Thursday, March 10, 2022

What's hot at OFC22? Integrated photonics/electronics

Think embedded optics, co-packaged optics (CPO), on-board optics -- building block technologies for the next generation of integrated photonics and electronics, says Brad Booth, President of the Consortium for On-board Optics (COBO) and Principal Network Architect at Microsoft.

New connectivity solutions.


What's hot at OFC22? Coherent Optical Engines

Think of the enormous optical capacity enabled by coherent optical engines, says Tim Doiron, Senior Director, Solution Marketing, Infinera.

What's hot at OFC22? Co-packaged optics and 400ZR

Co-packaged optics and 400ZR, says Josef Berger, Associate Vice President, Optical and Copper Connectivity Group, Marvell.

It's all about the cloud.

What's hot at OFC22? 5G drives network upgrades


5G and the resulting traffic surge is driving a wave of upgrades to metro and access networks, says Rich Colter, Head of Marketing, Fujitsu Network Communications. 

Here's a look at other major trends, including the supply chain issues.


BT and Google Cloud form strategic partnership

Google Cloud and BT announced a strategic, five-year partnership to accelerate BT’s company-wide digital transformation. The collaboration will involve BT using a suite of Google Cloud products and services—including cloud infrastructure, machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, security, and API management—to deliver superior customer experiences, reduce costs and risk, and build new revenue streams. The companies plan to complete a core migration of data by 2023.

In addition, Google’s SRE team will partner with BT to foster a continuous delivery and “zero ops” autonomous operations culture to accelerate product development and continuous innovation as part of the new culture of working that BT calls “The Digital Way.”

“Our partnership with Google is one of a series of strategic moves that BT Digital is taking to help accelerate BT’s growth and digital transformation. This is a partnership that is deeper than just at the technology level. It will help Digital as a whole supercharge BT and drive its return to growth,” said Harmeen Mehta, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, BT.

“We’re proud to collaborate with one of the world's leading providers of communications services and play an integral part in its digital transformation journey,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. “By deploying our full cloud capabilities, and support from our SRE organisation, our goal in this partnership is to set up BT with the tools it needs for future growth and innovation.” 

BT to implement Rackspace Fabric for multi-cloud services

BT and Rackspace Technology announced a partnership focused on multicloud management and optimization. Under the terms of the agreement, BT hybrid cloud services will be based on Rackspace Technology’s solutions, including its Rackspace Fabric management layer.Rackspace supports four primary technology stacks: AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and VMware. Rackspace Fabric is a single platform for consistent, automated cloud services,...

Why Service Assurance is Vital to our Multi-Cloud Future forward, service assurance is vital for personal and business communications, says Chet Patel, BT's Chief Commercial Officer and President, BT Americas.  Continuous investment is needed, especially in AI, automation, and analytics, to ensure the best customer experience.  Here is a 1-minute perspective from San Francisco.Download the 2021 Service Assurance Report here:

AT&T adds symmetrical 2-Gig and 5-Gig speed tiers

AT&T Fiber announced symmetrical 2-Gig and 5-Gig speed tiers to residential and business customers across its curreent fiber footprint.  

And this is just the beginning: AT&T will continue bringing multi-gig-capable technology across our current fiber footprint, which spans nearly 5.2 million customer locations in parts of more than 70 metro areas. 

  • AT&T Fiber 2 GIG: $110/month + taxes; AT&T Business Fiber 2 GIG: $225/month + taxes
  • AT&T Fiber 5 GIG: $180/month + taxes; AT&T Business Fiber 5 GIG: $395/month + taxes

Lumenisity unveils Hollow Core Double Nested Antiresonant Nodeless Fiber

Lumenisity Limited, a start-up based in Romsey, United Kingdom, announced a new generation of hollowcore fibre with the lowest attenuation of any hollowcore fibre reported to date. The company says its new product surpasses the attenuation of conventional germanium-doped single-mode fibre (SMF) in the O and C bands. 

