OIF Q2 Technical and MA&E Committees Meeting Wraps with CEI-224G-Linear Project Launch, New CMIS White Papers and Requirements for Energy Efficient Interfaces

Interoperability work continues in key project areas, including 1600ZR/1600ZR+ and EEI specifications


Fremont, Calif. – June 13, 2024OIF’s Q2 Technical and Market Awareness & Education (MA&E) Committees meeting, held May 7-9 in Athens, Greece, concluded with the launch of a Common Electrical I/O (CEI) CEI-224G-Linear project and the publication of two Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) white papers.

Additionally, the Physical Layer User Group (PLUG) Working Group released a new system vendor requirements document for Energy Efficient Interfaces (EEI).

The event had robust attendance from member companies and featured discussions and debates on advancements in optical networking technology interoperability, as well as a guest speaker from ETH Zürich.

The meeting included ongoing efforts in many technical work areas, including 1600ZR/1600ZR+ and EEI, underscoring OIF’s leadership in tackling the complex challenges facing today’s high-speed optical networks.

“OIF’s commitment to interoperability standards and tackling technological challenges was evident at the Q2 meeting,” said Nathan Tracy, OIF President, and TE Connectivity. “The high attendance, start of the CEI-224G-Linear project, CMIS white papers, and the vendor requirements document for EEI, alongside David Moor’s insightful presentation on advanced transceiver design, underscore our leadership in promoting industry-wide collaboration and innovation.”

New Project

The new CEI-224G-Linear project will build on the approach of CEI-112G-Linear in terms of specification methodology. It will support 224G full linear optical modules for next-gen applications (e.g., Ethernet, Ultra Ethernet Consortium (UEC), Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning [AI/ML]) with low power, cost/complexity and latency. The TP1/TP1a and TP4/TP4a electrical specifications will enable up to 224G full linear optical modules for Linear Pluggable Optics (LPO), co-packaged optics (CPO) and Near Package Optics (NPO), supporting next-generation application requirements.

“The CEI-224G-Linear project will represent significant progress in our technological capabilities, weaving the precision of CEI-112G-Linear with groundbreaking innovations,” said Mike Li, OIF Board Member and Intel. “By enabling 224G full linear optical modules and leveraging the advanced 224G DSP SERDES architecture and technology, this initiative is poised to redefine the landscapes of Ethernet, UEC and AI/ML applications. As we embrace lower power, cost and latency, this project is a giant step forward in next-generation computing and connectivity driven by AI/ML.”

New White Papers

Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) White Paper on Management of Smart Optical Modules

This white paper explores how the DWDM functions, parameters and operational aspects of “smart” optical pluggable modules can be handled more efficiently to address various challenges. It introduces an alternative control paradigm for optical modules that decouples optical layer control from packet layer control and from host software and packet controller software development and outlines the pros and cons of this approach. This paradigm is called “host independent management,” enabling advanced capabilities of smart optical modules via additional management methods. The white paper is available for download here.

CMIS-Based Out-of-Band Messaging for Link Training

This white paper provides background on link training and a proposed message catalog by which any transmit SerDes can be trained initially (or tuned adaptively while in service) based on the needs of the corresponding receive SerDes, with the help of message exchange.

It promotes out-of-band (OOB) messaging via the ubiquitous CMIS management link as a flexible solution for exchanging link training messages. The technical specifications of the messaging facility and the representation of the messages will be defined in a CMIS-LT supplement. Potential CMIS-LT applications could include CEI-112G Very Short Reach (VSR), Extra Short Reach (XSR), XSR+, and Medium Reach (MR), IEEE 802.3 AUI C2M links, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, Optical Transport Network (OTN), etc. Download the white paper here.

Requirements Document 

System Vendor Requirements Document for Energy Efficient Interfaces

In today’s fast-paced technological landscape, where data processing and communication demands for AI continue to soar, pursuing energy-efficient solutions is critical. This requirements document for EEI is a direct result of engaging with end users to understand their needs and expectations. It seeks to prioritize applications and establish fundamental criteria for the next generation of energy-efficient electrical and optical link projects and specifications.

Through these discussions, it’s clear the most pressing need for EEI is in high-density application scenarios. The document outlines critical requirements to achieve optimal performance for various applications that necessitate the utilization of such interfaces. These requirements encompass a range of factors, including energy targets, latency targets, desired form factors, degrees of interoperability, traffic types and more. 

Download the requirements document here.

Guest Speaker

The event was further highlighted by guest speaker David Moor, a representative from ETH Zürich and the FLEX-SCALE consortium. Moor discussed the development of an optical digital-to-analog converter (oDAC) supporting Tbps+ data rates with lower power per bit than conventional modulation methods. According to Moor, this design utilizes currently available electronics and photonic devices and is well suited to support high-capacity transport with improved power efficiency.

For more information about the OIF and to access the latest white papers, please visit OIF’s website.


About OIF

OIF is where the optical networking industry’s interoperability work gets done. With more than 25 years of effecting forward change in the industry, OIF represents the dynamic ecosystem of 150+ industry leading network operators, system vendors, component vendors and test equipment vendors collaborating to develop interoperable electrical, optical and control solutions that directly impact the industry’s ecosystem and facilitate global connectivity in the open network world. Connect with OIF on LinkedIn, on X at @OIForum and at



PR Contact:

Leah Wilkinson

Wilkinson + Associates for OIF


OIF Launches 1600ZR+ Coherent Optical, Retimed Tx Linear Rx Optical Energy Efficient Interfaces Projects and Common Management Interface Specification White Paper at Q1 2024 Technical and MA&E Meeting

Fremont, Calif. – OIF, where the optical networking industry’s interoperability work gets done, successfully concluded its Q1 2024 Technical and MA&E meeting in Jacksonville, Florida held January 16-18.

