Tu? 410A (IQ/IQ] 4105 (IQ/IQ] 4100

US 20140205243Al
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2014/0205243 A1
Baker
(43) Pub. Date:
(54)
CABLE ASSEMBLY
(52)
(71)
Applicant INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
Jul. 24, 2014
US. Cl.
CPC
G023 6/42 (2013.01), G023 6/36 (2013.01)
USPC ............................................. .. 385/77; 385/89
MACHINES CORPORATION,
Annonk, NY (Us)
(57)
(72) Inventor: Anthony E. Baker, Stittsville (CA)
(73) Assignee:
ABSTRACT
A cable assembly can include a single C form-factor plug
gable (CFP) connector adhering to a CFP multi-source agree
ment (MSA), and providing a maximum bandwidth of
between 100 and 120 gigabits-per-second (Gbps) over ten
to-twelve lanes. The cable assembly can include, for instance,
one, two, or three quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP/
QSFP+) connectors adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA, and
each providing a maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps over
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS
MACHINES CORPORATION,
Armonk, NY (US)
(21) App1.No.: 13/745,824
four lanes. The cable assembly can include one or more cables
(22)
Filed:
Jan. 20, 2013
equal in number to the QSFP/QSFP+ connectors and each
connecting the single CFP connector to the one of the QSFP/
QSFP+ connectors. The four lanes over which each QSFP/
Publication Classi?cation
QSFP+ connector provides the maximum bandwidth of forty
(51)
Gbps corresponds to a different four of the ten-to-twelve
lanes over which the single CFP connector provides the maxi
mum bandwidth of between 100 and 120 Gbps.
Int. Cl.
(2006.01)
(2006.01)
NETWORKING DEVICE
402
’V
408
r_’*
|||||||||||
CFP
CFP
100
’\
Tu? 410A
’\
(IQ/IQ] 4105
’\
(IQ/IQ] 4100
HE
412A
4125
4120
NETWORKING
DEVICE
NETWORKING
DEVICE
NETWORKING
DEVICE
404A
4048
J
400
404C
Patent Application Publication
Jul. 24, 2014 Sheet 1 0f 3
US 2014/0205243 A1
FIG 1
CFP
{___
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
QSFP/
_
QSFP/
:::@:::::::::]4X10 QSFP+J04A
___
_
_
_
_
_
_
__
12x10 :::g:::::::::}4x10 QSFP+J04B
___
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
__
QSFP/
:::g:::::::::}4x10 QSFP+ 1040
L___
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
\/
Patent Application Publication
Jul. 24, 2014 Sheet 2 0f3
100
US 2014/0205243 A1
FIG 2
102
1 06A
106B
} 4X10
12x10
FIG 3
102
1 06A
,
12x10
100
} 4X10
Patent Application Publication
Jul. 24, 2014 Sheet 3 0f 3
US 2014/0205243 A1
FIG 4
NEUNOHQNGDEVBE
,\}02
408
||||||||||| 406
CFP\/
CFP /\
102
100
F
104A
\/
410A
41GB
410C
H—J
H—J
“a
412A
4125
412C
NETWORKING
DEVICE
NETWORKING
DEVICE
NETWORKING
DEVICE
404A
4045
400
404C
Jul. 24, 2014
US 2014/0205243 A1
CABLE ASSEMBLY
BACKGROUND
[0001] Ethernet has evolved to meet the growing demands
of packet-switched networks. It has become the unifying
technology enabling communications via the Internet and
other networks using the Internet Protocol (IP). Due to its
proven low cost, known reliability, and simplicity, the major
ity of today’s Internet traf?c starts or ends on an Ethernet
connection. This popularity has resulted in a complex eco
system among carrier networks, enterprise networks, and
consumers, creating a symbiotic relationship among its vari
ous parts.
[0002] At ?rst, Ethernet speeds were typically limited to ten
or one-hundred megabits-per-second (Mbps), and then
increased to one gigabit-per-second (Gbps). However, with
the needs for increasing bandwidth, it is not uncommon to
encounter ten Gbps speeds, and even forty and one-hundred
Gbps speeds have become available. A multitude of different
connectors have evolved to support such higher Ethernet
speeds, beyond the common R145 connectors used for one
Gbps and lower speeds.