Specifically, Lumenisity’s new Hollow Core Double Nested Antiresonant Nodeless Fiber (DNANF) achieves attenuations of <0.22 dB per km at 1310nm and <0.18 dB per km at 1550nm -- lowest loss ever recorded for any optical fibre in the O band and comparable or better than conventional single mode fibre in the C band. 

David Parker, Chairman at Lumenisity said, “We are very excited about this ground-breaking fibre development. We will now look to start shipping DNANF cabled solutions to customers in the second half of this year from our new, state-of-the-art hollowcore fibre manufacturing facility located in Romsey, UK; the first of its kind in the world.”

BT begins testing hollow core fibre

BT kicked off trials of hollow core fibre at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich, in a collaborative project with Lumenisity, a Southampton University spin out company, and Mavenir.BT researchers are conducting the trials at BT’s research and engineering campus, using a 10-kilometre-long hollow core fibre cable provided by Lumenisity. The new fibre has a hollow, air filled centre that runs the entire length of the cable. It will be used to test...

euNetworks connects LSE with hollowcore fibre from Lumenisity

Lumenisity Limited, a start-up based in Romsey, United Kingdom, supplied its ultra low latency CoreSmart cable solution based on "NANF" hollowcore fibres, to euNetworks Fiber UK. The fibre route connects an Interxion data center with the London Stock Exchange.Lumenisity Limited, which was formed in early 2017 as a spin out from the University of Southampton, said data travels 50% faster in hollowcore cable, reducing latency by 1/3, and providing...

BT tests Quantum Key Distribution over hollow core fibre 

 BT has conducted a trial of Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) over hollow core fibre cable developed by Lumenisity, a spin out from Southampton University.Testing of Nested Anti-Resonant Nodeless Fibre (NANF) hollow core fibre kicked off this summer at the BT Labs in Ipswich.BT researchers operated a state-of-the-art QKD system using commercial equipment over a 6-kilometre-long Lumenisity CoreSmart cable with a hollow, air-filled centre, revealing...

Pilot Photonics develops 1.6T optical engine using comb source

Pilot Photonics unveiled its SuperTROSA, a coherent optical engine that uses optical comb technology to deliver a Superchannel. The technology aims to enable high capacity, high spectral efficiency optical links.

Optical comb sources are lasers that produce multiple coherent wavelengths of light from a single device. 

“By using a comb source, rather than independent lasers to create a superchannel, the coherence of the wavelengths can be used to dramatically reduce the digital signal processing that is required,” said Dr. Frank Smyth, founder and CTO at Pilot Photonics. “This results in significant power savings and allows data rates to continue to scale in current transceiver form-factors”.

Comb technology also enables increased spectral efficiency by reducing or eliminating guard bands between the sub-channels of a superchannel. 

Pilot Photonics says its SuperTROSA optical engine uses a patented gain switched comb source (GSCS) technology. The SuperTROSA transmitter consists of a comb source and demultiplexer, four dual polarization IQ modulators, and superchannel coupling optics. The SuperTROSA receiver consists of comb local oscillator filters and four polarization diversity coherent receivers. The photonic integrated circuits are fabricated in indium phosphide.

“We have taken delivery of the first samples of our SuperTROSA chipset,” said William Oppermann, CEO at Pilot Photonics. “We have also just closed a significant investment that will allow us to accelerate the delivery of this exciting technology and customer trials are planned for later this year”

  • Pilot Photonics was founded in August 2011 as a spinout company from Dublin City University’s Radio and Optical Communication Laboratory.

NeoPhotonics milestone: 1 million single and quad drivers for PAM4

 NeoPhotonics announced a significant milestone: the company has shipped more than one million single and quad drivers for PAM4 transceivers used in hyperscale data center networks.  

