Wednesday, November 10, 2021

2021 OCP Global Summit - the next 10 years

This year is the tenth anniversary of the Open Compute Project, an organization that has advanced the cause of "vanity free" infrastructure for cloud providers. The mission is broadening and the next 10 years will see advances in additional domains. Here is a 2-minute perspective from Rebecca Weekly, Board Chair, Open Compute Project.

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Meta’s Minipack2 is powered by Broadcom's Tomahawk 4 silicon

Broadcom confirmed that Meta is now deploying the 25.6 Tbps StrataXGS Tomahawk 4 switch in its data center network fabric.

The Tomahawk4 is now shipping in high volume in Meta’s Minipack2 platform.

“Broadcom is pleased to support Meta and its ecosystem partners on the transition to a leading-edge 25.6Tbps networking fabric,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Core Switching Group, Broadcom. “Our multi-year collaborative effort has resulted in the successful integration of multiple generations of the marketplace’s highest bandwidth Tomahawk switch chip into Meta’s industry- leading Wedge400 and Minipack2 networking platforms.”

The Tomahawk4 family has been shipping in volume for over one year. Members of the Tomahawk4 family, currently in production, include the Tomahawk4-50G, Tomahawk4-100G and Tomahawk4-12.8T.

The Broadcom Tomahawk3, the Tomahawk4’s predecessor, has been shipping in production since 2018. It has been deployed in Meta’s previous and current generation platforms. 

In addition to Tomahawk4, Minipack2 uses Broadcom’s 7nm Barchetta2, a 16×56-Gb/s full-duplex PHY, featuring demonstrated interoperability with Broadcom merchant switches and ASICs. This 400G/200G/100G retimer is designed with industry-leading 56-Gbps PAM4 Serdes architecture that supports greater than 30dB of insertion loss on both host and line interfaces.

Broadcom samples 100G/lane Optical PAM-4 DSP PHYs

Broadcom announced its 100G/lane optical PAM-4 DSP PHY families with integrated transimpedance amplifier (TIA) and laser driver, the Jesko BCM8741x and Gemera BCM8781x, optimized for 400G DR4/FR4 and 800G DR8/2xFR4 module applications, respectively. 

The new, highly integrated PHYs, which are built on Broadcom’s proven 112G PAM-4 DSP platforms, can be used to power 7W 400G DR4/FR4 and sub 14W 800G DR8/2xFR4 optical modules.


  • 400G and 800G DSP PHYs with integrated TIA and high-swing laser driver deliver best-in-class module performance in BER and power consumption
  • Enables industry’s lowest power 400G and 800G pluggable optical modules
  • Compliant to all applicable IEEE and OIF standards, capable of supporting MR links on the chip to module interface
  • Powers Silicon Photonics (SiPh) as well as discrete EML/PD based modules
  • Drives higher density and bandwidth with hyperscale cloud networking data centers

“Ever increasing compute density and networking bandwidths demand unrelenting quest for lower power, cost and form factor reduction,” said Vijay Janapaty, vice president and general manager of the Physical Layer Products Division at Broadcom. “Broadcom’s innovative and highly integrated optical DSPs drive industry leading optical module solutions that meet the roadmap needs of our hyperscale cloud customers.”

“Networking and compute advances continue to push the boundaries of the power, performance and cost of optical modules,” said Adit Narasimha, vice president and general manager of Optoelectronics at Molex. “Molex’s PAM-4 optical modules pair the advantages of Broadcom’s highly integrated DSPs with the high performance of Molex’s SiPh ICs to deliver extremely low power, high performance and cost-effective solutions that will serve the industry’s multi-generational needs.”

Inspur and Samsung build open storage solution for OCP

Inspur Information, which ranks among the world’s top 3 server manufacturers, and Samsung announced a Poseidon V2 E3.x reference system for the Open Compute Project community.