SUMMARY
[0003]
An example cable assembly of the disclosure
includes a ?rst connector adhering to a ?rst standard and
providing a ?rst total maximum bandwidth. The cable assem
bly includes one or more second connectors adhering to a
second standard different than the ?rst standard. Each second
connector provides a second total maximum bandwidth. A
the maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps corresponds to a
different four of the ten-to-twelve lanes over which the single
CFP connector provides the maximum bandwidth of between
100 and 120 Gbps, such that two-to-four of the ten-to-twelve
lanes have to remain unused within the cable assembly.
[0006] A fourth example cable assembly of the disclosure
includes a single CFP connector adhering to a CFP MSA, and
providing a maximum bandwidth of between 100 and 120
Gbps over twelve lanes. The cable assembly includes exactly
three QSFP/QSFP+ connectors adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+
MSA. Each QSFP/QSFP+ connector provides a maximum
bandwidth of forty Gbps over four lanes. The cable assembly
includes exactly three cables. Each cable connects the single
CFP connector to one of the exactly three QSFP/QSFP+
connectors. The four lanes over which each QSFP/QSFP+
connector provides the maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps
corresponds to a different four of the twelve lanes over which
the single CFP connector provides the maximum bandwidth
of between 100 and 120 Gbps, such that none of the lanes
have to remain unused within the cable assembly.
[0007] An example system of the disclosure includes a
networking device having ?rst lane hardware. Each ?rst lane
hardware has a ?rst maximum bandwidth and provides a ?rst
lane. A ?rst total maximum bandwidth is equal to a number of
the ?rst lane hardware multiplied by the ?rst maximum band
width. The networking device includes a connector commu
nicatively connected to the ?rst lanes. The system includes a
cable assembly physically and removably connected to the
connector of the networking device.
[0008] The cable assembly of the example system includes
number of the second connectors multiplied by the second
a ?rst connector adhering to a ?rst standard and providing the
?rst maximum bandwidth. The cable assembly includes one
total maximum bandwidth is no greater than the ?rst total
maximum bandwidth. The cable assembly includes one or
different than the ?rst standard. Each second connector pro
more cables. Each cable connects the ?rst connector to a
vides a second total maximum bandwidth divided over sec
or more second connectors adhering to a second standard
different one of the second connectors. A number of the
ond lanes. Each second lane has a second maximum band
cables is equal in number to the second connectors.
width. A number of the second connectors multiplied by the
[0004] A second example cable assembly of the disclosure
includes a single C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector
adhering to a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA), and pro
viding a maximum bandwidth of between 100 and 120 giga
bits-per-second (Gbps) over ten-to-twelve lanes. The cable
second total maximum bandwidth is no greater than the ?rst
total maximum bandwidth. A number of the second lanes
assembly includes a single quad small form-factor pluggable
(QSFP/QSFP+) connector adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA,
and providing a maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps over four
lanes. The cable assembly includes a single cable connecting
the single CFP connector to the single QSFP/QSFP+ connec
tor. The four lanes over which the single QSFP/QSFP+ con
nector provides the maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps cor
responds to four of the ten-to-twelve lanes over which the
single CFP connector provides the maximum bandwidth of
between 100 and 120 Gbps, such that six-to-eight of the
ten-to-twelve lanes have to remain unused within the cable
multiplied by the second maximum bandwidth is equal to the
second total maximum bandwidth. The cable assembly
includes one or more cables. Each cable connects the ?rst
connector to a different one of the second connectors. A
number of the cables is equal in number to the second con
nectors. Each second connector is receptive to physical and
removable connection to a corresponding connector of an
electronic device having second lane hardware providing the
second lanes. As such, the ?rst total maximum bandwidth is
sharable by a maximum number of electronic devices equal in
number to the second connectors, and each electronic device
is to use no more than the second total maximum bandwidth
of the ?rst total maximum bandwidth.
assembly.
[0005]
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL
VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
A third example cable assembly of the disclosure
includes a single CFP connector adhering to a CFP MSA, and
providing a maximum bandwidth of between 100 and 120
Gbps over ten-to-twelve lanes. The cable assembly includes a
pair of QSFP/QSFP+ connectors adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+
MSA. Each QSFP/QSFP+ connector provides a maximum
bandwidth of forty Gbps over four lanes. The cable assembly
includes a pair of cables. Each cable connects the single CFP
connector to one of the pair of QSFP/QSFP+ connectors. The
four lanes over which each QSFP/QSFP+ connector provides
[0009]
The drawings referenced herein form a part of the
speci?cation. Features shown in the drawing illustrate only
some embodiments of the disclosure, and not of all embodi
ments of the disclosure, unless the detailed description
explicitly indicates otherwise, and readers of the speci?cation
should not make implications to the contrary.