“We are pleased to have achieved multiple design wins for our family of 53 Gbaud suite of drivers and are now shipping them in high volume.  We have been shipping GaAs drivers for nearly a decade and have a deep technology base.  We started with 10 Gbps devices, and are now shipping devices for 400 Gbps transceivers,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics.  “We continue to improve our product performance and have recently introduced versions of the driver that deliver more than 20% power reduction.  Furthermore, we are currently developing next-gen versions that we believe will feature 50% power savings verses the current generation,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

NeoPhotonics 53 Gbaud PAM4 driver IC is a linear, differential driver based on gallium arsenide (GaAs) and optimized for 1 x 100 Gbps, 4 x 100 Gbps and 8 x 100 Gbps PAM4-based applications.  The drivers are in volume production and provide a high RF output voltage swing with high linearity and are well-suited to modulate silicon photonics Mach-Zender Modulators (MZM) used in 400G data center transceivers, while maintaining exceptional Quaternary Transmitter Dispersion Eye Closure (TDECQ).

Drivers are a critical component in optical transmission systems and function to match signals between the CMOS digital electrical data and the analog optical components. Modulators impress the data on an optical signal and often require higher voltage swings than are generated by the high-speed CMOS based electronics which manipulate the digital data.  The Driver IC amplifies the low voltage electrical signal to a level required by the optical modulator, maintaining linearity and achieving sufficient bandwidth.  NeoPhotonics linear drivers feature high output voltage > 3.4Vppd, low crosstalk, high gain, high bandwidth >35GHz supporting 53 Gbaud and low total harmonic distortion (THD) to enable best-in-class PAM4 performance.

Dell'Oro: Data center switch sales hit record levels

Global data center switch revenue posted double-digit growth for the second consecutive quarter, boosting sales to record levels in the fourth quarter and the full year 2021. 400 Gbps ports more than doubled in 2021, with sales comprising 10 percent of the market, according to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group.

“In line with our expectations, the data center switch market continues to record a remarkable performance despite a macro-economic environment that continues to be defined by limited supply and elevated logistic costs,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “What was also remarkable is that the robust performance was broad-based across all major market segments: Cloud Service Providers (SPs), Telco SPs, and Large Enterprises, all of which grew double-digits and reached an all-time high in sales for the full year 2021. 400 Gbps shipments were also a bright spot in the market, despite pending qualifications and deferred revenue payment at some large Cloud SPs,” added Boujelbene.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2021 Ethernet Switch – Data Center Report:

  • 400 Gbps deployments started to expand beyond just the hyperscalers, reaching smaller Cloud SPs and large enterprises.
  • Supply challenges continue to impact various products and vendors at various degrees, resulting in some share shifts in the market.
  • Arista, white-box vendors, and Star-Net Ruijie captured 90 percent of the revenue growth in 2021.

Dell’Oro: Strong moment for Ethernet Adapters and Smart NICs

The Ethernet controller and adapter market reached an all-time high of $935 million in 4Q 2021, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. It is anticipated that Smart NICs will help propel the market to 19 percent revenue growth in 2022.

“The Ethernet controller and adapter market maintained strong momentum for the third consecutive quarter of record revenue,” said Baron Fung, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Revenue growth was attributed to the increased adoption of higher-speed and Smart NIC ports, as server vendors and cloud service providers gear up to transition to next-generation networks and server platforms. Despite the market reaching new heights, vendors continue to be challenged by on-going supply constraints which limited shipments,” added Fung.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2021 Ethernet Adapter and Smart NIC report include:

  • Total Ethernet controller and adapter revenue grew 16 percent in 2021.
  • Major cloud service providers are upgrading server connectivity to 100 and 200 Gbps port speeds in conjunction with network upgrades.
  • Smart NICs open vendors such as Marvell, Napatech, and Nvidia accounted for 23 percent of the revenue in 2021 and gained share over internally developed solutions by the major cloud service providers such as Amazon and Microsoft.

