanced MPO connectors, fabric networking
switching and more. If you keep the big picture in mind and stick to the
standards, you’ll be fine. Need any help along the way? CommScope is here with the answers.