This product adopted composable architecture to maximize the benefits of EDSFF E3.x form factor.  Poseidon V2 system can accommodate not only the PCIe Gen5 SSDs but also various devices like AI/ML accelerators or CXL Memory Expanders.  Data center users can configure the system according to application's needs.


“Following the development of the E1.S reference system, we expect that this type of storage solution will become one of the most sought-after and cost-effective storage solutions on the market for leading cloud data center servers and hyperscale companies that operate large data centers,” according to Jongyoul Lee, Executive Vice President of Samsung’s Memory Software Development Team. “We are eager to continue our collaborative work on the E3.S reference system with Inspur to drive further advancements in future server and storage systems.”

“Through our combined vision with Inspur's general purpose server design and Samsung's Poseidon, we believe E1.S and E3.x will bring a revolutionary use case that fulfills the need for an efficient high-performance and high-density storage system,” stated Alan Chang, VP of Technical Operation at Inspur Information. “Customers who use general purpose severs as their compute can smoothly transition to Poseidon whose modularized design will reduce redundant engineering and validation across the board. We anticipate even broader usage models and applications with the new Poseidon v2 specification.”

Windstream Wholesale cites progress with 400G

Windstream Wholesale  is expanding its 400 Gigabit wave offerings to meet rapidly growing customer demand for high-bandwidth solutions. The carrier cited several milestones:

Windstream and Infinera were the first to successfully demonstrate 400 Gig client-side services in April 2020 with commercially available ultra-efficient 400GbE-LR8 QSFP-DD compact pluggable interfaces.

In February 2021, Windstream announced that it had deployed 400 Gbps single-wavelength transmission across its long-haul network using Acacia Communications’ pluggable modules. These modules will drive high-capacity optical connections to the network edge to deliver ultra-fast speeds to more end-users than ever before.

In October 2021, Windstream announced that it had partnered with II-VI to co-develop next-generation transceivers that will streamline deployment of 400 gigabit services while significantly reducing costs, power consumption and network complexity.

“Windstream Wholesale has a robust nationwide network with 400 Gigabit waves available to more than 30 sites already in service and more coming online by year’s end,” said Joe Scattareggia, executive vice president of Windstream Wholesale. “Large wholesale and hyperscale customers are looking to deploy high-bandwidth solutions at a lower cost per bit, and our multi-layer open network architecture enables us to deliver these solutions in a way that is fast and flexible and meets their needs.”

LINX installs Nokia's 7750s routers with 400GE around London

LINX, the UK’s leading interconnection and peering community, will install Nokia's 400GE IP edge routing platforms to connect its 950+ membership. 

The installation includes Nokia's 7750 SR-7s edge routers deployed by LINX in three locations around London, providing greater bandwidth and higher density than its existing solution.

The platforms will allow LINX to support services at speeds of up to 400GE initially with the ability to seamlessly grow capacity and scale to higher speeds in the future. LINX will benefit from Nokia FP silicon that ensures network performance and capabilities such as traffic engineering do not degrade as network traffic levels increase.

Richard Petrie, CTO and Executive Director at LINX, said: “Our partnership with Nokia highlights LINX’s commitment to delivering high-speed IP interconnection and peering for its members. The scalability and capabilities of Nokia’s IP routing platforms and the integration with our automation platform will enable us to respond to our members’ needs more quickly, offering them better connectivity, improved network performance and more control.”

Manuel Ortiz Fernandez, Senior Vice President of EMEA Webscale business at Nokia, said: “LINX is experiencing greater demand for its market-leading interconnection services than ever before. We are pleased LINX has chosen Nokia’s market-leading 400GE IP routing technology to help ensure its infrastructure is as up to date as possible and that it remains at the forefront of the IXP industry.”


Rockley Photonics is working with Caltech on health monitoring

Rockley Photonics has kicked off a research collaboration with Caltech’s Sensing to Intelligence (S2I) Center that will focus on the development of next-generation solutions that combine advanced sensors with artificial intelligence. 

