Zarlink Semiconductor, Agilent Technologies to Create Common Standard for Pluggable 4-channel Parallel Fiber Optic Transceiver Modules

9/5/2002 - Zarlink Semiconductor and Agilent Technologies announced a multi-source agreement intended to create a common standard for pluggable 4-channel parallel optic transceiver modules that offer an aggregate bandwidth of up to 10 Gb/s (gigabits per second).

Known as POP4 (Pluggable Optics 4-channel), the agreement promotes flexible and reliable system design by ensuring that customers have access to multiple, reliable sources for 4-channel transceivers used for high bandwidth, optical interconnections in next-generation switches, routers, and other networking equipment.

Agilent and Zarlink will design standardized packaging, optical and electronic interfaces for their respective 4-channel transceiver modules, currently under development. The companies also will work to encourage the POP4 specification as the global industry standard for 4-channel parallel optics transceivers.

Pluggable parallel optic transceivers send and receive data over optical fibers and perform electrical-to-optical and optical-to-electrical conversion of the data stream. Zarlink and Agilent's transceiver modules feature 4-transmit and 4-receive channels in one package, each operating at 1 to 2.7 Gb/s, for an aggregate bandwidth of 4 to 10.8 Gb/s in each direction.

"With this agreement our customers gain flexibility and the advantages of competitive sources," said Olof Svenonius, product line manager, Parallel Fiber Modules, Zarlink Semiconductor. "We are encouraging other vendors to design to the POP4 specification to further promote customer choice."

"Parallel fiber optic modules for very short reach optical interconnect are key components in the intra-system backplanes being designed for scaleable, multi-chassis networking equipment," said David Eastley, product marketing manager for Agilent's Fiber Optics Product Division. "This agreement provides customers with multi-vendor pluggable transceivers that will also be compatible with Infiniband( and VSR OC-192 specifications."

Network Operators Demand Scaleable Architecture
Truly scaleable equipment utilize a multi-chassis design that allows network operators to increase capacity simply by adding one or more chassis to the original configuration. Pluggable parallel fiber optic modules are the only cost-effective and reliable method of optical interconnection in multi-chassis equipment, offering the speed, density and reach that designers demand.

Agilent and Zarlink's pluggable 4-channel parallel optic transceivers are specifically designed to meet rising demand for capacity in intra-system backplane interconnects, including chassis-to-chassis connections up to 300 meters, VSR OC-192 as per OIF VSR4-3 specifications, and InfiniBand connections.

The modules use a 100-pin MEG-Array(r) connector and are based on 850nm (nanometer) VCSEL (vertical cavity surface emitting laser) technology. The transceivers support transmission requirements of up to 10.8 Gb/s, occupy less than one inch of board space, and are compatible with an industry-standard MTP(r)/MPO fiber optic connector.

Product design, development, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of the parallel fiber optic transceiver modules will take place independently. For more information and to obtain a copy of the POP4 specification, please visit

About Zarlink Semiconductor (
Zarlink employs its formidable analog, digital and mixed-signal capabilities to offer the most compelling products for wired, wireless and optical connectivity markets and ultra low-power medical applications.

About Agilent Technologies (
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 37,000 employees serve customers in more than 120 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $8.4 billion in fiscal 2001.

MEG-Array is a registered trademark of FCI, a division of Areva. MTP is a registered trademark of US Conec. InfiniBand is a trademark of the InfiniBand Trade Association. Zarlink and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

Previous Page | News by Category | News Search

If you found this page useful, bookmark and share it on: