Abstract: Multimode Fiber (MMF) coupled to Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) links continue to be a widely deployed, cost-effective solution for the largest cloud hyperscale and enterprise markets with the rapid adoption of 100 Gb/s Ethernet (GbE) based on 25 Gb/s electrical and optical serial lanes. Recent work in IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, INCITS T11 Fibre Channel and multi-source agreement (MSA) has introduced or is actively developing 400GbE and 64 Gb/s Fibre Channel (GFC) MMF application standards and specifications based on 50 Gb/s electrical and optical lanes that are projected to have major market presence.
The IEEE standards and MSA specifications have also introduced multiple wavelength technologies that take advantage of optical bandwidth performance for wavelengths greater than 850 nm for MMF and OM5. We present the latest updates on these standards and the underlying technology, market and industry drivers. Our evaluation of the future of MMF-VCSEL links also briefly reviews emerging potential markets for Edge Computing and for automotive applications. We present some relevant findings from the IEEE 802.3 project on optical automotive Ethernet for greater than 1GbE speeds. Our key conclusion is that the range of markets, technologies, standards and customer needs continues to provide a strong base for the future of MMF-VCSEL links.