OIF’s quarterly member meetings serve as a platform for collaboration and innovation within the optical networking industry. This meeting resulted in the initiation of two new projects – the Interoperable 1600ZR+ and Retimed Tx Linear Rx Specs Energy Efficient Interfaces (EEI) projects – the reelection of the Physical and Link Layer (PLL) Working Group (WG) Chair and a white paper focused on advancing plug and play for Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) modules. The meeting also featured Andrew Schmitt, Cignal AI as a guest speaker.

“OIF’s quarterly membership meetings serve as a vital nexus for industry leaders to converge, collaborate and propel the field forward,” said Nathan Tracy, OIF President and TE Connectivity. “These meetings are invaluable platforms for members to share insights, discuss and debate ongoing work and launch new projects. The synergy of minds and the shared commitment to innovation in these meetings not only ensures the timely execution of current initiatives but also lays the groundwork for solutions that have a tangible impact on the market now and in the years to come. It is through this collaborative spirit that OIF continues to be a driving force in advancing optical networking standards and technologies, fostering a community that thrives on the exchange of ideas and the collective pursuit of excellence.”


Interoperable 1600ZR+

The new OIF Interoperable 1600ZR+ project complements the 1600ZR project unveiled last September (2023). Responding to market demand for higher-performance (ZR+) modes, OIF is working towards integrating these modes into its application scope for 1600 Gb/s interfaces.

“OIF recognizes the importance of consolidated requirements in the ZR/ZR+ space to streamline development costs and enhance industry collaboration,” said Karl Gass, OIF PLL WG – Optical Vice Chair. “This project reinforces OIF’s role as the forum for coherent line interface discussions and demonstrates leadership by facilitating the evolution of next-generation technologies.”

Retimed Tx Linear Rx Specs EEI Project

OIF has launched the Retimed Tx Linear Rx Specs EEI project, focusing on developing specifications for Retimed Tx Linear Rx (RTxLRx). The initial applications target Ethernet and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML), operating at 200G/lane over 500m single mode fiber (SMF) and 100G/lane over 30m multimode fiber (MMF), with potential for alternate applications. The project aims for full plug and play functionality in both electrical and optical domains, meeting the industry demand for power and latency savings. RTxLRx addresses constraints found in Linear Pluggable Optics (LPO) and provides flexibility, making it a candidate when LPO is not suitable.

“Embracing innovation, OIF maintains its pathfinder role in shaping new optical interface approaches,” said Jeff Hutchins, OIF Board Member and PLL WG – EEI Vice Chair and Ranovus. “Building upon the foundation laid by the ongoing work in the OIF PLL, our commitment extends to expanding the scope, diversity and standards of optical interfaces specified by OIF, ushering in a new era of connectivity and possibilities.”

White Paper: Path to CMIS Plug and Play

In response to key challenges identified by members, OIF unveiled a white paper project on advancing plug and play for CMIS-managed modules. Feedback has emphasized difficulties in consistently managing modules from different vendors and the need for extensive host development with new module introductions. This white paper will provide practical recommendations to enhance plug and play. It focuses on creating guidelines that empower hosts to manage third-party modules effectively, with the goal of enabling seamless integration of new or unknown modules without requiring host software changes. The proposed guidelines will prioritize simplifying provisioning processes and improving module-to-host integration for enhanced efficiency in optical networking.

“This white paper will enhance the transformative power of CMIS, unveiling its capacity to revolutionize network management and interoperability,” said Ian Alderdice, OIF PLL Working Group – Management Co-Vice Chair and Ciena. “By providing valuable insights, it becomes a beacon guiding the evolution of optical networking standards, paving the way for a future where efficiency and seamless integration define the technological landscape.”

PLL WG Chair

OIF announced the reelection of David Stauffer, Kandou Bus, as PLL WG Chair.

Special Guest Speaker: Andrew Schmitt, Cignal AI

The Q1 meeting featured guest speaker, Andrew Schmitt from Cignal AI, who shared valuable insights into the latest trends and developments in the optical networking industry. His presentation provided attendees with a comprehensive understanding of the current landscape and future possibilities within the field.

“OIF is an excellent forum for establishing standards on rapidly emerging technologies, and it is well-positioned to tackle the tough problems network operators and their suppliers face,” said Schmitt. “This meeting’s kick off of the 1600ZR+ process – a third generation follow up to the hugely successful 400ZR project – marks a major milestone for the industry. Further increasing the ease of deployment for 400ZR technology via CMIS is also a very valuable endeavor.  I’m excited about these OIF initiatives and very pleased to offer Cignal AI’s current perspective on the market to such a capable and effective audience.”

About OIF

OIF is where the optical networking industry’s interoperability work gets done. With more than 25 years of effecting forward change in the industry, OIF represents the dynamic ecosystem of 150+ industry leading network operators, system vendors, component vendors and test equipment vendors collaborating to develop interoperable electrical, optical and control solutions that directly impact the industry’s ecosystem and facilitate global connectivity in the open network world. Connect with OIF on LinkedIn, on X at @OIForum and at


PR Contact:

Leah Wilkinson

Wilkinson + Associates for OIF