[0010] FIG. 1 is a diagram ofan example cable assembly in
which a C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector is con
Jul. 24, 2014
US 2014/0205243 A1
nected to three quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP/
QSFP+) connectors via three corresponding cables.
[0011] FIG. 2 is a diagram ofan example cable assembly in
maximum bandwidth, such as between 100 and 120 Gbps.
which a CFP connector is connected to two QSFP/QSFP+
ond total maximum bandwidth, such as forty Gbps. The num
ber of the second connectors multiplied by this second total
connectors via two corresponding cables.
[0012]
FIG. 3 is a diagram ofan example cable assembly in
which a CFP connector is connected to one QSFP/QSFP+
connector via one corresponding cable.
[0013]
FIG. 4 is a diagram of an example system including
an example cable assembly in which a CFP connector is
The cable assembly includes one or more second connectors,
such as QSFP/QSFP+ connectors, which each provide a sec
maximum bandwidth is no greater than the ?rst total maxi
mum bandwidth. For example, in the case where the ?rst
connector provides 120 Gbps at most, and each second con
nector provides 40 Gbps at mo st, there are no more than three
second connectors. The cable assembly also includes one or
connected to one or more QSFP/QSFP+ connectors via one or
more cables equal in number to the second connectors, and
more corresponding cables.
which each connect the ?rst connector to a different second
connector.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0014] The following detailed description of exemplary
embodiments of the disclosure refers to the accompanying
drawings that form a part of the description. The drawings
illustrate speci?c exemplary embodiments in which the dis
closure may be practiced. The detailed description, including
the drawings, describes these embodiments in suf?cient
detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the disclo
sure. Those skilled in the art may further utilize other embodi
ments of the disclosure, and make logical, mechanical, and
other changes without departing from the spirit or scope of the
disclosure. Readers of the following detailed description
should, therefore, not interpret the description in a limiting
sense, and only the appended claims de?ne the scope of the
[0019] In this way, the example cable assemblies disclosed
herein resolve the shortcomings noted above. First, network
ing devices exposing different types of connectors can still be
connected to one another. Second, networking devices expos
ing different types of connectors that support mismatched
data rates can be connected to one another in a manner that
ensures that little or no bandwidth could go unused. For
example, one device may support 120 Gbps at a CFP connec
tor, and via an example cable assembly disclosed herein can
be connected to three other devices that each support 40 Gbps
at a QSFP/QSFP+ connector. As such, the full bandwidth of
120 Gbps supported by the former device can be used by the
three latter devices that can each just support 40 Gbps.
[0020] FIG. 1 shows an example cable assembly 100. The
embodiment of the disclosure.
cable assembly 100 includes a CFP connector 102 and three
[0015]
As noted in the background section, a multitude of
QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104A, 104B, and 104C, which are
different connectors have evolved to support higher Ethernet
speeds. One such connector is the quad small form-factor
collectively referred to as the QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104.
pluggable (QSFP/QSFP+) connector, which typically sup
Three cables 106A, 106B, and 106C, collectively referred to
as the three cables 106, connect the CFP connector 102 to the
ports Ethernet data rates up to forty gigabits-per-second
(Gbps) over four lO-Gbps channels or lanes. A QSFP/QSFP+
QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104. More speci?cally, each cable
connector adheres to the QSFP/QSFP+ multi-source agree
ment (MSA), which was agreed upon by members of the
QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104. Because there are three QSFP/
QSFP+ connectors 104, the cable assembly 100 can connect
QSFP MSA Group.
one networking device at the CFP connector 1 02 to up to three
[0016] However, currently QSFP/QSFP+ connectors can
not support Ethemet speeds over forty Gbps. Therefore, to
support higher data rates, another connector has been devel
oped. This connector is the C form-factor pluggable (CFP)
connector, which adheres to the CFP MSA that was agreed
upon by members of the CFP MSA Group. A CFP connector
commonly supports Ethernet data rates up to 100 Gbps over
106 connects the CFP connector 102 to a different one of the
different networking devices at the QSFP/QSFP+ connectors
104.
