QSFP-DD MSA Announces Initial Release of 1.6 Tbps Pluggable QSFP-DD Specification

Glasgow, UK September 29th, 2023 – The Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) group announced today at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC 2023), the release of a hardware specification revision 7.0 updating the QSFP-DD MSA Specification, and introducing QSFP-DD1600. 

The new specification maintains the form factor’s eight electrical lanes with each lane operating at the new higher 200 Gbps rate to provide an aggregate module bandwidth capacity of 1.6 Tbps. The 1.6 Tbps host port maintains backwards compatibility with the entire family of QSFP and QSFP-DD modules and cables. This provides the high degree of flexibility that end users and system designers have come to expect from QSFP and QSFP-DD, easing end user’s network port speed migration. The new specification includes enhancements to further improve the power handling capability. This combines with the form factor’s small faceplate profile and the QSFP-DD’s riding heatsink feature that enables system designers the ability to more efficiently cool the majority of modules as well as support even higher power modules that may be required in next generation high-density Ethernet switch platforms supporting all module variants including coherent 1600ZR modules. 

The new QSFP-DD1600 specification targets maintaining the current port density enjoyed by systems utilizing QSFP-DD today and fully utilizes the faceplate to efficiently use the rackspace that is expected from next generation capacity switches. 

“Network operators are continuing to push the QSFP-DD form factor to meet the expectations of next generation system while maintaining backward compatibility.” says Scott Sommers, MSA co-chair, “This is a critical step for the operational strategy of next generation deployments”. 

“The design flexibility that the QSFP-DD form factor enables with its riding heatsink and small faceplate profile maximizes the available air flow and provides engineers the flexibility to meet the challenges for the next generation of system design,” says Mark Nowell, MSA co-chair, “QSFP-DD continues to be the cornerstone of high performance, high density pluggable optics for the foreseeable future.” 

This new specification extends the QSFP-DD leadership to 1.6 Tbps with broad support from component manufacturers to end users and continues the market leadership for QSFP-DD from its original 400G and now 800G adoption. 

A new whitepaper focusing on the thermal enhancements, including the resulting reduction of system power, of QSFP-DD1600 is available on the QSFP-DD MSA website: www.qsfp-dd.com

The QSFP-DD MSA is supported by more than 60 companies addressing the technical challenges of achieving a double-density interface and ensuring mechanical, electrical, thermal, and signal-integrity interoperability for the next generation of networking equipment. 

For more information, visit the QSFP-DD MSA website, www.qsfp-dd.com