The S2I Center seeks to bring together two typically isolated disciplines — the field of sensing and imaging and the field of computation and algorithms — by adopting a holistic, interdisciplinary approach. The goal of bringing these two fields together is to develop more powerful and intelligent sensing systems and is wholly aligned with Rockley’s approach to health and wellness monitoring, which combines photonics-based sensor technologies with state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.

Through its investment in S2I, Rockley plans to support a range of projects, including the development of new integrated spectrometer technologies using advanced photonics sensors. Researchers in the S2I center will explore and further analyze the relationship between spectral data and individual biomarkers to broaden and enhance the health monitoring capabilities and will utilize Rockley’s platform in the process.

Rockley Photonics and Caltech have collaborated previously on research projects including co-packaged optics and the co-design and integration of advanced photonics and electronics. This new agreement deepens an already strong association.

“Over the years, we have had a wonderful relationship with our Pasadena neighbors at Caltech, and it is an honor to continue our research agreement with them through the S2I Center,” said Dr. Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer and founder of Rockley Photonics. “Caltech has a strong history of supporting the development of health-related technologies, including Professor Arnold Beckman’s invention of the DU spectrophotometer, which was hailed as perhaps the most important instrument ever developed toward the advancement of bioscience. This new partnership will combine our experience building Rockley’s unique biomarker sensing platform, which incorporates a spectrophotometer-on-a-chip, with Caltech’s extensive research capabilities. We are happy to be working with Caltech once again to push the boundaries of bioscience even further.”

Rockley Photonics unveils spectrophotometer-on-a-chip module

Rockley Photonics revealed its complete full-stack, “clinic-on-the-wrist” digital health sensor system based on its own spectroscopy technology. Rockley’s sensor module generates a large number of discrete laser outputs from a single silicon chip covering a broad optical band. The sensor non-invasively probes beneath the skin to analyze blood, interstitial fluids, and various layers of the dermis for constituents and physical phenomena of interest. The company says its device delivers several milliwatts of optical output power per wavelength channel, which is key to achieving the high signal-to-noise ratio required for signal analysis from a small wearable.

Rockley’s full-stack sensing solution features a wristband that contains the sensor module and communicates with custom cloud-based analytical engines via a Rockley smartphone app. The wristband will be used in a sequence of in-house human studies in the coming months.

“Our full-stack sensor solution, which brings together optical and electronic hardware, firmware, algorithms, and cloud-based analytics, is an exciting milestone on our roadmap. Our reference designs will significantly aid our customers and partners with the deployment of our technology and accelerate their own scalable, high-volume product delivery,” said Dr. Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer and founder of Rockley Photonics. “We believe that combining machine learning algorithms with continuous monitoring of an extended set of biomarkers from accessible wearable devices will provide new actionable insights to enhance and transform digital healthcare.”

Samsung announces 2.5F Hybrid-Substrate Cube packaging

Samsung Electronics introduced Hybrid-Substrate Cube (H-Cube) technology, its latest 2.5D packaging solution specialized for semiconductors for HPC, AI, data center, and networking chips that require high-performance and large-area packaging technology.

2.5D packaging enables logic chips or high-bandwidth memory (HBM) to be placed on top of a silicon interposer in a small form factor. 

Samsung said its H-Cube technology features a hybrid substrate combined with a fine-pitch substrate which is capable of fine bump connection, and a High-Density Interconnection (HDI) substrate, to implement large sizes into 2.5D packaging.

“H-Cube solution, which is jointly developed with Samsung Electro-mechanics (SEMCO) and Amkor Technology, is suited to high-performance semiconductors that need to integrate a large number of silicon dies,” said Moonsoo Kang, senior vice president and Head of Foundry Market Strategy Team at Samsung Electronics. “By expanding and enriching the foundry ecosystem, we will provide various package solutions to find a breakthrough in the challenges our customers are facing.”

