Introducing the DynamiX QSA™ Family of Port Adapters

 
Link-X

Connects Any SFP DAC, AOC or Transceiver to a QSFP Port

The DynamiX QSATM family of port adapters is the answer to many Data Center professional’s prayers because it resolves the systems linking issues between different line rates and different form-factors used in switches and network adapters such as SFP and QSFP. In addition, it is inexpensive and a life saver in many system upgrade applications.

System Problems:

The trend for faster line rates and new MSA form-factors continues to expand. The market is flooded with a jumble of buzz-words and products that are loaded with specific technical booby traps. In addition, mistakes are becoming very expensive. Systems designers are discovering that the variety and flavors of interconnect products is increasing exponentially. This is all causing IT professionals an increasing amount of irritation and no small amount of confusion as they try to align all these elements, especially when attempting to seamlessly upgrade to new equipment while still supporting legacy systems.

Switch and network adapters are currently offered in QSFP+, QSFP28 and SFP+ and SFP28 form-factors and based on 1G, 10G, or 25G-per-line rates. So, IT managers can easily find themselves with a 25G QSFP-based system and 10G-per-line SFP-based network adapter yet have no clue how to link them up. Different line rates and different form-factors present a challenge but FYI, the answer is: DynamiX QSATM port adapters.

LinkX DynamiX QSATM Solutions:

The DynamiX QSATM family of port adapters is designed, patented and manufactured by Mellanox. The adapter fits into a QSFP 4-channel port in a switch or network adapter and accepts a SFP-based device inserted in the adapter end. This enables passing through a single-channel to the SFP-based device inserted into a larger QSFP port. The faster speed devices are backwards compatible with the slower line speed devices such as:

  • QSA+ 10Gb/s supports 1Gb/s and SFP+ devices
  • QSA28 25Gb/s supports 1Gb/s, 10Gb/s and 25Gb/s and both SFP+ and SFP28 devices

An example of linking a 10G SFP+ transceiver to a 100Gb/s QSFP28 switch using SFP+, SFP28 and QSFP28 devices with the DynamiX QSA™ adapter

 

Product Specifics:

  • Patented design manufactured by Mellanox US patent 7-934-959
  • Available in two speed versions, 10G and 25G
  • Contain an EPROM to tell the host what the device configuration is.
  • Operates independently from the SFP device inserted
  • Passes through SFP device configuration EPROM information
  • Consumes no power – passive except for configuration setup
  • Induces no signal latency
  • Can be used in QSFP+ and QSFP28-based switches and network adapters
  • Supports a wide range of SFP-based DAC and AOC cables plus both multi-mode and single-mode optical transceivers:
    • Cables
      • CR: DAC copper SFP (3-5m)
      • AOCs: SFP multi-mode (100m)
    • Transceivers
      • SR: SFP multi-mode transceiver (100m)
      • LR: SFP single-mode transceiver (10km)
      • SX: 1G SFP+ multi-mode transceiver (500m)
      • Base-T: 1G SFP converter using CAT-5 copper UTP cables

DynamiX QSA Supported SFP Devices

 

The new DynamiX QSATM QSA28 model sports a black, low mass, small-profile, easy-pull tab that is becoming more and more popular in very crowded data center racks. The low-mass, loop design enables more free airflow through the crowded systems and does not flap-in-the-wind as with larger tabs.

In high-density system racks, one can visualize over 100 cable ends and transceivers tabs flapping in the wind.  Besides the restriction in air flow, the larger tabs also create a lot of noise and eventually reliability issues. The tiny, looped design eliminates these factors

DynamiX QSA™ QSA28 Model Low-mass, Looped Tab Design Versus Traditional Flat and Long Tab

Summary:

  • The new DynamiX QSATM family of port adapters resolves many system upgrade issues with respect to linking different form-factors and line rates to switch and network adapter ports
  • The solutions from Mellanox enable a smooth transition when upgrading to newer and faster systems while continuing to support slower speed equipment.
  • Inexpensive, easy-to-use, and plug & play.

 

Supporting Resources:

Contact your Mellanox sales representative for availability and pricing options and stay tuned to my blog more interconnect news and tips.

Sign up for free ebook download here: LinkX Cables and Transceivers ebook

 

About Mellanox & LinkX

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX), a leading supplier of optical transceivers and high-performance, end-to-end smart interconnect solutions for data center servers and storage systems. Mellanox offers a full line of 10G to 200Gb/s cables and transceivers for hyperscale, enterprise, telecom and storage datacenter applications for Ethernet and InfiniBand protocols.

  • LinkX 25G/50G/100G/200Gb/s DAC & AOC cables and transceivers
  • New Quantum switches with 40 ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28 in 1RU chassis
  • New ConnectX®-6 adapters with two ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28
  • Silicon Photonics 100Gb/s Optical Engines and IC components

About Brad Smith

Brad is the Director of Marketing at Mellanox, based in Silicon Valley for the LinkX cables and transceivers business focusing on hyperscale, Web 2.0, enterprise, storage and telco markets. Recently, Brad was Product Line Manager for Intel’s Silicon Photonics group for CWDM4/CLR4 and QSFP28 product lines and ran the 100G CLR4 Alliance. Director of Marketing & BusDev at OpSIS MPW Silicon Photonics foundry. President/COO of LuxSonar Semiconductors ( Cirrus Logic) and co-founder & Director of Product Marketing of NexGen, a X86-compatible CPU company sold to AMD - now the X86 product line. Brad also has ~15 years in technology market research as Vice president of the Computer Systems group at Dataquest/Gartner; VP/Chief Analyst at RHK and Light Counting networking research firms. Brad started his career at Digital Equipment near Boston with the VAX 11/780 and has served as CEO, president/COO and on the board-of-directors of three start-up companies. Brad has a BSEE degree from the University of Massachusetts; MBA from University of Phoenix and holds 2 optical patents

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