[0021] The CFP connector 102 adheres to the CFP MSA,
and is more generally a ?rst connector adhering to a ?rst
standard. The CFP connector 102 provides a total maximum
bandwidth of 120 Gbps, which can be divided over twelve
lanes provided by a networking device to which the CFP
over twelve lO-Gbps channels or lanes.
connector 102 can be physically connected. Each such lane
thus provides a maximum bandwidth of ten Gbps.
[0022] A lane is a network communication channel. Data
[0017]
A shortcoming of these different connectors is that
can be communicated over such a lane. A networking device
networking devices exposing just QSFP/QSFP+ connectors
is said to provide the lane (i.e., the network communication
channel or lane) in that the networking device includes lane
ten lO-Gbps channels or lanes. However, the CFP MSA can
less commonly support Ethernet data rates up to 120 Gbps
cannot be connected to networking devices exposing just CFP
connectors, yielding to incompatibility headaches for net
work administrators and other users. Furthermore, even if a
networking device exposing just QSFP/QSFP+ connectors
could be connected to networking devices exposing just CFP
connectors, the Ethernet speed mismatch between the former
and the latter connectors would mean that much networking
bandwidth could potentially go unused. For example, in a
worse case scenario, a device supporting 120 Gbps at a CFP
connector connected to a device supporting forty Gbps at a
QSFP/QSFP+ would mean that eighty Gbps of the bandwidth
provided by the former device could go unused.
[0018] Example cable assemblies disclosed herein resolve
these shortcomings.A cable assembly includes a ?rst connec
tor, such as a CFP connector, which provides a ?rst total
hardware that can transmit and receive data over the lane. The
data may be sent and received on a lane in accordance with an
Ethernet protocol or standard, for instance.
[0023] Each QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 adheres to the
QSFP/QSFP+ MSA, and is more generally a second connec
tor adhering to a second standard. Each QSFP/QSFP+ con
nector 104 provides a total maximum bandwidth of forty
Gbps divided over four lanes provided by a networking
device to which the QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 in question
can be physically connected. Each such lane thus provides a
maximum bandwidth of ten Gbps.
[0024] The cables 106 can be passive or active cables. Pas
sive cables are cables in which there are no integrated elec
tronics. Conductors directly connect the CFP connector 102
Jul. 24, 2014
US 2014/0205243 A1
to the QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104 to directly relay signals
between the networking device connected to the connector
102 and the networking device(s) connected to the connectors
104 without repeating, ampli?cation, or other signal process
ing. Active cables are cables in which there are integrated
electronics. Conductors connecting the CFP connector 102 to
the QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104 are augmented by electron
ics to repeat, amplify, or perform other signal processing on
signals relayed between the networking device connected to
the connector 102 and the networking device(s) connected to
which the CFP connector 102 can be physically connected.
Each such lane thus provides a maximum bandwidth of ten
Gbps. Each QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 is in FIG. 2 as is
described in relation to FIG. 1, and can provide a total maxi
mum bandwidth of forty Gbps divided over four lanes pro
vided by a networking device to which the QSFP/QSFP+
connector 104 in question can be physically connected. Each
such lane thus provides a maximum bandwidth of ten Gbps.
Passive cables have the advantage of being less
[0030] The cables 106 are in FIG. 2 as is described in
relation to FIG. 1, and therefore can be passive or active. The
network communication lanes or channels 108 depicted in
FIG. 1 are present in the cable assembly 100 ofFIG. 2, but are
costly to manufacture as compared to active cables. However,
not explicitly shown in FIG. 2 for illustrative clarity and
active cables have the advantage of generally being able to
have greater lengths than passive cables while still maintain
convenience. Each network communication lane or channel
is in FIG. 2 as is described in relation to FIG. 1.
ing signal integrity. For example, the cables 106 if passive
[0031] In the example cable assembly 100 of FIG. 2, some
bandwidth provided by the networking device connected to
the connectors 104.
[0025]
may be able to have a maximum length of 8.5 meters each,
whereas the cables 106 if active may be able to have a maxi
mum length of twenty meters each.
