400G/800G Ethernet

Need for Speed - Update 400 & 800 Gigabit Ethernet


Choosing the right datacenter cabling

No one today will be surprised to hear that data volumes are increasing all around the world. Data is coming into the focus of attention in every sector worldwide and is becoming more important than ever due to increasing levels of digitalization. Thus, according to Statista, the annual digital data volume in 2025 will amount to 175 zettabytes. At the same time, because the data is processed and exchanged centrally in datacenters, the need for capacity in these facilities is also increasing.

Ethernet Roadmap: 400 Gigabit and 800 Gigabit applications

In order to achieve the highest possible data rates, many datacenter operators are already using 400 Gigabit Ethernet networks. These are the focus of the current blog article At the same time, developments are already moving in the direction of even faster, optical data transmission solutions. The OSFP MSA is dedicating considerable effort to further developing the OSFP transceiver for 800 Gigabit applications such as 800G-DR8. In this solution, the 800 GBit/s data transfer is performed over eight parallel full-duplex 100-Gbit transmission channels (lanes) with PAM4 coding (8x100G=800G) and two possible reaches: one up to 2km and the other up to 10km. The following connector faces are possible: Singlemode MPO/MTP® 16 APC 8°, Singlemode MDC or Singlemode SN PC 0°.


400GBASE transmission method sees the strongest growth

400GBASE-FR4, 400GBASE-DR4 and 400GBASE-SR8

Market researchers and transceiver manufacturers agree that the strongest growth in the singlemode sector in the coming years will be seen by the 400GBASE-FR4 (for paths of up to 2km) and 400GBASE-DR4 (for paths of up to 500m) transmission methods, which have been standardised in accordance with IEEE 802.3bs. The future in the 400G multimode sector quite clearly belongs to 400GBASE-SR8


The future of singlemode: 400GBASE-DR4

As reported by our Product Manager Harald Jungbäck, market researchers (see graphic) and feedback from the market both predict that the future in the singlemode sector belongs to the 400GBASE-DR4 transmission method. The standardised interface for 400GBASE-DR4 has three possible connector faces:

  • MPO/MTP® 4 + 4, also known as OCTO (in singlemode, with an APC 8° oblique cut)
  • MDC 4x (Quad-MDC) from US Conec Ltd. (the Miniature Duplex Connector is a connector in the Very Small Form Faktor (VSFF) category )
  • SN® 4x from SENKO Co. Ltd. (SN = Senko Nano)
Singlemode MPO/MTP®
400G DR4 MTP Octo
Singlemode MPO/MTP®

4 + 4 (OCTO) with an APC 8° oblique cut

Singlemode MDC
Singlemode MDC

MDC 4x (Quad-MDC)

©US Conec Ltd.

Singlemode SN PC 0°
Singlemode SN PC 0°

SN 4x (Quad SN)

© SENKO Co. Ltd.


The future of multimode: 400GBASE-SR8 with MTP®/MPO 16

This transmission method makes use of the MTP®/MPO 16 as connector system, which is also the Media Dependent Interface (MDI) of the 400GBASE-SR8 transceivers. In this, 16 OM4 fibers are arranged in sequence. The 400 Gbit/s data transfer is performed over eight parallel full-duplex 50-Gbit/s transmission channels (lanes) with PAM4 coding (8x50G=400G) with a reach of up to 100 metres. One innovative cabling system – optimized for the 400GBASE-SR8 transmission technology - is PreCONNECT® SEDECIM from Rosenberger OSI.

Multimode OM4
Multimode OM4

MPO/MTP® 16 with an APC 8° oblique cut


All the above-mentioned topics and other transmission methods for 400G datacenter networks, such as 400GBASE-FR4 or 400GBASE-SR 4.2 (BiDi), can also be seen in the video:


What form can cabling for 400G and 800G datacenter networks take?
There are many different solutions for setting up a network for the required bandwidth and to meet individual requirements. Cabling that is able to migrate to higher bandwidths is playing an increasingly important role in the light of the constantly increasing data volumes The prerequisite for simple migration is a scalable datacenter cabling solution which can be adapted quickly and easily to changing requirements. If you would like to find out more about any of these topics, please get in touch with our experts .


Harald Jungbäck, Product Manager FO cabling systems

Harald Jungbäck draws his fiber optic expertise from his many years of work at Rosenberger OSI. In 1993 he started his career in product and manufacturing process development. Today he is responsible for the consistent expansion of the product range and the technological innovation process in this area.