Written by Ray Nering, Product Marketing Manager, Cisco

We’re excited to announce that Cisco will have two demonstrations of the QSFP-DD form factor at OFC 2017. The QSFP-DD standard is important because it supports the continued growth in network bandwidth demand and datacenter traffic, by quadrupling aggregate switch bandwidth while maintaining port density.

What QFSP-DD Means to the Data Center

Data center storage capacity will grow nearly 5 fold – from 382 EB in 2015 up to 1.8 ZB in 2020*. As services move to the cloud, network operators want to better manage cost and enable new applications in their data centers. And efficiency is the name of the game, cloud resources can be managed faster and more efficiently across many different applications and data center resources. As these data centers grow and cloud capacities expand, so will the demand for higher capacity, higher speed and higher efficiency switches, routers and transport equipment.

QSFP-DD Form Factor
QSFP-DD Form Factor

As a leader in next generation Ethernet solutions, Cisco supports the QSFP-DD standard to be the next generation of pluggable optical modules for 400GbE. As the industry’s smallest 400GbE module, the QSFP-DD module form factor enables data centers to effectively grow and expand cloud capacity as needed.

Meeting Market Demand with a High-Density, High-Speed Form Factor

In addition to providing higher bandwidth density capability and higher bandwidth density optical module, the QSFP-DD form factor leverages the industry’s manufacturing capability and cost structure that supports QSFP+ and QSFP28, the industry’s de facto standards for 40GbE and 100GbE. QSFP-DD can support 36 ports of 400GbE in a single Rack Unit (RU) providing over 14Tb/s of bandwidth. And systems designed with QSFP-DD modules will be backwards compatible, allowing them to support existing QSFP modules and provide flexibility for end users and system designers

Where to See the QSFP-DD Demos at OFC 2017

At the Ethernet Alliance booth (#3709), you can see a demonstration of the 400GbE interoperability in conjunction with Ixia and Foxconn Interconnect Technology. This is the first live demonstration of a 400GbE link using QSFP-DD over passive direct attach copper cable. At the Cisco booth (#1501) you can see a demonstration of the remarkable thermal performance of QSFP-DD form factor in a 32 port chassis.

About the QFSP-DD Standard

QSFP-DD is currently supported by 52 member companies from cage, connector and cable manufactures to module and system vendors. The Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group announced the release of the 2.0 specification on March 12, 2017. More information can be found on their website.

At Cisco we’re working to simplify, automate, and virtualize the network. Come check us out at OFC Booth #1501, and see the QSFP-DD demo in action.

* 2016 Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI)


Alison Izard

Marketing Manager