CFP2 MSA compliant development tools

By Petr Jirovec, Communication Systems Specialist, Starvoy Technologies

Optical HW designers face numerous challenges when introducing emerging technologies into new product releases.
Evaluating complex components, such as CFP2s, is one of them. Availability of third-party evaluation platforms continues to be an issue, forcing designers to rely on a mix of homemade jigs and evaluation boards provided by optical/silicon suppliers.

Multilane SAL has recognized an industry-wide need for third-party test and development tools. For over four years, Multilane has been providing comprehensive tool sets addressing R&D and production testing requirements.

The latest addition to Multilane SAL product offering is a CFP2 development suite consisting of host MSA compliance boards, various loop backs and break-out modules.

Let’s look a bit deeper into what each component function is.



An MSA compliant host board is a key piece of hardware used by engineers to evaluate and program CFP2 modules. The board utilizes matched transmission lines, SMA connectors on the high speed differential pairs and an MSA control interface that is accessible through a USB port or I2C/MDIO headers. A user-friendly GUI is available as well as scripting tools for running MatLab automated tests.

Multilane offers 4x28G and 10x10G host boards.




Mulitlane offers electrical loop back modules in two basic configurations: 4x28G and 10×10 (passive and retimed). These modules are targeted for host (system) debugging and production testing. They are fully programmable so can be recognized as valid CFP2 modules by a host. In addition to acting as straight loopbacks, a user can program a module to dissipate any power level within the MSA scope (up to 12W for LR4). This feature is especially
useful for corner case testing.

Loop back modules are predominantly used for production testing where utilizing fully functional CFP2 optical modules would be prohibitively expensive. A fully customized loop back module is on average 1/8th the cost of an optical CFP2.



A host board signal integrity is a critical factor contributing to overall system reliability. At 28G rates over copper, designers face a daunting task of laying down s (ASICS) to the CFP2 connector. A lot can be accomplished by modeling, but it is always good practice to verify the signal integrity of the complete link with the actual HW in place.

Multilane has developed a CFP2 breakout module that allows signal integrity testing for 4x28G and 10x10G CFP2
systems. The module is using a standard CFP2 MSA memory map and allows full customization so it can be recognized as a host system.

The electrical outputs use high quality Huber-Suhner MXP connectors.




The WaveShaper as a research tool

By Dr. Simon Poole, Director New Business Ventures Finisar Australia .

It’s now just over four years since we shipped the first of our WaveShape programmable optical processors. The WaveShaper range has now grown from two models (1000E and 4000E) to a Baskin-Robbins-like 19 different flavors.


We’re very proud of how the WaveShaper’s unique capabilities to control optical phase and amplitude have assisted in the development of a whole range of new technologies and helped researchers around the world in their endeavors.

Research uses for the WaveShaper range from programmable filtering for coherent communications systems development, through microwave photonics, shortpulse laser development, and, with the recent launch of the WaveShaper Fourier processor, to the emulation of advanced interferometric components for O-OFDM and phase-modulated systems.

For more from Dr. Poole’s Blog