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Entries in COBO (7)

Tuesday
Sep122017

New MSA to enable four-lambda 400-gigabit modules

A new 100-gigabit single-wavelength multi-source agreement (MSA) has been created to provide the industry with 2km and 10km 100-gigabit and 400-gigabit four-wavelength interfaces.

Mark NowellThe MSA is backed by 22 founding companies including Microsoft, Alibaba and Cisco Systems.

The initiative started work two months ago and a draft specification is expected before the year end.

“Twenty-two companies is a very large MSA at this stage, which shows the strong interest in this technology,” says Mark Nowell, distinguished engineer, data centre switching at Cisco Systems and co-chair of the 100G Lambda MSA. “It is clear this is going to be the workhorse technology for the industry for quite a while.”

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Tuesday
Aug292017

COBO targets year-end to complete specification

Part 3: 400-gigabit on-board optics

  • COBO will support 400-gigabit and 800-gigabit interfaces 
  • Three classes of module have been defined, the largest supporting at least 17.5W 

The Consortium for On-board Optics (COBO) is scheduled to complete its module specification this year.

A draft specification defining the mechanical aspects of the embedded optics - the dimensions, connector and electrical interface - is already being reviewed by the consortium’s members.

Brad Booth“The draft specification encompasses what we will do inside the data centre and what will work for the coherent market,” says Brad Booth, chair of COBO and principal network architect for Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure.

COBO was established in 2015 to create an embedded optics multi-source agreement (MSA). On-board optics have long been available but until now these have been proprietary solutions. 

“Our goal [with COBO] was to get past that proprietary aspect,” says Booth. “That is its true value - it can be used for optical backplane or for optical interconnect and now designers will have a standard to build to.” 

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Thursday
Jul202017

Elenion's coherent and fibre-to-the-server plans

  • Elenion’s coherent chip - an integrated modulator-receiver assembly - is now generally available. 
  • The company has a silicon photonics design library that includes over 1,000 elements. 
  • Elenion is also developing an optical engine for client-side interfaces.

Elenion Technologies has given an update on its activities and strategy after announcing itself eight months ago. The silicon photonics-based specialist is backed by private equity firm, Marlin Equity Partners, which also owns systems vendor, Coriant. Elenion had already been active for two and a half years and shipping product when it emerged from its state of secrecy last December

Larry SchwerinElenion has since announced it is selling its telecom product, a coherent transceiver PIC, to Coriant and now other companies.

It has also progressed its optical engine design for the data centre that will soon be a product. Elenion has been working with Ethernet switch chip maker, Cavium, and data centre player, Microsoft, as part of its datacom work.

“We have moved forward,” says Larry Schwerin, the CEO of Elenion.

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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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Thursday
Dec242015

Arista adds coherent CFP2 modules to its 7500 switch 

Arista Networks has developed a coherent optical transport line card for its 7500 high-end switch series. The line card hosts six 100 gigabit CFP2-ACO (analogue coherent optics) and has a reach of up to 5,000 km.

 

Martin Hull

Several optical equipment makers have announced ‘stackable’ platforms specifically to link data centres in the last year.

Infinera’s Cloud Xpress was the first while Coriant recently detailed its Groove G30 platform. Arista’s announcement offers data centre managers an alternative to such data centre interconnect platforms by adding dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) optics directly onto its switch. 

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Wednesday
Nov252015

COBO looks inside and beyond the data centre 

The Consortium of On-Board Optics is working on 400 gigabit optics for the data centre and also for longer-distance links. COBO is a Microsoft-led initiative tasked with standardising a form factor for embedded optics.

Established in March 2015, the consortium already has over 50 members and expects to have early specifications next year and first hardware by late 2017.

 

Brad Booth

Brad Booth, the chair of COBO and principal architect for Microsoft’s Azure Global Networking Services, says Microsoft plans to deploy 100 gigabit in its data centres next year and that when the company started looking at 400 gigabit, it became concerned about the size of the proposed pluggable modules, and the interface speeds needed between the switch silicon and the pluggable module.

“What jumped out at us is that we might be running into an issue here,” says Booth.

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Wednesday
May202015

OFC 2015 digest: Part 2 

The second part of the survey of developments at the OFC 2015 show held recently in Los Angeles.   
 
Part 2: Client-side component and module developments   
  • CFP4- and QSFP28-based 100GBASE-LR4 announced
  • First mid-reach optics in the QSFP28
  • SFP extended to 28 Gigabit
  • 400 Gig precursors using DMT and PAM-4 modulations 
  • VCSEL roadmap promises higher speeds and greater reach

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