uSFP

Original Design Manufacturing product development project

Customer: TagOn Limited, Halstead, UK
Project completed in 2009

In the following the development of a high-tech electronic device done in behalf of TagOn limited is presented. TagOn is a start-up engineering innovations company, whose engineering solutions are based on strong scientific foundations and advanced best practice manufacturing processes. The company is acknowledged for Sockeye connector solutions based on high performance expanded beam technology.

Ultra miniature 10 Gbps optical transceiver module (µSFP) is a sugar cube sized device designed to occupy about 40% of the industry standard SFP volume. The device is electrically compatible with SFP modules and fully implements the SFF-8472 standard. µSFP is suitable for implementing 1Gbps to 10 Gbps multimode fiber optic data links in space constrained applications. It is compliant with 10G Ethernet and 8,5G fiber channel standards and backwards with 1G Ethernet and 1x/2x/4x Fibre Channel communication protocol. Also the device offers hot swap capability.

Within the development process several constraints had to be fulfilled such as robustness, very small form factor and extremely precise mechanical design, making the mechanics the biggest design challenge. The initial solution was composed of two parts, the transceiver itself and its cage. Additionally, the special tool or removing the transceiver from the cage was designed, to easily unplug μSFP. The transceiver holds electronic and optoelectronic parts, and provides mechanical connection to optical cables. The cage is mounted on the host board, providing mechanical stiffness, precise positioning and good electrical connection between the board and the transceiver.

Since the board had to be very small and at the same time easy to put inside the transceiver casing, the smallest components available on the market and rigid-flex PCB technology were used.

Within just four months, μSFP ultra miniature 10 Gbps optical transceiver was developed, prototype manufactured and successfully verified in the house.

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