Monday, March 7, 2022

GlobalFoundries unveils next gen silicon photonics platform

GlobalFoundries unveiled its next generation silicon photonics platform and active design wins with major customers, including collaborations with Broadcom, Cisco Systems, Marvell, NVIDIA, Ayar Labs, Lightmatter, PsiQuantum, Ranovus and Xanadu. The platform enables a high level of integration onto a photonics integrated circuit (PIC). It also supports innovative packaging solutions, such as the passive attachment for larger fiber arrays, support for 2.5D packaging, and on-die lasers. 

GF Fotonix is a monolithic platform, the first in the industry to combine its differentiated 300mm photonics features and 300GHz-class RF-CMOS on a silicon wafer. The company says its new platform consolidates complex processes that were previously distributed across multiple chips onto a single chip by combining a photonic system, radio frequency (RF) components and high-performance complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) logic on a single silicon chip.  

GF is the only pure-play foundry with a 300mm monolithic silicon photonics solution that has demonstrated the industry’s highest data rate per fiber (0.5Tbps/fiber). This enables 1.6-3.2Tbps optical chiplets, which deliver faster, more efficient transmission of data, more efficiently with better signal integrity. In addition, the up to 10,000x improvement in system error rate enables next generation artificial intelligence (AI).

GF Fotonix solutions will be manufactured at the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in Malta, N.Y., with the PDK 1.0 available in April 2022. EDA partners Ansys, Cadence Design Systems, Inc., and Synopsys provide design tools and flows to support GF’s customers and their solutions. GF provides customers with reference design kits, MPWs, testing, pre- and post-fab, turnkey and semiconductor manufacturing services to help customers get to market faster.  

In addition, for customers needing discrete, high-performance RF solutions for optical systems, GF also announced it is adding new features onto the GF SiGe platform. High-performance silicon germanium (SiGe) solutions from GF are designed to deliver the speed and bandwidth required to transport information through next generation fiber optic high speed networks. 

“As one of our trusted semiconductor partners across a broad range of technologies and process nodes, we are happy to see Global Foundries extend their investments for enabling a photonics ecosystem across components and integrated solutions,” Liming Tsau, vice president of Foundry Engineering, Broadcom Inc. 

“The demands of today and tomorrow’s networking and communications infrastructure are requiring higher performance technologies for the design and manufacture of our optical transceiver modules,” said Bill Gartner, senior vice president and general manager of Optical Systems and Optics Group, Cisco Systems, Inc. “Our heavy investment and leadership in silicon photonics, combined with GF’s feature rich manufacturing technology, allows us to deliver best in class products.” 

“Marvell continues to lead the industry with the highest performance transimpedance amplifiers and modulator drivers for next-generation optical connectivity solutions for the cloud data centers and carrier markets,” said Dr. Loi Nguyen, executive vice president, Optical and Copper Connectivity Group, Marvell.  “GF’s latest silicon germanium (SiGe) technology enables us to achieve the high bandwidth speeds and power efficiencies that our customers require to meet their ever-increasing data demands.” 

“Since our earliest days, Ayar Labs and GlobalFoundries have partnered on the development of GF Fotonix, from incorporating our PDK requirements and process optimizations to demonstrating the first working silicon on the platform,” says Charles Wuischpard, CEO, Ayar Labs. “The combination of our leading monolithic electronic/photonic solution and GF Fotonix unlocks a tremendous market opportunity for chip-to-chip optical I/O and sets the stage for us to deliver substantial volume shipments by year end.” 

“Silicon photonics is now recognized as a necessary technology for the datacenter revolution, and our leading semiconductor manufacturing technology platform accelerates adoption into the mainstream,” said Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager of Compute and Wired Infrastructure at GF.  “GF Fotonix is a feature-rich platform that addresses the most urgent, complex and difficult challenges in areas such as optical networking, super and quantum computing, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), 5G networks, aeronautics and defense.”

Infinera intros ICE-XR Pluggables and Open Optical toolkit

Infinera expects to begin trials later this year of its first suite of intelligent coherent optical pluggable solutions capable of supporting both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint applications. Commercial availability of the Infinera ICE-XR pluggable is anticipated in the first half of 2023. The company also introduced its Open Optical Toolkit, a new suite of open optical automation solutions designed to enable network operators to leverage the power of coherent optical technology in any platform across any optical infrastructure.

