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Entries in 2.5D packaging (3)

Wednesday
Jul052017

The era of cloud-scale routeing 

Nokia's FP4 p-chip. The multi-chip module shows five packages: the p-chip die surrounded by four memory stacks. Each stack has five memory die. The p-chip and memory stacks are interconnected using an interposer.
  • Nokia has unveiled the FP4, a 2.4 terabit-per-second network processor that has 6x the throughput of its existing FP3. 
  • The FP4 is a four-IC chipset implemented using 16nm CMOS FinFET technology. Two of the four devices in the chipset are multi-chip modules.
  • The FP4 uses 56 gigabit-per-second serial-deserialiser (serdes) technology from Broadcom, implemented using PAM-4 modulation. It also supports terabit flows.
  • Nokia announced IP edge and core router platforms that will use the FP4, the largest configuration being a 0.58 petabit switching capacity router. 

Much can happen in an internet minute. In that time, 4.1 million YouTube videos are viewed, compared to 2.8 million views a minute only last year. Meanwhile, new internet uses continue to emerge. Take voice-activated devices, for example. Amazon ships 50 of its Echo devices every minute, almost one a second.

Given all that happens each minute, predicting where the internet will be in a decade’s time is challenging. But that is the task Alcatel-Lucent’s (now Nokia’s) chip designers set themselves in 2011 after the launch of its FP3 network processor chipset that powers its IP-router platforms.

Six years on and its successor - the FP4 - has just been announced. The FP4 is the industry’s first multi-terabit network processor that will be the mainstay of Nokia’s IP router platforms for years to come.

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Wednesday
Oct262016

COBO: specification work nearing completion

The Consortium for On-board Optics (COBO) is on target to complete its specifications work by the year end. The work will then enter a final approval stage that will take up to a further three months.

On-board optics, also known as mid-board or embedded optics, have been available for years but vendors have so far had to use custom products. The goal of COBO, first announced in March 2015 and backed by such companies as Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Finisar and Intel, is to develop a technology roadmap and common specifications for on-board optics to ensure interoperability.

Brad Booth (pictured), the chair of COBO and principal architect for Microsoft’s Azure Global Networking Services, says that bringing optics inside systems raises a different set of issues compared to pluggable optical modules used on the front panel of equipment. “If you have a requirement for 32 ports on a faceplate, you know mechanically what you can build,” says Booth.

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Tuesday
Oct182016

The making of integrated optics

A US initiative is bringing together leading companies with top academics and universities to create a manufacturing infrastructure for the widespread adoption of integrated photonics.

The US sees integrated photonics as a strategic technology and has set up the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics - AIM Photonics - to advance the technology and make it available to a wider community of companies. AIM Photonics, with $610 million of public and private funding, is a five-year initiative ending in 2020. AIM’s long-term goal is to be self-sustaining.

 

Doug Coolbaugh

“Right now the infrastructure is focussed on electronics and CMOS but photonics is going to be the future,” says Doug Coolbaugh, chief operations officer at AIM Photonics. “There is no other way to do it [very high bandwidth] except using light for ultra fast communications.”

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