[0026] Depicted in FIG. 1 are the four network communi
cation lanes or channels 108 for each cable 106, via dotted
lines, and which have the maximum bandwidth of ten Gbps
each. Speci?cally, the cable 106A provides four network
communication channels or lanes 108A, the cable 106B pro
vides four such channels or lanes 108B, and the cable 106C
provides four such channels or lanes 108C. The network
communication channels or lanes 108A, 108B, and 108C are
collectively referred to as the network communication chan
the CFP connector 102 has to remain unused. Particularly,
two of the lanes of this networking device providing this
bandwidth have to remain unused where there are ten total
lanes, and four of the lanes have to remain unused where there
are twelve total lanes. This is because the total maximum
bandwidth of the CFP connector 102, which is 100 or 120
Gbps, is greater than the number of QSFP/QSFP+ connectors
104 multiplied by the total maximum bandwidth of each
QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104, or 2x40. Therefore, no less
than twenty Gbps of the 100 Gbps bandwidth or forty of the
nels or lanes 108.
120 Gbps bandwidth at the CFP connector 102 is wasted even
if each QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 is connected to a net
[0027] In the example cable assembly 100 of FIG. 1, no
bandwidth provided by the networking device connected to
rate.
the CFP connector 102 has to remain unused. That is, none of
the lanes of this networking device providing this bandwidth
have to remain unused. This is because the total maximum
bandwidth of the CFP connector 102, which is 120 Gbps, is
equal to the number of QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104 multi
plied by the total maximum bandwidth of each QSFP/QSFP+
working device supporting the maximum forty Gbps data
[0032] FIG. 3 shows a third example of the cable assembly
100. The cable assembly 100 of FIG. 3 differs from that of
FIGS. 1 and 2 at least in the respect that there is just one
QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 and just one corresponding
cable 106 in FIG. 3. Thus, the cable assembly 100 of FIG. 3
connector 104, or 3x40. As such, minimal or none of the
includes a CFP connector 102 and one QSFP/QSFP+ connec
tor 104A. One cable 106A connects the CFP connector 102 to
bandwidth provided by the networking device connector to
the QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104A. Because there is just one
the CFP connector 102 has to be wasted. In particular, no
QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104, the cable assembly 100 of FIG.
bandwidth is wasted if each QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 is
connected to a networking device supporting the maximum
3 can connect one networking device at the CFP connector
forty Gbps date rate.
[0028] FIG. 2 shows another example of the cable assembly
connector 104A.
100. The cable assembly 100 of FIG. 2 differs from that of
FIG. 1 at least in the respect that there are two QSFP/QSFP+
connectors 104 and two corresponding cables 106 in FIG. 2 as
opposed to three of each as in FIG. 3. Thus, the cable assem
bly 100 of FIG. 2 includes a CFP connector 102 and two
QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104A and 104B, which are collec
tively referred to as the QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104. Two
cables 106A and 106B, collectively referred to as the two
cables 106, connect the CFP connector 102 to the QSFP/
QSFP+ connectors 104. More speci?cally, each cable 106
connects the CFP connector 102 to a different one of the
QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104. Because there are two QSFP/
QSFP+ connectors 104, the cable assembly 100 ofFIG. 2 can
connect one networking device at the CFP connector 102 to
102 to up to just one networking device, at the QSFP/QSFP+
[0033] The CFP connector 102 is in FIG. 3 as is described
in relation to FIG. 2, and can provide a total maximum band
width of 100 Gbps divided over ten lanes of a networking
device to which the CFP connector 120 can be physically
connected, or of 120 Gbps divided over twelve such lane of
this device. Each lane provides a maximum bandwidth often
Gbps. The QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104A is in FIG. 3 as is
described in relation to FIG. 2, and can provide a total maxi
mum bandwidth of forty Gbps divided over four lanes pro
vided by a networking device to which the QSFP/QSFP+
connector 104A can be physically connected. Each such lane
can provide a maximum bandwidth of ten Gbps.
[0034] The cable 106A is in FIG. 3 as is described in rela
tion to FIG. 2, and thus can be passive or active. The network
communication lanes or channels 108 depicted in FIG. 1 are
connectors 104.
again present in the cable assembly 100 of FIG. 3, but are not
explicitly shown in FIG. 3 for illustrative clarity and conve
[0029] The CFP connector 102 is in FIG. 2 as is described
in relation to FIG. 1, but may provide a total maximum
nience. Each network communication lane or channel is in
FIG. 3 as is described in relation to FIG. 1.