Infinera says its ICE-XR pluggables will enable dramatic network simplification across a range of topologies including regional to metro, DCI, and access, yielding as much as 70% reduction in network costs. 

Infinera’s ICE-XR pluggables will initially include 400G, 200G, and 100G options in industry-standard CFP2 and QSFP-DD form factors to enable ease of deployment in a wide variety of networking devices. 

With 0 dBm launch power and low out-of-band noise, ICE-XR pluggables are optimized for seamless deployment over a wide variety of network infrastructures, including colorless/directionless fixed- and flexible-grid ROADM networks. Infinera’s ICE-XR also introduces a new level of intelligence into a pluggable solution, integrating system-level functionality onto a pluggable. This combination enables end-to-end visibility, accelerated service activation, and traditional optical system-level control even when deployed in non-traditional optical networking equipment.

Infinera’s Open Optical Toolkit is a suite of automation solutions that enable network operators to maintain a seamless operational experience as optical networks become increasingly open and heterogenous, with coherent optical engines from numerous suppliers deployed in a wider variety of network platforms such as routers, switches, compute platforms, and mobile radios. The Open Optical Toolkit includes Open Wave Manager (OWM), a modular software application designed to enable network operators to seamlessly deploy and operate coherent optical engines from any supplier over any optical line system. OWM will expand the choices for network operators, ensuring that they can choose from the best-in-class coherent optical technology to meet their specific application needs.

Infinera’s Open Optical Toolkit also includes Infinera’s Intelligent Pluggables Manager (IPM). IPM is part of an open and collaborative approach to the management of coherent pluggable optics defined by the Open XR Forum. This approach decouples the management of optical engines from the host platform, ensuring a seamless operational experience with any optical engine deployed in any host platform. This approach also promotes independent innovation cycles between the host platform and the optical engine.

“Infinera’s suite of vertically integrated ICE-XR intelligent coherent pluggables and Open Optical Toolkit offer network operators both unique networking capabilities and innovative software applications to dramatically simplify their network and enable seamless operation,” said Tom Burns, General Manager of Optical Modules & Coherent Solutions Group at Infinera. “This type of holistic approach to coherent optical networking will play a critical role in enabling our customers to efficiently roll out next-generation services including 5G, enhanced broadband, and cloud-based services.”

Infinera’s Open Optical Toolkit’s suite of automation solutions is planned to be generally available the second half of the year.

Microsoft to build data center in Hyderabad

Microsoft plans to locate its latest datacenter region in Hyderabad, Telangana - its fourth in India.

Microsoft already operates data center across Pune, Mumbai, and Chennai. The Hyderabad data center will offer the entire Microsoft portfolio across the cloud, data solutions, artificial intelligence (AI), productivity tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) with advanced data security, for enterprises, start-ups, developers, education, and government institutions.

Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India said, “Cloud services are poised to play a critical role in reimagining the future of business and governance and enabling overall inclusion in the country. The new datacenter will augment Microsoft’s cloud capabilities and capacity to support those working across the country. It will also support new entrepreneurial opportunities while meeting critical security and compliance needs. The new datacenter region is a testament to our mission to empower the people and organizations of India to achieve more. We are pleased to be collaborating with the Government of Telangana on this major milestone and we deeply appreciate their support.”

Kentik: Cogent disconnects from Russia

Cogent Communications has begun disconnecting Russian operators from its Internet backbone service.

Cogent's customers are believed to include Rostelecom, MegaFon, Veon and Yandex, amongst others.

Kentik, which provides Internet traffic monitoring servicesm said the he loss of Cogent would leave Rostelecom with several other options for transit  including Vodafone (AS1273), Telecom Italia Sparkle (AS6762), Lumen (AS3356), and Arelion (formerly Telia, AS1299).

Critical Infrastructure Defense Project follows “Shields Up” advisory

Cloudflare, CrowdStrike, and Ping Identity announced a Critical Infrastructure Defense Project to provide free cybersecurity services to particularly vulnerable industries during this time of heightened risk. 

