Yamaichi develops “OSFP-VLC”, the first VLC (Vertical Line Card) platform compliant connector in the market

 Yamaichi Electronics (Head Office: Ota-ku, Tokyo, President: Junichi Kameya) has developed “OSFP-VLC”, a vertical variant of the Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable (“OSFP*1”) connector that is compliant to the Vertical Line Card (“VLC”) platform which was presented by Nubis communications in ECOC 2022 Basel Switzerland*2.
 VLC is an architecture that was recently proposed to the industry which allows higher transmission speed with higher density by a vertical line card which is mounting vertical I/O connectors and ASIC*3 side by side to shorten the signal trace distance within 3”-4”, all while taking advantage of the existing mature technology (module, board assembly process and signal transmission technology) in the market.
As PCB line length can be shortened in comparison to the conventional Horizontal Line Card solution (“HLC”), 112G transmission can be achieved with current cost. In addition, vertical line card placement will decrease the number of necessary boards, as well as make room for a cooling space which leads to much lower power consumption and increased cooling efficiency.
 This product will debut at DesignCon 2023 (January 31-February 2) in Santa Clara, California.

*1 Octal Small Form Factor Pluggable : A standard for optical transceivers that connect optical fibers to communications equipment
*2 ECOC 2022 Basel Switzerland :
*3  A general term for integrated circuits, a type of electronic component that integrates circuits with multiple functions for a specific purpose

Image of vertical OSFP connector


 As 5G technology, Big data, AI and IoT becomes more prevalent, fast and reliable connection to process extremely large amount of data in the cloud is becoming increasingly important. On the other hand, cost reduction is becoming crucial for data centers since maintaining physical space as well as air conditioning and power supply for the system is a huge burden. On top of all this, increasing numbers of data centers and the power consumption that follows have a concerning impact to the environment.
 While there have been several proposals from the industry to realize higher transmission speed and density to upgrade data center devices from 112G to 224G, all proposals required new technology which leads to an increased production cost.
 Given the situation above, Yamaichi and Nubis communications have decided to provide a new solution to the market based on VLC architecture, a new architecture that places OSFP connectors vertical to the line card, allowing existing mature technology (module, mounting and signal transmission technology) to achieve higher signal density and speed while maintaining low cost, as well as highly efficient cooling structure for lower power consumption.


– Shortened trace length to ASIC allows for a higher data transmission speed only with existing technology
– Placing the line cards vertically creates room within the system which allows implementing a highly efficient cooling structure
– Lower power consumption by highly efficient cooling system
– Lower cost by eliminating cables and needing fewer boards
– Can utilize other I/O interface types

back view of a vertical OSFP connector

Target application

– Server/router/switch for data centers
– Optical transceiver device
– Supercomputers


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