Here is a possible introduction:
Fiber optic networks are constantly evolving to meet the growing demands of data transmission. One of the latest innovations in this field is VSFF connectors, which stands for Very Small Form Factor. This connector offers several benefits for high-density data center cabling networks, such as increased density, improved performance, and reduced complexity.
The Evolution of Transceiver Interfaces
GBIC and SFP: The Early Days
Cast your mind back to the early days of data centers—when transceiver interfaces were like the seasons, slow to change. The Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) with its Duplex SC Interface was a familiar sight, enabling data transmission at 1Gbps. But then, something smaller and niftier emerged – the Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP), affectionately known as the “Mini GBIC.” Major equipment manufacturers standardized the SFP, and the LC Duplex Interface became the new norm. Suddenly, data centers had a more compact and efficient option for their networking needs.
QSFP+: The MPO Interface
Around 2012, the data center landscape witnessed another leap—the Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable Plus (QSFP+). This 40G transceiver introduced the MPO interface, allowing for higher data rates and greater flexibility. Except for Passive Optical Network (PON) transceivers, which stuck with SC Simplex connectors, the LC and MPO interfaces ruled the roost. MPO-based transceivers like SR4 and PSM4 made life easier by breaking out into 4 Duplex LC’s using an MPO Breakout Cable. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?
Enter the VSFF Connector
But innovation never rests. Say hello to VSFF Connectors—the next-gen connector for fiber optics, especially in high-density data center cabling networks. VSFF stands for Very Small Form Factor, and these connectors live up to their name. VSFF Connectors are like the compact sports cars of the connector world, zipping through tight spaces with ease.
Key Features of VSFF Connectors
- Tiny Footprint: VSFF connectors make the LC Duplex Interface look positively roomy. Their compact design offers a whopping 3x density compared to the traditional Duplex LC. Imagine fitting three times the fiber connections in the same space—talk about efficiency!
- Vertical Alignment: The magic lies in the VSFF connectors vertical alignment. It uses the same 1.25mm ferrules as the LC, ensuring compatibility while maximizing density. Think of it as stacking your connectors neatly, like a well-organized bookshelf.
- Performance Parallels: Despite their diminutive size, VSFF connectors perform on par with the trusty Duplex LC. So, you get the best of both worlds—space savings without compromising performance.
SN Connector vs. MDC Connector
Now, let’s zoom in on the stars of our show—the SN Connector and the MDC Connector. These two versions of VSFF Connectors are making waves in the industry:
- SN Connector (Senko): Sporting a flexible boot for easy plugging and unplugging, the SN Connector aligns vertically and offers the same 3X density as the Duplex LC. But here’s the catch: it’s not compatible with the MDC Connector.
- MDC Connector (USCONEC): Like its counterpart, the MDC Connector boasts the same density and vertical alignment. However, it dances to a different tune – don’t try plugging a Senko SN Connector into a USCONEC MDC transceiver interface or patch panel port (and vice versa).
Why Choose SN or MDC?
- Direct Breakout Access: Both the SN and MDC connectors provide direct breakout access at the transceiver to individual lanes. No need for a breakout cable or cassette, as required with an MPO transceiver.
- Structured Cabling Efficiency: VSFF Connectors reduce rack space needed for fiber cabling. That freed up space? It’s prime real estate for servers or network gear.
Enter acclAIM: A Paradigm Shift
Legrand’s acclAIM™ Fiber Solution takes a bold step forward by ditching the cassette and introducing direct mating breakout connections. Let’s break down the key features:
1. Cassette Functionality Without the Cassette
Cassette-based systems are widely used in fiber networks, as they offer modularity, flexibility, and ease of installation. However, they also come with some drawbacks, such as increased cost, complexity, and space requirements. What if you could enjoy all the advantages of cassette-based systems, without having to deal with the hassles of the cassette itself? That’s exactly what Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution does.
It eliminates the need for cassettes and instead uses direct-connect patch panels that provide one-to-one connectivity between the fiber ports. This means you can achieve the same functionality, design, and administration as cassette-based systems, but with fewer components, less waste, and less space. The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution simplifies your fiber infrastructure while enhancing its performance and scalability.
