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Entries in on-board optics (4)

Monday
May132019

Co-packaged optics to debut with 25.6 terabit switch chips

The second article in a series on co-packaged optics.

Part 2: Broadcom - a switch-chip vendor 

The hyperscalers require ever more switching capacity in their data centres to scale the applications they run. A hierarchy of connected switches fitted with optical interfaces is used to provide the pathways that link the tens of thousands of servers found in data centres.

Silicon vendors are responding to this need by doubling the capacity of their switch chips every two years. The largest switch chips have a 12.8-terabit capacity and the first 25.6-terabit devices are expected next year. This relentless pace, however, is one that the optical module makers are struggling to match. 

Source: Gazettabyte

“It is a problem for the optics industry,” says Robert Stone, Distinguished Engineer at leading switch chip player, Broadcom. “The cadence at which we can evolve silicon generally moves a lot faster than the optics guys can monetise a generation of investment, and then reinvest it.”

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Wednesday
Mar142018

DustPhotonics reveals its optical transceiver play

A start-up that has been active for a year has dropped its state of secrecy to reveal it is already shipping its first optical transceiver product.

The company, DustPhotonics, is backed by private investors and recently received an undisclosed round of funding that will secure the company’s future for the next two years.  

 

Product plans

DustPhotonics' first product is the multi-mode 100m-reach 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28. The company will launch its first 400-gigabit optical modules later this year. 

Ben Rubovitch

“We probably are going to be one of the first to market with [400-gigabit] QSFP-DD and OSFP multi-mode solutions,” says Ben Rubovitch, CEO of DustPhotonics.

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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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Sunday
Aug212016

Intel's 100-gigabit silicon photonics move

Intel has unveiled two 100-gigabit optical modules for the data centre made using silicon photonics technology.

 

Alexis Bjorlin

The PSM4 and CWDM4/CLR4 100-gigabit modules mark the first commercial application of a hybrid integration technique for silicon photonics, dubbed heterogeneous integration, that Intel has been developing for years.

Intel's 100-gigabit module announcement follows the news that Juniper Networks has entered into an agreement to acquire start-up, Aurrion, for $165 million. Aurrion is another silicon photonics player developing this hybrid integration technology for its products. 

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