Fibre optic connectors – the nexus of all data centres – are the ideal place to start meeting the need for higher density as we move to accommodate the ultra-high density optical interconnectivity demands of hyperscale data centres and edge computing – that is the view of David Aspray, European Sales Manager for SENKO Advanced Components.
With the inexorable approach of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud-based services, 4K videos and 5G, the growth rate of global data centre processing capacity is expected to exceed 35 % CAGR, requiring expansion of existing data centres and also the construction of new ones. At the same time, latency requirements will mean that data centres will need to be closer to the users, especially in time-critical applications such as autonomous vehicles. With such space and power constraints, future data centres will need to be compact and energy efficient.
“We are helping to shrink the footprint of high density data centres by shrinking the fibre connectors” said Aspray. “Current data centres predominantly use a combination of Lucent Connector (LC) and Multi-fibre Push On (MPO) connectors as a high density solution. This saves a lot of space compared to conventional Standard Connector (SC) and Fibre Optic (FC) connectors. Although, MPO connectors can increase capacity without increasing the footprint, they are laborious to manufacture and challenging to clean. We now offer a range of ultra-compact connectors that are more durable in the field as they are designed using proven technology, are easier to handle and clean, and offer considerable space saving benefits. This is without a doubt the way forward,” he added.
With the specific objective of addressing the needs of enterprise and hyperscale data centres, SENKO has designed the CS® and SN® connectors in collaboration with the QSFP MSA, an industry working group of transceiver manufacturers. Both are compact duplex connectors. This gives a 40 % increase in density compared to a high density LC solution. The connectors come with built in pull tabs in a range of lengths for easy patching. CS® allows 4 fibre connectivity in a QSFP transceiver module, doubling the connection capacity of LC. The SN® connector is an ultra-high density duplex solution with a pitch of 3.1mm and an even more compact body. With SN® it is possible to connect 8 fibres in a single QSFP transceiver.
“Today’s MPO-based transceivers are the backbone of data centre topography but data centre design is transitioning from a “hierarchical” model to a “leaf-and-spine” model,” commented Aspray. “In a leaf-and-spine model it is necessary to break out the individual channels in order to interconnect the spine switches to any of the leaf switches. Using MPO connectors this would require a separate patch panel with either break-out cassettes or break-out cables. Since the SN® based transceivers are already broken out by having four (4) individual SN™ connectors at the transceiver interface they can be patched directly. The changes that operators make to their data centres now can future-proof them against inevitable increases in demand, which is why it is a good idea for operators to consider deploying higher density solutions like the CS® and SN® connectors, even if it is not imperative to their current data centre design. ”
A full explanation of the break-out and other benefits to be gained from CS® and SN® connectors can be found in the CS and SN Application Note on the Senko Website www.senko.com
SENKO Advanced Components develops, manufactures, markets and distributes hundreds of fibre optic products, providing solutions across the spectrum of fibre optic applications from FTTx, telecom and Datacom applications to broadcast and medical. They aim to be recognized as the global leader for interconnect solutions by providing our customers with the highest quality optical connectivity.
Senko Advanced Components aims to work collaboratively with customers to solve their problems using extensive design and engineering capabilities. They are continuously developing products to address new market applications as they arise and to provide global design, test and high quality manufacturing capabilities to serve customer’s needs. The large team of design and manufacturing engineers are supported by test facilities in the US and China. These facilities ensure that products meet and exceed Telcordia and IEC standards. The technical team also benefit significantly from participation in working groups and forums in various industry standards bodies such as IEEE, IEC, INEMI as well fibre optic manufacturer associations like COBO, OSFP and QSFP-DD.
With highly reactive operations staff and warehouses in the UK, the US and China, Senko is able to ship many items on demand. Non–stock items are generally delivered within 2-3 weeks.