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Get Ready:
New Fiber Infrastructure for Data Centers


As speeds increase, optical fiber cabling systems need to be upgraded to support larger data center footprints and
growing data traffic bandwidth.
In regard to optical fiber cabling standards, specifications have also been updated with improved link performance.
Before new optical fiber infrastructure is deployed in data centers, there are a few essential checkpoints to keep in mind:
1. Determine the active equipment input/output (I/O) interface based on application types
2. Choose optical link media based on reach and speed
3. Verify optical fiber standards developed by standards bodies
4. Validate link budget based on link distance and number of connection points
In this document, we describe current technology trends and the latest industry standards for data center applications,
providing referral guidelines for these four checkpoints.

Topics covered in this Application Note:

  • Checkpoint No. 1: Active Equipment I/O Interface
    • High-Speed Protocols
    • High-Speed I/O Interface
    • Next-Generation High-Speed Roadmap
  • Checkpoint No. 2: High-Speed Optical Fiber Link Media
    • Multimode Optical Transceivers
    • Singlemode Optical Transceivers
    • Optical Fiber Types
  • Checkpoint No. 3: Optical Fiber Standards
    • Multimode Fiber Standards
    • Singlemode Fiber Standards
    • Singlemode vs. Multimode
  • Checkpoint No. 4: Validate Link Budget
    • Validate MMF Link Budget
    • Validate SMF Link Budget
    • Future Fiber Infrastructure
  • Annex A: Multimode Fiber Links
    • Transmission Penalty in MMF Cable
    • Ethernet Link Model in MMF
    • Fibre Channel Link in MMF
  • Annex B: Singlemode Fiber Links
    • Ethernet Link Model in SMF
    • Fibre Channel Link Model in SMF
    • Annex C: Optical Fiber Connectors 

About The Author:

Qing Xu

Technology and Applications Manager, Optical Fiber Systems

With 12 years of hands-on research and development experience in optical communications and photonics device design, Qing Xu is a subject-matter expert in not only optical fiber technology, but also signal transmission, data center trends, fiber/copper connectivity and structured cabling. Joining Belden in 2014, Qing works closely with product line managers and engineering teams to create technology strategy plans and roadmaps, and lead new product development. He closely monitors and participates in industry activities related to optical fiber communications systems, data center technology and trends, including TIA-TR42 and IEEE 802.3 standards. His experience is built on various work experiences and a solid education; he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical and information engineering and his master’s degree in telecommunications. Most recently, Qing earned a PhD in electrical engineering and communication. Qing is also the author of five U.S. patents and 28 international publications.

Who Is Belden?

For more than 100 years, customers who have required unsurpassed performance and durability for signal transmission have counted on the Belden brand. In the 20th century, that trust was built on high-performance wire and cable products.

Today, Belden designs, manufactures and sells a comprehensive portfolio of cable, connectivity and networking products for the transmission of signals for data, sound and video applications.