“In today’s environment where system integration is increasingly required and substrate supplies are constrained, Samsung Foundry and Amkor Technology have successfully co-developed H-Cube to overcome these challenges,” said JinYoung Kim, senior vice president of Global R&D Center at Amkor Technology. “This development lowers barriers to entry in the HPC/AI market and demonstrates successful collaboration and partnership between the foundry and outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company.”

Telia deploys Nokia's 5G SA core first in Finland

Telia has deployed Nokia's 5G Standalone (SA) Core network in Finland enabling advanced 5G services like slicing.

Nokia is also in the process of rolling out its 5G SA Core for Telia in Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

The rollout in Finland includes Nokia’s cloud packet core and registers, which allows subscriber data to be consolidated into a common repository using a distributed and flexible architecture. Telia is also using Nokia’s Radio Access Network.

Nokia is leading the 5G SA Core market, with over 80 CSP and enterprise customers around the world; that includes nearly 30 CSPs in Europe. In addition, 25 of the top 40 service providers by revenue rely on Nokia core network products.

Jari Collin, Telia Finland CTO, said: "We are now taking the most significant step forward since the launch of 5G, as SA enables all the revolutionary features of 5G. Thanks to our cooperation with our trusted partner Nokia, Finland will keep its position as a leading mobile country in the world.”

Fran Heeran, SVP & Head of Core Networks, Cloud and Network Services, Nokia, said: “We are delighted that Nokia’s 5G SA Core is now live for Telia in Finland. This provides Telia with the industry’s leading Core Network technology, enabling the rapid rollout of advanced 5G services to its customers. Our work continues with this longstanding Nokia partner and we look forward to the additional Nokia 5G Core rollouts in other Telia Nordic and Baltic countries.”

Lockheed Martin and Keysight test 5G.MIL for aerospace/defense

Lockheed Martin and Keysight Technologies are actively collaborating on a 5G.MIL testbed that Lockheed Martin teams will use to advance 5G capabilities for multiple aerospace and defense applications. 

The testbed, which reached initial operational capability in July, will help Lockheed Martin’s 5G.MIL teams quickly verify interoperability and performance with a wide range of 5G assets and simulate reliable and secure communications. Since that time, both companies have worked together to emulate, test and validate 5G Open Radio Access Network and Non-Terrestrial Network communications. 

“Lockheed Martin is leveraging expertise in the commercial sector to scale, adapt and integrate 5G technology rapidly and affordably across mission-critical operations across land, sea, air, space and cyber domains,” said Dan Rice, vice president for 5G.MIL Programs at Lockheed Martin. “Keysight’s end-to-end 5G test platforms, widely used commercially, provide an opportunity to develop customized solutions that meet the stringent requirements of the defense industry.”

“Deployment of future-proof, seamless and secure communication links serving operations across ground, sea and air depends on the successful integration of 5G, satellite, unmanned aerial vehicle, artificial intelligence and cloud technologies,” said Vince Nguyen, general manager for Aerospace Defense Government Solutions at Keysight Technologies. “Leveraging Keysight’s portfolio of flexible, scalable, and fully automated test, measurement, verification and optimization tools, Lockheed Martin has implemented the most advanced testbed for 5G and hybrid networks that we have seen in the aerospace and defense industry.”

Backblaze prices IPO

Backblaze, which offers a storage cloud platform, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 6,250,000 shares of its Class A common stock at a price to the public of $16.00 per share, for gross proceeds to Backblaze of $100,000,000, before underwriting discounts, commissions, and offering expenses payable by Backblaze. In addition, the underwriters of the initial public offering have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 937,500 shares of Class A common stock from the Company at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions.

Backblaze’s Class A common stock is expected to begin trading on the Nasdaq Global Market on November 11, 2021 under the ticker symbol "BLZE." The offering is expected to close on November 15, 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.