Cisco CPAK 100GBASE alternative = CFP2 converter + 100G QSFP28 module

Time ago we wrote blog article about Cisco CPAK transceivers, about how special it is and that there is no alternative in 3rd party market for it , since then things have changed and there is ONE now!


In short: we can use Cisco coded CFP2 converter (CFP2-QSFP28-CONV)


100G QSFP28 module in it, 100G-QSFP28-10 (Cisco PN: QSFP-100G-LR4-S)
And WUALA we have a solution!


Please kindly check below details about how our engineers managed to make 10km connection between Cisco Nexus 93108TC-EX (N9K-C93108TC-EX) which support QSFP28 ports and Cisco ASR 9000 (with A9K-MPA-2X100GE line card) which only support CPAK or CFP2 for ER4 connections.


Here is scenario:


At first when we are talking about connecting network routers first thing first, is to check datasheets, which are provided by router manufacturer, for complying (supported) transceivers.


Cisco Nexus 93108TC-EX:

By checking Nexus router compatible 100G transceivers we discover that there is a transceiver, which complies our initial requirements. Specifically QSFP28 form factor QSFP-100G-LR4-S For 10km connection. EDGE Technologies portfolio contains QSFP28 form factor transceivers (100G-QSFP28-10 for 10km connection). This transceiver is capable to reach 10km cable distance by utilizing 1310nm wavelength.


Cisco ASR 9000:

Specifically A9K-MPA-2X100GE board as mainstream supports Cisco propriety CPAK form factor, but as well, it has support CFP2-100G-ER4 (40km scenario).

In our case we have done tests using EDGE Optical Solutions 100G-QSFP28-10 for 10km connection (Cisco PN: QSFP-100G-LR4-S) together with CFP2-QSFP28 (PN: CFP2-QSFP28-CONV) converter adapter.


When such connection between Cisco Nexus 93108TC-EX (N9K-C93108TC-EX) and Cisco ASR 9000 (with A9K-MPA-2X100GE line card) has been made everything worked perfect! We can see the testing results below where 10km link is working and transceivers at both sides are recognized as valid:

Cisco ASR 9000 (A9K-MPA-2X100GE line card) side:


show controllers Hu0/5/0/0 all
Tue Dec  5 14:46:28.381 EET
Operational data for interface HundredGigE0/5/0/0:

    Administrative state: enabled
    Operational state: Up
    LED state: Green On


    Media type: R fiber over 4 Lane optics (long reach)
        Vendor: EDGE
        Part number: 100G-QSFP28-10
        Serial number: 1711100002
        Wavelength: 0 nm

    Digital Optical Monitoring:
        Transceiver Temp: 29.000 C
        Transceiver Voltage: 3.264 V

        Alarms key: (H) Alarm high, (h) Warning high
                    (L) Alarm low, (l) Warning low
           Wavelength    Tx Power          Rx Power      Laser Bias
        Lane  (nm)    (dBm)    (mW)     (dBm)     (mW)      (mA)
        --   -----   ------   ------    ------   ------    ------
        00     n/a     1.6   1.4464     0.3   1.0728     34.318
        00     n/a     1.0   1.2537     0.4   1.1041     33.020
        00     n/a     1.9   1.5329     -0.9   0.8123     31.564
        00     n/a     1.8   1.4997     -0.1   0.9685     30.956

Cisco Nexus 93108TC-EX (N9K-C93108TC-EX) side:

    transceiver is present
    type is QSFP-100G-LR4
    name is EDGE
    part number is 100G-QSFP28-10
    revision is 01
    serial number is 1711100002
    nominal bitrate is 25500 MBit/sec per channel
    Link length supported for 9/125um fiber is 10 km
    cisco id is 17
    cisco extended id number is 204

If any other questions, please do not hesiate to contact Us, we will be happy to help and assist You with Your requests!