up to two different networking devices at the QSFP/QSFP+
bandwidth of 100 Gbps instead of 120 Gbps, and which is
[0035]
divided over ten lanes provided by a networking device to
some bandwidth provided by the networking device con
Inthe example cable assembly 100 ofFIG. 3, at least
Jul. 24, 2014
US 2014/0205243 A1
nected to the CFP connector 102 has to remain unused. Par
ticularly, six of the lanes of this networking device providing
[0041] The networking devices 404A, 404B, and 404C
include lane hardware 412A, 412B, and 412C, respectively,
this bandwidth have to remain unused where there are ten
which are collectively referred to as the lane hardware 412 of
total lanes, and eight of the lanes have to remain unused where
the networking devices 404. There is multiple lane hardware
412A communicatively connected to the QSFP/QSFP+ con
nector 410A, multiple lane hardware 412B communicatively
connected to the QSFP/QSFP+ connector 410B, and multiple
lane hardware 412C communicatively connected to the
there are twelve total lanes. This is because the total maxi
mum bandwidth of the CFP connector 102, which is 100 or
120 Gbps, is greater than the total maximum bandwidth of the
only QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104A, which is 40 Gbps.
Therefore, no less than sixty Gbps of the 100 Gbps bandwidth
or eighty Gbps of the 120 Gbps bandwidth of the CFP con
nector 102 is wasted even if the QSFP/QSFP+ connector
104A is connected to a networking device supporting the
maximum forty Gbps data rate.
[0036] FIG. 4 shows an example system 400 in which the
example cable assembly 100 that has been described can be
employed. In the example of FIG. 4, the cable assembly 10 is
depicted as including the CFP connector 102, three QSFP/
QSFP+ connectors 104, and three cables 106 connecting the
connector 102 to the connectors 104, as in FIG. 1. However,
QSFP/QSFP+ connector 410C. For instance, there are four
each of the lane hardware 412A, 412B, and 412C in the
example of FIG. 4.
[0042] Each lane hardware 412A, 412B, and 412C may be
considered as including the hardware components by which
its corresponding networking device 404 can communicate
over a separate network communication channel or lane.
Each lane hardware 412A, 412B, and 412C may provide a
bandwidth of ten Gbps, for instance. As such, the total maxi
mum bandwidth of each networking device 404 is equal to the
number of such lane hardware 412 of the networking device
connectors 104 and two cables 106 as in FIG. 2, or just one
QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 and one cable 106 as in FIG. 3.
404 in question multiplied by this bandwidth, such as forty
Gbps in the example of FIG. 4.
[0043] In the example system of FIG. 4, the total maximum
[0037] The system 400 includes a networking device 402
communicatively connected via the cable assembly 100 to
three networking devices 404A, 404B, and 404C, which are
collectively referred to as the networking devices 404. How
nicate with three different networking devices 404 in incre
ments equal to the total maximum bandwidth of each net
working device 404. For example, four of the twelve lanes
in other implementations, there can be just two QSFP/QSFP+
ever, where there are just two QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 104
and two cables 106 within the cable assembly 100, then the
networking device 402 can connect via the cable assembly
100 to just two networking devices 404. Likewise, where
bandwidth at the networking device 402 is used to commu
provided by the lane hardware 408 of the networking device
402 are used to communicate with the four lanes provided by
the lane hardware 412A of the networking device 404A. A
different four lanes of the twelve lanes provided by the lane
there is just one QSFP/QSFP+ connector 104 and one cable
hardware 408 of the networking device 402 are used to com
106 within the cable assembly 100, then the networking
municate with the four lanes provided by the lane hardware
412B of the networking device 404B. The remaining four
lanes of the twelve lanes provided by the lane hardware 408
are used to communicate with the four lanes provided by the
lane hardware 412C of the networking device 404C.
[0044] In the example system of FIG. 4, then, no bandwidth
of the networking device 402 is wasted even though the
networking device 402 provides at a single CFP connector
406 greater bandwidth than the bandwidth that any individual
device 402 can connect via the cable assembly 100 to just one
networking device 404.
[0038]
Each of the networking devices 402 and 404 can be
a type of networking equipment, such as a switch, a router, a
hub, and so on. Each of the networking devices 402 and 404
may be a computing device like a server computing device or
a client computing device or other switch element. Each of the
networking devices 402 and 404 may be another type of
device as well, so long as it includes networking functionality.
