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Optical Module Docking Principle
Industry Dynamic + 2023.11.06

Docking principle

The basic principle of optical module docking is:

Optical modules supporting the same standard can be docked (the standard has defined the rate, wavelength and distance, etc., but does not include the package format, the package of the optical module can be inconsistent when docking). Whether the optical modules supporting inconsistent standards can be docked needs to be confirmed by contacting the technical support engineer.

When WLAN products are docked with other products such as switches, the above docking principles should be observed.

Standard Description

Take 1000BASE-LX10 as an example:

  • "1000" indicates the rate, currently there are 10 (M), 100 (M), 1000 (M), 10G, 40G, 100G.

  • "BASE" means baseband transmission, Baseband

  • "L" indicates the centre wavelength of the laser, currently there are S (short wavelength: 850nm), L (long wavelength: 1310nm), E (extra long wavelength: 1550nm), B (bidirectional long wavelength), B (long wavelength: 1550nm), B (bidirectional long wavelength), B (bidirectional long wavelength), B (bidirectional long wavelength). bidirectional long wavelength single fibre bidirectional) and so on.

  • "X" indicates the codec format, currently there are T (twisted pair), X (8B/10B), R (64B/66B), W (WIS) and so on.

  • "10" indicates the number of channels, currently there are 4, 10, there is no number for 1


The above example is only illustrated schematically with the IEEE standard, and does not apply to all optical modules, such as off-standard optical modules.

The standard is composed of 2 parts:

  • International Standards Organisation (ISO) IEEE802.3 definition for MAC and PHY.

  • SFF (Small Form Factor) committee or MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) which defines the hardware, software and structure standards for optical modules.

40GE/100GE Optical Module Supported Docking Situations

The common types of 40GE and 100GE optical modules are as follows:

  • 40GE QSFP+ encapsulated optical modules

  • 40GE CFP encapsulated optical module

  • 100GE CFP Encapsulated Optical Module

  • 100GE QSFP28 encapsulated optical module

Docking supported by 40GE optical modules in different packaging formats

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100GE Optical Module Supported Docking in Different Packaging Formats

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The connected standards in the figure indicate support for docking.

iSR4 and eSR4 are SR4-derived non-standard standards that support interfacing with the SR4 standard.

  • 40GBASE-PAM4 for 40GE supports interfacing with the 40GBASE-ePAM4 standard.

  • 100GBASE-CLR4 for 100GE supports interfacing with the 100GBASE-CWDM4 standard.

  • 100GE of 100GBASE-ER4-lite is docked with 100GBASE-ER4 standard support up to 30km.