The Base-8 cabling standard is a scalable solution that improves port performance and reduces operating costs. Explore the benefits of Base-8 here.


Image by Corning

New Cabling Standard Means Less Wasted Fiber, Fewer Connection Points

In technology, the higher the number, the better the product, right? After all, each successive iPhone or Samsung Galaxy improves as its model number increases – just look at the leap between the iPhone 5 and the 6 that followed it. But in the case of optic fiber connectors, going from Base-12 to Base-8 is a very, very good thing. Offering added scalability and better density to rack units, Corning’s Edge-8 fiber cabling standard is designed to better fit with the transceivers used in network switches, says Data Center Dynamics.

Think of it in terms of hot dogs. (It’s an analogy we can all get behind, really.) For years, hot dogs have been sold in packs of 10, while buns have come in packs of eight. From the outside, it would seem no one in the hot dog industry has talked to each other for decades. But, as it turns out, the problem has to do with the size of racks buns are baked on, which allow for only four buns apiece, hence the packaging of eight buns. Even with this explanation, it’s still annoying – and cost ineffective – to the end consumer.

Base-8 cabling aims to resolve the “hot dog dilemma” on a more sophisticated scale by combining fibers in groups of eight, which is ideal for data centers’ 40Gbps circuits. Because trunk cables have 24 fibers, they’ve historically been split into groups of a pair or a dozen. But in order to handle higher transmission speeds, Base-8 solves the problem by bundling eight fibers at a time. There are several Base-8 solutions available on the market, but Corning’s Edge8 is a “tip-to-tip” implementation that includes all elements needed to move from one switch to another.

Some benefits to Edge8:

  • No conversion needed: No need for conversion modules because all the fibers in a trunk are put to use.
  • Network scalability: 100 percent fiber utilization for both four- and eight-channel applications.
  • Streamlined port mapping: Base-8 allows you to map all port blades one to one.
  • Improved link performance: Reduces link attenuation by 50 percent via longer parallel link distances.
  • Cost savings: Realize a 25 percent link cost savings when deploying parallel optics.

Edge8 also reduces jumper complexity by pinning trunks, which allows for a single pinless jumper on all installations. It also eliminates stranded cabling assets via optimized harness mapping.

Interested in learning more or upgrading to Base-8 technology? Get in touch with our team of IT infrastructure professionals today.