[0039] The networking device 402 includes a CFP connec
tor 406 that is physically and removably connected to the CFP
connector 102 of the cable assembly 100. The networking
device 402 includes lane hardware 408, such as twelve in the
example of FIG. 4, or ten, or another number. Each lane
hardware 408 may be considered as including the hardware
components by which the networking device 402 can com
municate over a separate network communication channel or
lane. Each lane hardware 408 may provide a bandwidth often
Gbps, for instance over a corresponding lane. As such, the
total maximum bandwidth of the networking device 402 is
equal to the number of such lane hardware 408 multiplied by
this bandwidth, such as 120 Gbps in the example of FIG. 4.
[0040] The networking devices 404A, 404B, and 404C
include QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 410A, 410B, and 410C,
respectively, which are collectively referred to as the QSFP/
QSFP+ connectors 410 of the networking devices 404. The
QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 410A, 410B, and 410C are physi
cally and removably connected to the QSFP/QSFP+ connec
tors 104A, 104B, and 104C, respectively, of the cable assem
bly 100. As such, the networking devices 404 are each
communicatively connected to the networking device 402,
via the same cable assembly 100.
networking device 404 provides at its corresponding single
QSFP/QSFP+ connector 404. This is because the total maxi
mum bandwidth of the networking device 402 is effectively
divided over the three networking devices 404. This in turn is
because the cable assembly 100 novelly interconnects the
single networking device 402 at its single CFP connector 406
thereof to multiple networking devices 404 at their corre
sponding single QSFP/QSFP+ connectors 404.
[0045] It is ?nally noted that, although speci?c embodi
ments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be
appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that any
arrangement calculated to achieve the same purpose may be
substituted for the speci?c embodiments shown. This appli
cation is thus intended to cover any adaptations or variations
of embodiments of the present invention. As such and there
fore, it is manifestly intended that this invention be limited
only by the claims and equivalents thereof.
I claim:
1. A cable assembly comprising:
a ?rst connector adhering to a ?rst standard and providing
a ?rst total maximum bandwidth;
one or more second connectors adhering to a second stan
dard different than the ?rst standard, each second con
nector providing a second total maximum bandwidth, a
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US 2014/0205243 A1
number of the second connectors multiplied by the sec
ond total maximum bandwidth being no greater than the
?rst total maximum bandwidth; and
one or more cables, each cable connecting the ?rst connec
tor to a different one of the second connectors, a number
of the cables equal in number to the second connectors.
2. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the number of
the second connectors is equal to one.
3. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the number of
the second connectors is equal to two.
4. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the number of
the second connectors is equal to three.
5. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the ?rst total
maximum bandwidth is divided over a plurality of ?rst lanes,
each ?rst lane having a ?rst maximum bandwidth, a number
of the ?rst lanes multiplied by the ?rst maximum bandwidth
being equal to the ?rst total maximum bandwidth,
and wherein the second total maximum bandwidth is
divided over a plurality of second lanes, each second
lane having a second maximum bandwidth, a number of
the second lanes multiplied by the second maximum
bandwidth being equal to the second total maximum
bandwidth.
6. The cable assembly of claim 5, wherein each of the ?rst
maximum bandwidth and the second maximum bandwidth is
ten gigabits-per-second (Gbps).
7. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the ?rst connec
tor is a C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector, and the ?rst
standard is a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA).
8. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein each second
connector is a quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP/
QSFP+) connector, and the second standard is a QSFP/
QSFP+ multi-source agreement (MSA).
9. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the ?rst connec
tor is a C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector, and the ?rst
standard is a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA),
and wherein each second connector is a quad small form
factor pluggable (QSFP/QSFP+) connector, and the sec
ond standard is a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA.
10. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the cables are
passive cables.
11. The cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the cables are
active cables.
12. A cable assembly comprising:
a single C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector adhering
to a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA), and providing
a maximum bandwidth of between 100 and 120 giga
bits-per-second (Gbps) over ten-to-twelve lanes;
a single quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP/QSFP+)
connector adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA, and pro
viding a maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps over four
lanes; and
a single cable connecting the single CFP connector to the
single QSFP/QSFP+ connector,
wherein the four lanes over which the single QSFP/QSFP+
connector provides the maximum bandwidth of forty
Gbps corresponds to four of the ten-to-twelve lanes over
which the single CFP connector provides the maximum
bandwidth of between 100 and 120 Gbps, such that
six-to-eight of the ten-to-twelve lanes have to remain
unused within the cable assembly.
13. The cable assembly of claim 12, wherein one of:
the single cable is a passive cable;
the single cable is an active cables.
