Kathy O'Neil
Ixia Product Marketing

400GE: A Bigger Pipe to Feed the Beast

June 8, 2017 by Kathy O'Neil

To satisfy the relentless demand for more network bandwidth, the IEEE consortium has been working hard on 400GE/200GE standards that aim to dramatically increase optical fiber transmission speed and bandwidth. The march toward realization of this next generation of networking consists of a multi-vendor, cross-industry group: chip and network equipment makers, test and measurement companies, and the band-width-hungry telecom, data center/cloud, and content providers.

According to a recent LightCounting forecast report, sales of 40GE optics peaked in 2016 with the rise of 100GE. But in 2017, 400GE is just launching, with sales estimated over $400M by the end of 2019 and approach $1.2B in 2022.


Testing is critical even as new standards are forming and initial interoperability is demonstrated in public forums. Ixia Labs, our applied research and innovation group, keeps us ahead of technology trends like 400GE so our equipment manufacturer customers can validate the bleeding-edge solutions they are bringing to market. And once network and data center operators get the solutions, they too need to test performance, conformance, and functionality.

With data center cloud services, 4K video, and 5G mobile network services coming fast, many network operators are moving from 10Gbps signaling to more-efficient 25Gbps signaling, implementing 25GE, 50GE, and 200GE technologies as stepping stones to 400GE. Ixia’s 400GE load modules can validate all these technologies using fan-out cables, giving users a future-proof platform for testing 400GE, 200GE, 50GE, or 25GE multi-speed or single-speed devices.

If you are creating 400GE equipment or implementing 400GE solutions, Ixia can help you test with our solutions for both QSFP-DD and CFP8 interfaces.

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