This project is designed to enhance defenses against key areas of enterprise risk and eligible organizations will have access to the full suite of Cloudflare Zero Trust solutions, endpoint protection, and intelligence services from CrowdStrike, and Zero Trust identity solutions from Ping Identity. This project, in collaboration with core partners across the public sector, will also offer an easy-to-follow roadmap that businesses in any industry can use to implement step-by-step security measures to defend themselves from cyberattack.

In February 2022, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued a ‘Shields Up’ advisory to urge all U.S. businesses to take steps to prepare for potentially disruptive cyber activity in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As the Sunburst attack, which triggered a large-scale supply chain incident affecting thousands of organizations, and Colonial Pipeline incident, resulting in the shut down of its pipeline for five days, have demonstrated, attacks on U.S. infrastructure can have widespread impact on businesses and citizens alike.

“We rely on our infrastructure to power our homes, to provide access to water and basic necessities, and to maintain critical access to healthcare. That’s why it’s more important than ever for the security industry to band together and ensure that our most critical industries are protected and prepared,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare. “We are honored to come together with CrowdStrike and Ping Identity during this time of heightened security risk to protect our nation’s most vulnerable infrastructure.”

“This is first and foremost a public service initiative to secure the endpoints and data of some of the most important critical infrastructure entities in the country,” said George Kurtz, CEO and co-founder of CrowdStrike. “We are in a position to help and we want to do all we can. Today, CrowdStrike is offering two no-cost capabilities in endpoint protection and intelligence services to help critical organizations in the U.S. better protect themselves against evolving threats and ensure critical functions for Americans are not disrupted.”

EFFECT Photonics and Jabil Photonics target QSFP-DD

EFFECT Photonics and Jabil Photonics agreed to co-develop a next generation of coherent QSFP-DD  optical modules. 

EFFECT Photonics will make available its System-on-Chip optical technology and Jabil will leverage its track record of manufacturing coherent modules in very large quantities with extensive sourcing capabilities.

“One of the ambitions we have as an organization is to build strong partnerships to increase our ability to develop and deliver cutting-edge solutions for our customers,” said Harald Graber, CCO at EFFECT Photonics. “Hyperscalers are at the forefront of dealing with this seemingly never-ending growth in Internet traffic. This co-development with Jabil allows us to jointly innovate to get affordable, best-in-class solutions to market faster. Jabil will allow us to deliver reliably at a far greater scale to our global customer base.” 

“Pluggable coherent transceivers are at the heart of a paradigm shift, enabling new open architectures through disaggregation of switches, transceivers and optical line systems that are needed for the massive surge in data driven by cloud and 5G applications,” said Stefano Schiavoni, vice president and GM of Jabil’s Photonics business unit. “Jabil Photonics is a key player in coherent pluggable transceivers with our own portfolio and proven capabilities to help build innovative solutions and achieve volume production quickly. We’re excited to add Effect Photonics to our partner ecosystem.”

Ciena reports revenue of $844M

Ciena reported revenue of $844.4 million for its first fiscal quarter ended January 29, 2022 as compared to $757.1 million for the fiscal first quarter 2021.

Ciena's GAAP net income for the fiscal first quarter 2022 was $45.8 million, or $0.29 per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $55.3 million, or $0.35 per diluted common share, for the fiscal first quarter 2021. Ciena's adjusted (non-GAAP) net income for the fiscal first quarter 2022 was $72.6 million, or $0.47 per diluted common share, which compares to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $81.3 million, or $0.52 per diluted common share, for the fiscal first quarter 2021.

“First quarter revenue grew more than 10% year-over-year and continued broad-based demand drove very strong orders growth in the quarter, providing us additional visibility for the fiscal year," said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. "We expect our strategic investments to drive a significant increase in supply chain capacity in the second half, and therefore remain confident in our ability to address demand and achieve the strong revenue growth we expect for the fiscal year.”