14. A cable assembly comprising:
a single C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector adhering
to a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA), and providing
a maximum bandwidth of between 100 and 120 giga
bits-per-second (Gbps) over ten-to-twelve lanes;
a pair of quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP/QSFP+)
connectors adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA, each
QSFP/QSFP+ connector providing a maximum band
width of forty Gbps over four lanes; and
a pair of cables, each cable connecting the single CFP
connector to one of the pair of QSFP/QSFP+ connectors,
wherein the four lanes over which each QSFP/QSFP+ con
nector provides the maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps
corresponds to a different four of the ten-to-twelve lanes
over which the single CFP connector provides the maxi
mum bandwidth of between 100 and 120 Gbps, such that
two-to-four of the ten-to-twelve lanes have to remain
unused within the cable assembly.
15. The cable assembly of claim 14, wherein one of:
the pair of cables are passive cables;
the pair of cables are active cables.
16. A cable assembly comprising:
a single C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector adhering
to a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA), and providing
a maximum bandwidth of between 100 and 120 giga
bits-per-second (Gbps) over twelve lanes;
exactly three quad small form-factor pluggable (QSFP/
QSFP+) connectors adhering to a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA,
each QSFP/QSFP+ connector providing a maximum
bandwidth of forty Gbps over four lanes; and
exactly three cables, each cable connecting the single CFP
connector to one of the exactly three QSFP/QSFP+ con
nectors,
wherein the four lanes over which each QSFP/QSFP+ con
nector provides the maximum bandwidth of forty Gbps
corresponds to a different four of the twelve lanes over
which the single CFP connector provides the maximum
bandwidth of between 100 and 120 Gbps, such that none
of the lanes have to remain unused within the cable
assembly.
17. The cable assembly of claim 16, wherein one of:
the exactly three cables are passive cables;
the exactly three cables are active cables.
18. A system comprising:
a networking device having a plurality of ?rst lane hard
ware, each ?rst lane hardware having a ?rst maximum
bandwidth and providing a ?rst lane, a ?rst total maxi
mum bandwidth equal to a number of the ?rst lane
hardware multiplied by the ?rst maximum bandwidth,
the networking device comprising a connector commu
nicatively connected to the ?rst lane hardware; and
a cable assembly physically and removably connected to
the connector of the networking device and comprising:
a ?rst connector adhering to a ?rst standard and provid
ing the ?rst maximum bandwidth;
one or more second connectors adhering to a second
standard different than the ?rst standard, each second
connector providing a second total maximum band
width divided over a plurality of second lanes, each
second lane having a second maximum bandwidth, a
number of the second connectors multiplied by the
second total maximum bandwidth being no greater
than the ?rst total maximum bandwidth, a number of
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US 2014/0205243 Al
the second lanes multiplied by the second maximum
bandwidth being equal to the second total maximum
bandwidth; and
one or more cables, each cable connecting the ?rst con
nector to a different one of the second connectors, a
number of the cables equal in number to the second
connectors,
wherein each second connector is receptive to physical and
removable connection to a corresponding connector of
an electronic device providing the second lanes, such
that the ?rst total maximum bandwidth is sharable by a
maximum number of electronic devices equal in number
to the second connectors, and such that each electronic
device is to use no more than the second total maximum
bandwidth of the ?rst total maximum bandwidth.
19. The system of claim 18, wherein the number of the
21. The system of claim 18, wherein the ?rst connector is a
C form-factor pluggable (CFP) connector, and the ?rst stan
dard is a CFP multi-source agreement (MSA),
and wherein each second connector is a quad small form
factor pluggable (QSFP/QSFP+) connector, and the sec
ond standard is a QSFP/QSFP+ MSA.
22. The system of claim 18, wherein one of:
the cables are passive cables;
the cables are active cables.
23. The system of claim 18, wherein the networking device
comprises a router.
24. The system of claim 18, further comprising:
one or more electronic devices, each electronic device
having a plurality of second lane hardware providing the
second lanes and comprising a connector physically and
second connectors is equal to one, two, or three.
removably connected to a different one of the second
connectors and communicatively connected to the sec
ond lanes over which the different one of the second
20. The system of claim 18, wherein each of the ?rst
maximum bandwidth and the second maximum bandwidth is
connectors provides the second total maximum band
width.
ten gigabits-per-second (Gbps).
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