2. Simplicity Redefined
One of the challenges of fiber optic networks is ensuring that the pins and polarity of the connectors are compatible and consistent. Pins are the metal parts that hold the fibers in place, and polarity is the direction of the signal flow. If the pins and polarity are mismatched, the network can experience errors or failures. To avoid this problem, Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution uses a direct mating breakout, which is a design that allows the connectors to directly attach to twin fiber patch cords. Twin fiber patch cords are cables that have two fibers in one jacket, which simplifies the wiring and reduces the risk of pin and polarity issues.
The direct mating breakout also enables acclAIM to support different numbers of fibers, from 2 to 24, without requiring any changes to the backbone, which is the main cable that connects different parts of the network. This means that acclAIM can adapt to various network needs and configurations, without compromising the performance or reliability of the network. The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is a simple and elegant solution that redefines connectivity and efficiency in fiber optic networks.
3. Lightning-Fast Deployment
One of the benefits of Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is its fast and easy installation process. Unlike traditional cassette-based systems, which require multiple components, tools, and steps, acclAIM uses a direct-connect patch panel that simplifies the connections and reduces labor. The patch panel has improved ergonomics and design, making it more user-friendly and convenient.
The patch panel also has a built-in cable management system, which organizes and protects the cables and prevents tangling or damage. With acclAIM, you can install your fiber network in a fraction of the time and effort that it would take with other systems. The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is a smart and efficient solution that enables lightning-fast deployment and turnup of your network.
4. Density and Flexibility
One of the key features of Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is its high-density and flexible connectivity. Unlike other systems that use bulky and rigid cassettes, acclAIM uses a direct-connect patch panel that can accommodate up to 288 fibers per rack unit (RU). This means that you can fit more fibers in less space, saving valuable rack space and increasing network capacity.
The patch panel also has ample finger space, which allows you to easily access and adjust the connectors without any tools or hassle. The patch panel also supports different types of connectors, such as LC, SC, and MPO, giving you the flexibility to choose the best option for your network needs. The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is a high-density and flexible solution that optimizes your network connectivity and efficiency.
5. Lifecycle Design
One of the advantages of Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is its lifecycle design, which means that it can accommodate changing network demands without requiring major rewiring or reconfiguration. Unlike other systems that use fixed and rigid cassettes, acclAIM uses a direct-connect patch panel that can support any link configuration, such as point-to-point, point-to-multipoint, or multipoint-to-multipoint.
This means that you can easily change the topology of your network by simply swapping the patch cables, which are the cables that connect the patch panel to the devices. This saves you time, money, and resources, as you don’t have to replace or rewire the trunk or the panel, which are the main components of the network. The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is a lifecycle design solution that adapts to your network needs and future-proofs your network.
6. Sustainability Champion
One of the goals of Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is to reduce the environmental impact of network infrastructure. By using a direct-connect patch panel, acclAIM eliminates the need for an intermediate switching layer, which is a device that connects multiple cables and switches the signals between them. This means that acclAIM consumes less power and generates less heat, which can lower the energy costs and carbon footprint of the network. The direct-connect patch panel also frees up valuable rack unit (RU) space, which is the unit of measurement for the height of the equipment in a rack. This means that you can fit more devices in less space, or use the extra space for other purposes.
The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is also eco-friendly in terms of its packaging. Unlike other systems that use heavy and wasteful packaging materials, acclAIM uses lighter and greener packaging that reduces the weight and volume of the shipments, and minimizes the use of plastic and cardboard. The Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution is a sustainability champion that saves energy, space, and resources while delivering high-performance and reliable connectivity.
The SN and MDC Connection
Legrand’s Optics division is a leader in the field of network solutions, offering high-quality and innovative optics for various applications. One of the products that Legrand’s Optics division offers is the SN (Single-Mode) and MDC (Multi-Duplex Connector) options, which are new types of very small form factor (VSFF) connectors that are designed for data center 400G optimization. These connectors are compatible and complementary with the Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution, which is a revolutionary system that simplifies fiber connectivity and optimizes network efficiency. By using the SN and MDC connectors with the Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution, you can achieve uniformity and consistency throughout your fiber infrastructure, which can bring you many benefits.
A New Era
Legrand’s Infinium acclAIM™ Fiber Solution isn’t just an upgrade—it’s a revolution. Say hello to simplicity, scalability, and sustainability. And with SN and MDC in the mix, your network is ready for whatever the future holds.
Ready to acclaim your fiber network? Contact our experts today!
Last Updated on February 16, 2024 by Josh Mahan