Data centers are constantly moving toward faster speeds and higher densities – especially in hyperscale, Web 2.0 companies, such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. Speeds as high as 25G and 100G Ethernet have already become mainstream in data centers, and the industry is working collaboratively on next-generation Ethernet development, such as 200G and 400G Ethernet.
Multimode fiber (MMF) is a cost-effective solution in these environments, thanks to its high tolerance for fiber misalignment and relatively low connection loss at each connector interface. Multimode fiber cabling systems – combined with LEDs and VCSEL (vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser)-based optical transceivers – are ideal for short-reach optical interconnects.
The channel capacity of multimode fiber has multiplied by using parallel transmission over several fiber strands (four or 16, with collections of 25 Gbps lanes carried in each direction). But this method raises cabling system prices.