Migration to 40 Gbps & 100 Gbps

In contrast to 10 Gbps backbones that use serial transmission, the newest generation 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps multimode applications use parallel transmission.

40GBASE-SR4 requires eight fibers. Four transmit, while four receive at 10 Gbps each lane. 100GBASE-SR4 requires eight fibers. Four transmit, while four receive at 25 Gbps each lane.

Unlike 10 Gbps backbones, multimode backbone channels with the capability of providing support to 40GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-SR4 are usually deployed with MPO (Multi-fiber Push On) cords, MPO pass-through panels, and pre-terminated MPO trunks.

For migrations from 40 Gigbit Ethernet (GbE) to 100 GbE, 100GBASE-SR4 is frequently deployed because it uses the identical eight-fiber transmission scheme that 40GBASE-SR4 utilizes. As a result, network interruption is minimized, and the upgrade is seamless.

Newly developed 24-fiber MPO trunks can provide support between floors to several two and eight fiber applications. Using pre-terminated trunk cables in initially deploying 10 Gbps enables a seamless migration from 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps, as well as 100 Gbps speeds by repurposing trunk cables and replacing the distribution modules, equipment or patch cords.

A major benefit of new OM5 wideband fiber is that it does not need the utilization of factory-terminated MPO connectors for supporting 40G and 100G applications. Its use of serial transmission allows it to be easily terminated inside the field using LC or comparable connectors after the installation of the cable itself.


Defining OM3 and OM4 fiber capabilities, the IEEE 802.3ba standard relates to the support of 40G and 100G Ethernet applications. While 10GBASE-SR has a 400-meter range over OM4, 40G and 100G systems that are commercially available have a limit of 150 meters (100 meters for 100GBASE-SR4).

VCSELs (vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers) have extended reach, and have the potential to attain 400 meters with 40 Gbps, which enables a smooth migration from 10G to 40G. As the market grows, extended-reach VCSELs for 100G can be acquired. However, when distances exceeding 300 meters is anticipated, installation of single-mode fiber with multimode will allow the backbone to accommodate speeds more than 40 Gbps. OM5 fiber enables the support of 40G and 100G SWDM4 applications at extended distances.

Part 4 will discuss Existing Installations, New Installations, and Future Proofing.

Progressive Office Cabling

Founded in 1986, Progressive Office’s success has been a direct result of years of commitment to seeking cost-effective solutions. Working together, Progressive teams are committed to getting your data cables installed and operating while minimizing disruption and downtime. Call our toll free number (800) 614-4560 today.