Overview of Bi-Directional Transceiver Modules

During optical transmission process, it’s no wonder that using one fiber to receive data from networking equipment, and another one to transmit data to the networking equipment. This kind of transmission mode will increase investment cost certainly. Luckily, here is a type of transceiver can solve this problem. It’s bi-directional transceiver. Today, this article will take you to make sense why bi-directional transceiver can make it possible to transmit data over one fiber.

Basics of BiDi Transceiver

BiDi is short for bidirectional. BiDi transceiver is a type of fiber optic transceivers which is used WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) bi-directional transmission technology so that it can achieve the transmission of optical channels on a fiber propagating simultaneously in both directions. BiDi transceiver is only with one port which uses an integral bidirectional coupler to transmit and receive signals over a single fiber optical cable. Thus, it must be employed in pairs.

How Does BiDi Transceiver Work?

The obvious difference between BiDi transceivers and traditional two-fiber fiber optic transceivers is that BiDi transceivers are fitted with Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) couplers, also known as diplexers, which combine and separate data transmitted over a single fiber based on the wavelengths of the light. For this reason, BiDi transceivers are also referred to as WDM transceivers.

To work effectively, BiDi transceivers must be deployed in matched pairs, with their diplexers tuned to match the expected wavelength of the transmitter and receiver that they will be transmitting data from or to.

For example, if paired BiDi transceivers are being used to connect Device A (Upstream) and Device B (Downstream), as shown in the figure below, then:

  • Transceiver A’s diplexer must have a receiving wavelength of 1550nm and a transmit wavelength of 1310nm
  • Transceiver B’s diplexer must have a receiving wavelength of 1310nm and a transmit wavelength of 1550nm

bidi-transceiver-diagram

Common Types of BiDi Transceiver
BiDi SFP Transceiver

BiDi SFP transceiver is typically applied for the high-performance integrated duplex data link over a single optical fiber. It interfaces a network device mother board (for a switch, router or similar device) to a fiber optic or unshielded twisted pair networking cable. And the most typical wavelength combination is 1310/1490 nm, 1310/1550 nm, 1490/1550 nm and 1510/1570 nm. This BiDi SFP transceiver is used in optical communication for both telecommunication and data bidirectional communications applications.

bidi_sfp-b-1

BiDi SFP+ Transceiver

BiDi SFP+ transceiver is an enhanced SFP transceiver. It is designed for bi-directional 10G serial optical data communications such as IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE-BX by using 1330/1270nm transmitter and 1270/1330nm receiver. And its transmission distance is up to 20 km.

bidi-sfp-plus

BiDi X2 Transceiver

BiDi X2 transceivers are designed for bi-directional 10G serial optical data communications, which likes BiDi SFP+ transceivers. The transceiver consists of two sections: the transmitter section uses a multiple quantum well 1330/1270nm DFB laser. And the receiver section uses an integrated 1270/1330nm detector preamplifier (IDP) mounted in an optical header and a limiting post-amplifier IC. This BiDi transceiver is mainly used in Ethernet network.

bidi-x2

Advantages of BiDi Transceiver

The obvious advantage of utilizing BiDi transceivers, such as BiDi SFP+ and BiDi SFP transceivers, is the reduction in fiber cabling infrastructure costs by reducing the number of fiber patch panel ports, reducing the amount of tray space dedicated to fiber management, and requiring less fiber cable.

While BiDi transceivers (a.k.a. WDM transceivers) cost more to initially purchase than traditional two-fiber transceivers, they utilize half the amount of fiber per unit of distance. For many networks, the cost savings of utilizing less fiber is enough to more than offset the higher purchase price of BiDi transceivers.

Conclusion

In summary, BiDi transceivers can combine and separate data transmitted over a single fiber based on the wavelengths of the light. That is to say, to achieve the same transmitting result, it needs less money. Except for above SFP & SFP+ BiDi transceivers, FS.COM also provides 40G BiDi transceiver. This BiDi transceiver has two 20 Gbps channels, each transmitted and received simultaneously on two wavelengths over a single MMF strand (OM3 or OM4). Any one of the transceivers would meet your different application requirements with high performance.

SFP+ Transceiver – Do You Know Its Testing Challenges?

Owing to its ubiquity, simplicity and low cost, Ethernet, one technology enabling Internet communications, is everywhere, from carrier networks to local area networks, from desktop PCs to the largest supercomputers. And with its widespread deployment, there occurs countless equipment accordingly designed for Gigabit communications, such as SFP+ transceiver. Are you familiar with SFP+? How much do you know about its testing challenges? This text will discuss some key features of SFP+ firstly, and then delve into its testing challenges.

SFP+ Transceiver Background

As an enhanced version of the small form-factor pluggable (SFP), the enhanced SFP (SFP+) is a hot-pluggable, small-footprint, and multi-rate optical transceiver accessible for up to 16 Gbit/s data communications and storage-area network (SAN) applications. And this SFP+ enjoys the following advantages.

Smaller, Cheaper, More Efficient

Just as the last paragraph mentioned above, the SFP+ module is a variant of the SFP optical transceiver. It simplifies the functionality of the 10G optical module significantly by moving functions, such as clock and data recovery (CDR), electronic dispersion compensation (EDC), 10G SERDES, and signal conditioning. Thus, the SFP+ module requires fewer components, consumes less power, and allows for increased port density. Certainly, it’s also smaller and less expensive compared with the 10-Gigabit small form-factor pluggable module (XFP) form factor.

