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Entries in Consortium for On-Board Optics (3)

Monday
Apr162018

COBO issues industry’s first on-board optics specification

  • COBO modules supports 400-gigabit and 800-gigabit data rates   
  • Two electrical interfaces have been specified: 8 and 16 lanes of 50-gigabit PAM-4 signals. 
  • There are three module classes to support designs ranging from client-slide multi-mode to line-side coherent optics. 
  • COBO on-board optics will be able to support 800 gigabits and 1.6 terabits once 100-gigabit PAM-4 electrical signals are specified. 

Source: COBO

Interoperable on-board optics has moved a step closer with the publication of the industry’s first specification by the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO).

COBO has specified modules capable of 400-gigabits and 800-gigabits rates. The designs will also support 800-gigabit and 1.6-terabit rates with the advent of 100-gigabit single-lane electrical signals. 

“Four hundred gigabits can be solved using pluggable optics,” says Brad Booth, chair of COBO and principal network architect for Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure. “But if I have to solve 1.6 terabits in a module, there is nothing out there but COBO, and we are ready.”

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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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Thursday
Apr302015

COBO acts to bring optics closer to the chip 

The formation of the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO) highlights how, despite engineers putting high-speed optics into smaller and smaller pluggable modules, further progress in interface compactness is needed.

The goal of COBO, announced at the OFC 2015 show 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.

“The Microsoft initiative is looking at the next wave of innovation as it relates to bringing optics closer to the CPU,” says Saeid Aramideh, co-founder and chief marketing and sales officer for start-up Ranovus, one of the founding members of COBO. “There are tremendous benefits for such an architecture in terms of reducing power dissipation and increasing the front panel density.”

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