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Go faster and be greener with 800GE routing

Go faster and be greener with 800GE routing

As the planet gets hotter, we need networks that run cooler. But what’s the best way to meet growing demand for bandwidth while simultaneously decreasing your network’s carbon footprint?  

800GE routing technology ranks high on the agenda of many IP network operators because it allows them to accomplish both objectives – going faster and being greener. To help operators accelerate their adoption of 800GE routing, Nokia is already conducting tests with partners such as Keysight, and trials with leading IP network operators such as BT of our new generation of 800GE-capable IP routers, which are powered by FP5 silicon.

These trials are an industry first and validate our new 48-port 7750 SR-1x routers and 36-port QSFP-DD 800G line cards for our 7750 SR-s systems arriving this year.  We’re excited to share some details about our 800GE technology and how it may benefit you.  

Why deploy 800GE routing?

Traffic keeps growing but the power and space needed to increase network capacity are limited, especially in central offices where network equipment is housed. 800 Gigabit Ethernet (800GE) technology helps to address this dilemma with an eight-fold increase in link capacity and significant power savings, both of which help operators scale capacity in more efficient ways.

As increasing silicon integration enables more compact and energy-efficient routing equipment, the interface optics needed to transmit IP packets over fiber networks consume a greater share of total space and power needed. 800GE optics help to reduce this share by consuming less power per bit than transmitting an equivalent traffic volume over multiple links equipped with 400GE optics. For example, to bridge 2 Km of fiber, a single QSFP-DD 800G DR8+ pluggable uses 16-18 watts versus 24 watts in total for two 400G FR4 optics, which results in a savings of between 25 and 33% (see table).

Table 1. Power savings with 800GE optics

Table 1. Power savings with 800GE optics

There is a break-even point where using a higher-speed link becomes more cost-efficient than adding more lower-speed links. This break-even point shifts as traffic volumes go up and the price of optics comes down. Already this year the purchase price of 800GE optics is expected to match the price of two 400GE optics. Being cost competitive with net power savings from Day 1 is a strong indicator that 800GE optics will see rapid uptake in the market. Besides saving on space and power, 800GE optics enable IP networks to operate at faster line rates with less complexity and overhead.

Enabling 800GE and next generation optics

For optics to run at faster line rates, the electrical signaling interfaces of their interface connectors have to run faster too. For example, the 100GE QSFP28 optics (quad small-form factor pluggable 28) connector uses four lanes of 25 Gb/s (CAUI-4 specification). The number 28 refers to the SerDes (serializer-deserializer) function, which has a rate of 28 Gb/s (25 Gb/s of data including signaling overhead). In contrast, QSFP-DD (double density) optics use 56 Gb/s SerDes for transporting 400GE over eight lanes of 50 Gb/s each (400GAUI-4) and QSFP-DD 800GE optics use 112G SerDes (eight data lanes of 100 Gb/s).

Faster optics need faster SerDes, but faster SerDes also enables higher port densities. Besides supporting 800GE optics, QSFP-DD connectors with 112G SerDes lanes can break out in one or two 400GE ports or up to eight 100GE ports. 112G SerDes also enables faster speeds and better power-efficiency in smaller form factors that enable greater port densities. For example, 200GE SFP112-DD optics use less than 5 watts versus 8 watts for two 100GE SFP56-DD optics, and 400GE QSFP112 optics use less than 8 watts versus 14 watts for the QSFP56-DD alternative (see table).

Table 2. Unlock the advantages of 112G SerDes

Table 2. Unlock the advantages of 112G SerDes

These power and space savings in optics are critically important to continue growing link capacity within the space, power and thermal constraints of pluggable optics and line cards. These efficiency gains are also essential for enabling the evolution to 800GE pluggable digital coherent router optics.

Upgrade to 800GE with Nokia FP5 routing silicon

800GE technology helps IP network operators address the perennial challenge of meeting growing traffic demand in more sustainable and profitable ways. 800GE optics consume the least amount of space and power per bit, and give the most headroom for traffic peaks and future demand growth.

Silicon innovation is a critical enabler for building higher-capacity IP networks that consume less power per bit. Our new FP5 routing silicon allows us to deliver up to four times more capacity in the same space and power envelope as our current FP4 hardware. The new 36-port QSFP-DD 800G line cards powered by FP5 offer 18 Tb/s full duplex capacity and consume less than 100 milliwatt per gigabit (without optics).

The 7750 SR-s routers powered by FP5 silicon offer best in class scalability and efficiency for both IP edge and core routing applications. They allow operators to unlock the full benefits of 800GE optics to optimally address the increasing traffic demands on their network within the constraints of the available space and power.

For more information about Nokia FP5 silicon and 800GE routing support, see the technology page or read the eBook. To learn more about our service routers, please visit

Arnold Jansen

About Arnold Jansen

Arnold is a senior solution marketing manager in Nokia’s Network Infrastructure business division and responsible for promoting IP routing products and solutions. Arnold has held a number of roles in research and innovation, sales, product management, and marketing during his 25 years in the telecommunications industry. He holds a Bachelor degree in Computer Science from the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

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