On an investor call, Ciena executives announced a suspension of operations in Russia and cited specific supply chain disruptions that happened late in its first quarter and which occurred within an already challenged logistics environment that was worsened by the Omicron surge. Ciena said it has subsequently managed through those specific disruptions that occurred in Q1 and that long-term secular demand is very strong, driven by the acceleration of cloud adoption and traffic growth and the desire to get higher capacity and more bandwidth closer to the end user.

Freedom Photonics and Vanguard Automation develop chip-scale interconnects

Freedom Photonics has deployed Vanguard Automation’s SONATA and REPRISE 1000 systems at its facilities in Santa Barbara, CA. The two systems combined construct a fully automated photonic integration and packaging solution built upon 3D nano-print technology, and enable the fabrication of low loss optical subsystem interconnects commonly known as Photonic Wire Bonds (PWBs). Freedom Photonics added Photonic Wire Bonding to its 21,000 square foot facility in Santa Barbara, where Freedom manufactures a wide range of photonic devices, including lasers, photodiodes, and photonic integrated circuits (PICs). PWB technology adds a significant capability in optical subassembly manufacturing. Freedom will also offer PWBs as a manufacturing service.

Vanguard Automation augments 3D nano-print technology to create solutions for photonic packaging. The technology uses a 2-photon lithography process which creates waveguide optical interconnects between two components (PWBs), or fabricates facet attached micro-lenses (FAML) to couple light. In the case of PWBs, a cladding material adds an indexed filler which ensures single mode operation and protection against moisture and mechanical forces. In order to execute these processes in an automated manner in manufacturing, Vanguard Automation has developed two systems, the vanguard SONATA and the vanguard REPRISE. The SONATA is a lithography unit responsible for structuring the PWBs and FAMLs, whereas the REPRISE manages all pre- and post-processing steps including dispensing, removal of an unexposed resin, cleansing, and encapsulation of the bonds. Vanguard Automation also offers comprehensive process control and management software, including its software suite for design and fabrication of PWBs and FAMLs.

“We are extremely excited to bring Vanguard Automation’ technology in-house,” said Dr. Milan Mashanovitch, Chief Executive Officer of Freedom Photonics. “PWB will be a fundamental packaging technology for next generation highly integrated photonic subassemblies offering not only compact form factors but also low optical loss.”

“We are pleased to be working with Freedom Photonics to enable photonic packaging and integration solutions,” said Thorsten Mayer, CEO of Vanguard Automation. “Freedom Photonics’ engineering capabilities and manufacturing infrastructure make it an ideal partner for prototyping and lower-volume manufacturing.”

Source Photonics launches 50G PAM4 SFP56 transceivers

Source Photonics is demonstrating its 50G SFP56 products with industry partners at this week's OFC 2022 in San Diego.

Source Photonics' 50G PAM4 SFP56 product portfolio for 5G fronthaul networks levergages in-house vertically integrated optics and ICs. The modules support interoperability with previous generations of 25G SFP28 and 10G SFP+ optical transceivers. Both modules comply with the corresponding 50GBASE-R specifications as defined in the IEEE standards and offer 50G PAM4 electrical and optical interfaces.

The company notes that when the 5G spectrum bandwidth exceeds 100M, one base station requires 6x 25Gb/s eCPRI interfaces and a total of 12x 25Gb/s SFP28 optical modules. The 50G SFP56 achieves 50% port savings by upgrading the rate of one transceiver to 50Gb/s, creating flexibility for further improvement of wireless forward bandwidth.

To meet the most pressing bandwidth requirements of global customers, Source Photonics is one of the first in the world to introduce 50G LR and FR PAM4 SFP56 optical modules, which support 10km and 2km respectively. The product meets the range of industrial temperature applications with power consumption as low as 1.5W. This series of products use the 25G DFB laser developed in house by Source Photonics to provide customers with low power consumption, short latency, and cost-effective transceiver solutions for 5G fronthaul networks.

Source Photonics has conducted in-depth cooperation with the world's leading 5G equipment manufacturers, and the qualification is progressing smoothly. The 50G LR SFP56 and 50G FR SFP56 are the most urgent general-purpose applications today. 

The development of 50G Bidi SFP56, 50G WDM SFP56 and other related products has also been launched, which will provide customers with more diversified, more flexible, and more cost-effective products.