OIF Reveals Three Innovative Projects – External Laser Small Form Factor Pluggable Module for Co-Packaged Optics, Artificial Intelligence for Enhanced Network Operations and CEI-112G-Linear – at Q2 2021 Virtual Meeting

Fremont, Calif.—May 26, 2021 – Activity was high at OIF’s Q2 2021 Technical and MA&E Committees Meeting, held virtually May 10-14. Members initiated three new innovative projects, including a Co-Packaged Optics external laser module, Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Enhanced Network Operations and CEI-112G-Linear, in addition to announcing a network operator survey for the 2022 Networking Demo.

External Laser Small Form Factor Pluggable (ELSFP) Module Project – companion project to support co-packaged optics applications

This project for a blind-mate pluggable external light source module will define a new form factor optimized to package lasers to support co-packaged optical modules. It also includes provisions for the longevity of this form factor beyond the initial scope of the Co-Packaged Optics Module project (i.e., more fibers, thermal, and optical power classes).

“The ELSFP project is an important step for enabling co-packaged optics deployments,” according to Gary Nicholl, Cisco and OIF board member. “And, the project objectives include the necessary technical considerations to ensure this project will be relevant for multiple generations.”

Application of Artificial Intelligence to Enhanced Network Operations Project

A healthy and high-performance network serves as the foundation for all 5G application scenarios. Traditional approaches face significant difficulties in automatically and efficiently analyzing network data, solving network faults, and optimizing network performance. This new project will result in a white paper identifying a collection of use cases for applying AI to construct intelligent, resilient and high-performance optical and packet networks.

CEI-112G-Linear Project

A linear Chip-to-Optical Engine interface is needed to enable low power, low cost, small form factor 112G serial optical modules in Co-Packaged Optics, Near Package Optics (NPO) and server/GPU applications. This new project will facilitate increased bandwidth and reduced power of switch ports using co-packaged and closely packaged optical modules.

Network Operator Survey – 2022 Transport SDN Interoperability Demonstration

The OIF Networking Interoperability Working Group is surveying operators worldwide for their input and interest in participating in a 2022 Transport SDN Interoperability Demonstration. As with past surveys, responses will be anonymized, tabulated and summarized. The deadline to complete the survey is Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Interested operators can click here to download the survey.

About OIF

OIF is where the optical networking industry’s interoperability work gets done. Building on more than 20 years of effecting forward change in the industry, OIF represents the dynamic ecosystem of 100+ 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 at @OIForum, on LinkedIn and at


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OIF Launches CEI-112G Projects, Forms Network Operator Working Group

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) announced that it has begun work on long reach (LR) and medium reach (MR) CEI-112G, building upon two existing 100G serial electrical link projects. Forum members continue to support and approve the development of projects addressing CEI-112G as bandwidth needs increase. Dr. Chongjin Xie of Alibaba was invited to present to members at the quarterly meeting in Shanghai. Dr. Xie shared with members the need for various network technologies, innovations and breakthroughs for datacenters. Following the meeting, the members participated in an OIF Day with China Unicom and SK Telecom.

CEI-112G Projects

The CEI-112G-LR project defines an interface to enable high-loss 112G backplane channels. This project will also facilitate direct attach copper (DAC) cable channel links at 112G. The CEI-112G-MR project will develop specifications for a chip-to-chip (c2c) interface which can also be used to support applications of 112Gx2 (224G), and 112Gx4 (448G) with reduced power, complexity, and enhanced density.

“These projects build upon the relevant and foundational 56G and 112G CEI roadmap the OIF has established,” said Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity and OIF vice president of marketing.  “The industry continues to look to the OIF to deliver interoperable implementation agreements that will drive adoption of both 100 Gb/s serial applications and the interfaces needed to address higher bandwidth.”

Network Operator Working Group

Members voted to evolve the Carrier Working Group into the new Network Operator Working Group, reflecting the active participation of web-scale and content service provider members such as Alibaba, Google and Microsoft, along with traditional service providers such as China Telecom, Orange, TELUS, and Verizon.

“The new working group reflects the OIF’s growing membership of network operators who are participating in technology advancement and interoperability demonstrations to influence the industry,” said Dr. Junjie Li of China Telecom, the newly elected Network Operator Working Group chair.  “These network operators have driven the OIF 400ZR and CFP2-DCO projects and are sharing their insights as reflected in the presentation from our Q4 speaker, Dr. Xie of Alibaba.”

OIF Election Results

Cathy Liu of Broadcom Limited and Dr. Martin Bouda of Fujitsu were newly elected to the Board for one-year terms, with Dr. Bouda appointed to secretary/treasurer. Ian Betty of Ciena was re-elected for a two-year term, and Tad Hofmeister of Google was elected to a two-year term.

Jonathan Sadler of Coriant was appointed to vice president. Dave Brown of Nokia continues to serve as president, and Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity continues to serve as vice president of marketing.

About the OIF
The OIF facilitates the development and deployment of interoperable networking solutions and services. Members collaborate to drive Implementation Agreements (IAs) and interoperability demonstrations to accelerate and maximize market adoption of advanced internetworking technologies. OIF work applies to optical and electrical interconnects, optical component and network processing technologies, and to network control and operations including software defined networks and network function virtualization. The OIF actively supports and extends the work of national and international standards bodies. Launched in 1998, the OIF is the only industry group uniting representatives from across the spectrum of networking, including many of the world’s leading service providers, system vendors, component manufacturers, software and testing vendors. Information on the OIF can be found at