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11 new products for your test and measurement needs

02 Oct 2015  | Martin Rowe

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zQSFP+ optical module cages: TE Connectivity

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If there's one sure thing about data communications, it's that there's never enough bandwidth. Today's 10Gbit/s optical links are stressed trying to deliver data. While 100Gbit/s links (4x25Gbit/s) are available, the optics can be too expensive for many companies. The single-lane 25Gbit/s link (IEEE 802.3by) can bridge the gap between speed and cost. It's 2.5 times faster than 10Gbit/s, but the installation costs are lower than those of 100Gbit/s links.

The zQSFP+ family of optical cages from TE Connectivity mount on boards and on cables. They fill the bill in the cost-versus-speed issue. The cages are available in multitude of configurations, from a single 1x1 housing to 1x6 or stacked from 2x1 to 2x3.

zQSFP+ cages are backward compatible with QSFP/QSFP+ 100Gbit/s (4x25Gbit/s) optics. Thus, they can be used for designing line cards with either speed. You can use these cages with Fibre Channel or InfiniBand systems as well. zQSFP+ cages can provide extra electrical margin for 10Gbit/s and 16Gbit/s applications.

zQSFP+ cages attach to a PCB through connectors under the cage. The SMT connector solders to the PCB and the cage sits on top of the connector, providing electrical connectivity to the optical module in the cage.

Signal integrity and EMI can pose problems with such high-speed signals. To minimise signal issues, the zQSFP+ modules can be mounted behind a bezel (faceplate), which closes openings that can let unwanted signals in or out. You have the choice of uses the modules behind or through the faceplate, where you can then add EMI shielding as needed. Heat dissipation is also an issue, and TE Connectivity offers heat sinks to keep module temperature under control.

zQSFP cages are dual-sourced with TE Connectivity and Molex, providing interchangeable products.

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