Compatible transceiver supplier ProLabs has unveiled the first product in a new line of ‘Green’ optical transceivers, which consume 30 per cent less power than traditional devices while offering the same great performance.
The initial release within the Green product line will be the QSFP28-100G-SR4 optical module, aimed at 100 Gigabit Ethernet links over multimode fibre inside data centres. It offers maximum power consumption of 2.5W, rather than 3.5W allowed in this form factor, although power consumption of 2W is typical, according to Tony Lefebvre, ProLab’s vice president of product marketing and management.
The new transceivers employ silicon optical bench (SiOB) technology to align the output from the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) with the physical fibres. This shortens the optical path inside the module by 60 per cent and reduces optical losses, which in turn reduces the power required to operate the device.
“It is no secret that data centres consume a vast amount of energy, but we want to show our customers that we can help ensure that this consumption does not get out of control. If you think of the number of connections in a data centre, the resulting power savings and the effect that the silicon optical bench will have on the need for less cooling is significant,” said Lefebvre.
The silicon optical bench technology is best suited to high-speed products because it is costlier to manufacture and the final product attracts a 20-30 per cent price premium, he observes. However, when the cost of supplying power and cooling to the data centre are also taken into consideration, it is more cost-effective overall to use the lower power modules.
ProLabs is also developing a 100G CWDM4 optical transceiver based on the silicon optical bench technology.
Like the rest of ProLabs’ product portfolio, the Green transceivers come with a lifetime warranty.