SFP+, smaller than XFP

As SFP+ becomes more prevalent, it’s imperative for engineers to become familiar with some of the key challenges linked to testing SFP+ capable devices.

SFP+ Transceiver Testing Challenges

On one hand, SFP+ gives a hand in reducing the overall system cost. On the other, its physical layer (PHY) and performance are put with new burdens. The SERDES framer interface (SFI) between the host board and the SFP+ module displays great design and testing challenges.

  • One challenge attributes to the increased port density and the testing time required for 48 or more ports per rack. For instance, there are 15 measurements each for the host transmitter tests, and each of these measurements using manual methods can easily take from three to five minutes. This means it will take engineers more than an hour per port to complete the required tests.
  • The second one that engineers need to consider is: if a measurement fails, how can they determine which component is causing such a failure, and how they debug the issue to arrive at the root cause. Such determinations are especially challenging because of the tight physical packaging and compact designs.
  • Another challenge falls on the connectivity. That is: how to get the signal out from the device under test (DUT) to an oscilloscope. Test fixtures are typically required, but questions arise around consequently: whether the fixtures have been tested and validated against the specification.
  • The additional problem lies in the fact that the SFP+ specification requires some measurements to be performed using a PRBS31 signal. At a sampling rate of 50 Gsamples/s, the designer can acquire around 40 million unit intervals (UIs). At a sampling rate of 100 Gsamples/s, the instrument can acquire 20 million UIs. However, a PRBS31 pattern has more than 2 billion UIs. Hence, acquiring an entire pattern poses a challenge.
Conclusion

SFP+ transceiver with its compact size has become a popular industry format supported by many network component vendors. And with the above-mentioned points in mind, designers have gained an overview of SFP+ transceiver testing challenges. Fiberstore is an outstanding and professional SFP+ manufacturer and supplier, available with a sea of high-performance and -quality SFP+ transceivers. Besides SFP+transceiver, Fiberstore also supplies QSFP+ transceiver, fully compatible with major brands. For more information about transceivers, you can visit Fiberstore.

SFP+ Transceiver Testing – TWDPc Measurement

SFP+ transceiver is widely deployed in applications and becomes much more pervasive due to its smaller form factor, less power consumption and its increased port density compared with XFP transceiver. Each SFP+ transceiver houses an optical receiver and transmitter. One end of the transceiver is an optical connection complying with the 10GbE and 8GFC standards, while the other end is an SERDES framer interface (SFI) serial interconnect handling differential signals up to 10 Gbit/s. In order to keep a SFP+ transceiver achieving high performance, the engineers need to acquaint with the key challenges related to testing SFP+ transceiver. This article will first walk through the SFP+ testing challenges and then focus on one kind of testing measurement.

SFP+ Testing Challenges
  • One obvious challenge is the increased port density and the testing time required with 48 or more ports per rack.
  • Another challenge is moving seamlessly from a compliance environment to a debug environment.
  • Yet another problem most designers face today relates to connectivity: how to get the signal out from the device under test (DUT) to an oscilloscope.
  • Another challenge to prepare for is that the SFP+ specification calls out some measurements to be performed using a PRBS31 signal.
  • Additionally, acquiring a record length of 200 million data points demands huge processing power and time.
TWDPc Measurement

TWDPc, short for transmitter waveform distortion penalty for copper, requires a special algorithm defined by the SFP+ specification. This test is defined as a measure of the deterministic dispersion penalty due to a particular transmitter with reference to the emulated multimode fibers and a well-characterized receiver.

TWDPc-measurement

The TWDPc script (of 802.3aq, 10GBASE-LRM) processes a PRBS9 pattern requiring at least 16 samples per unit interval. Out of concern for the large installed base of equivalent-time oscilloscopes with a record length of around 4000 samples, the requirement for 16 samples per unit interval was relaxed to seven samples per unit interval.

The relaxation of the requirement from 16 samples per unit interval to just seven samples per unit interval causes worst-case pessimism of 0.24 dB TWDPc over 30 measurements. For DUTs that already have a high TWDPc, 0.24 dB can be the difference between a pass or a fail result.

The TWDPc measurement for SFP+ host transmitter output specifications for copper requires more than 70 Gsamples/s to capture a minimum of seven samples per UI. Real-time oscilloscopes offering higher sampling rates of 100 Gsamples/s or greater have a much higher chance of providing accurate results for TWDPc compared to scopes that only offer lower sampling-rate options.

Across the board, it is important to map the SFP+ signal’s data-transfer rate to the proper oscilloscope bandwidth requirements to ensure accuracy in measurement and margin testing. With a 10.3125-Gbyte/s data-transfer rate and minimum rise time of 34 ps, a scope with a bandwidth of 16 GHz or higher is required to meet the minimum requirements for SFP+. As noted, sampling rate is also an important consideration for the TWDPc measurement.

Conclusion

Although SFP+ transceiver simplifies the functionality of the 10G optical module, it introduces some test and measurement challenges. TWDPc is a key test for SFP+ transceiver. It defines the differences (in dB) between a reference signal and noise ratio (SNR) and the equivalent SNR at the slicer input of a reference equalizer receiver for the measurement waveform after propagating through a stimulus channel. For SFP+ compliance testing, TWDPc is a required measurement.