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Entries in Infiniband (7)


Mellanox Technologies to acquire EZchip for $811M

Mellanox Technologies plans to acquire networking chip company EZchip Semiconductor in a deal worth U.S. $811 million.

Eyal Waldman

Mellanox makes InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnection platforms and products for the data centre while EZchip sells network and multi-core processors that are used in carrier edge routers and enterprise platforms.

EZchip’s customers include Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Oracle, Avaya and Cisco Systems.

“Mellanox needs to diversify its business; it is still heavily dependent on the high-performance computing market and InfiniBand,” says Bob Wheeler, principal analyst, networking at market research firm The Linley Group. “EZchip helps move Mellanox into markets and customers that it would not have access to with its existing products.”

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The CDFP 400 Gig module  

  • The CDFP will be a 400 Gig short reach module
  • Module will enable 4 Terabit line cards 
  • Specification will be completed in the next year

A CDFP pluggable multi-source agreement (MSA) has been created to develop a 400 Gigabit module for use in the data centre. "It is a pluggable interface, very similar to the QSFP and CXP [modules]," says Scott Sommers, group product manager at Molex, one of the CDFP MSA members.

Scott Sommers, MolexThe CDFP name stands for 400 (CD in Roman numerals) Form factor Pluggable. The MSA will define the module's mechanical properties and its medium dependent interface (MDI) linking the module to the physical medium. The CDFP will support passive and active copper cable, active optical cable and multi-mode fibre.

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OFC/NFOEC 2013 industry reflections - Part 4

Gazettabyte asked industry figures for their views after attending the recent OFC/NFOEC show. 


"Spatial domain multiplexing has been a hot topic in R&D labs. However, at this year's OFC we found that incumbent and emerging carriers do not have a near-term need for this technology. Those working on spatial domain multiplexing development should adjust their efforts to align with end-users' needs"

T.J. Xia, Verizon

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Luxtera's 100 Gigabit silicon photonics chip

Luxtera has detailed a 4x28 Gigabit optical transceiver chip. The silicon photonics company is aiming the device at embedded applications such as system backplanes and high-performance computing (HPC). The chip is also being used by Molex for 100 Gigabit active optical cables. Molex bought Luxtera's active optical cable business in January 2011.


“Do I want to invest in a copper backplane for a single generation or do I switch over now to optics and have a future-proof three-generation chassis?”  

Marek Tlalka, Luxtera


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Boosting high-performance computing with optics 

Briefing: Optical Interconnect

Part 2: High-performance computing

IBM has adopted optical interfaces for its latest POWER7-based high-end computer system. Gazettabyte spoke to IBM Fellow, Ed Seminaro, about high-performance computing and the need for optics to address bandwidth and latency requirements.

“At some point when you go a certain distance you have to go to an optical link” 

Ed Seminaro, IBM Fellow 






IBM has used parallel optics for its latest POWER7 computing systems, the Power 775. The optical interfaces are used to connect computing node drawers that make up the high-end computer. Each node comprises 32 POWER7 chips, with each chip hosting eight processor cores, each capable of running up to four separate programming tasks or threads.  

Using optical engines, each node – a specialised computing card - has a total bandwidth of 224, 120 Gigabit-per-second (12x10Gbps) VCSEL-based transmitters and 224, 120Gbps receivers. The interfaces can interconnect up to 2,048 nodes, over half a million POWER7 cores, with a maximum network diameter of only three link hops.

IBM claims that with the development of the Power 775, it has demonstrated the superiority of optics over copper for high-end computing designs.


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The InfiniBand roadmap gets redrawn

The InfiniBand Trade Association (IBTA) has announced a new roadmap for the low latency bi-directional link. What was Eight Data Rate InfiniBand will now be known as Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) and be upgraded from 20Gbps to 26Gbps per channel. EDR will deliver a 104Gbps data rate in a four-channel InfiniBand (4x) implementation and 312Gbps when used as a 12-channel (12x) interface.


“We can already demonstrate in silicon a 30Gbps transmitter."

Marek Tlalka, Luxtera





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Active optical cable: market drivers

Behind the numbers

CIR’s report key findings

The global market for active optical cable (AOC) is forecast to grow to US $1.5bn by 2014, with the linking of datacenter equipment being the largest single market valued at $835m.  Other markets for the cabling technology include digital signage, PC interconnect and home theatre.

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