Dell'Oro: Data Center CAPEX continues to rise

Most of the major cloud service providers will undergo an expansion cycle this year, which would lift worldwide data center capex by double-digits in 2022, according to a recently published report from Dell'Oro Group. However, persistent supply chain constraints could limit growth.

“In 2021, worldwide data center capex grew nine percent and surpassed $200 billion for the first time,” said Baron Fung, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “However, growth mainly came from higher server average selling prices as vendors pass on higher commodity and supply chain costs to end-users, while units grew low single-digits due to supply constraints. New server platforms, equipped with next-generation processors and AI-accelerators also contributed to higher revenue growth. The market is primed for further acceleration this year as vendors navigate through the ongoing sourcing challenges. New data center footprint, network upgrade cycle, and the continued adoption of accelerated computing are expected to drive higher spending among the major cloud service providers and enterprise customers,” explained Fung.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2021 Data Center IT Capex Quarterly Report:

  • Worldwide data center capex forecast to exceed $240 billion in 2022.
  • Server unit shipments are forecast to return to double-digit growth this year, as supply constraints ease.
  • Hyperscale cloud service providers scheduled to launch services in more than 40 new regions in 2022.

Intelsat names David Wajsgras as CEO

Intelsat named David Wajsgras as its next chief executive officer (CEO), replacing Stephen Spengler, who announced his planned retirement in Oct. 2021.

Wajsgras most recently served as president of the global, $7.5-billion, advanced-technology Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS) business at the former Raytheon Company, now part of Raytheon Technologies. Before joining Raytheon as chief financial officer, Wajsgras was executive vice president and chief financial officer at Lear Corporation and held other key operations and leadership roles.

“Dave Wajsgras is a results-oriented leader with a great track record of performance throughout his career,” said Lisa Hammitt, chairperson of the Intelsat Board of Directors. “He develops talent and builds teams, thinks and acts strategically, and engages positively with customers and other stakeholders to the benefit of the business. Dave is just the right person to lead Intelsat at this important time.”

Megaport names Jim Brinksma as CTO

Megaport named Jim Brinksma asChief Technology Officer. 

Most recently, Brinksma was the Co-founder and CTO of InnovoEdge, which was acquired by Megaport in 2021. Prior to joining Megaport, Jim held technology leadership roles at Ciena BluePlanet and Goldman Sachs. He also served more than seven years in the United States Navy and has a doctorate from University of Maryland.

“We are excited to bring Jim’s deep technological expertise and leadership to Megaport’s global technology and engineering organisations,” said Vincent English, CEO of Megaport. “Jim was integral to the development and launch of Megaport ONE, our white-label, multi-tenant SaaS platform that enables service discovery and provisioning through Megaport’s leading Network as a Service platform. We’re looking forward to Jim bringing his considerable knowledge of cloud, applications, and networking and his track record of innovation to Megaport and to our industry.”

SambaNova expands its exec team

SambaNova Systems, a start-up developing a software, hardware, and solutions platform to run AI and Deep Learning applications, announces the appointment of Peter Buckingham as Vice President of Software Engineering. 

Buckingham has held leadership positions at VMware, Bitfusion, Sun Microsystems, Dell and Waypoint.

“With AI, we are experiencing one of the biggest transitions in computing history since the internet and the transition is pushing the boundaries of what’s possible now. Enterprises are rapidly deploying AI to accelerate their transformation and jump into the future of computing,” said Rodrigo Liang, CEO of SambaNova Systems. “I’m excited to welcome Peter to the team. His experience will enable SambaNova to quickly create software to help enterprise leaders unleash AI’s power.”

“I’m honored to join SambaNova’s leadership team. This is an incredible opportunity to create first-to-market software that accelerates AI adoption across the globe,” said Peter Buckingham, VP of Software at SambaNova. “Seventy-two percent of enterprises struggle with AI adoption yet they desperately need to deploy it today. The software we’re creating at SambaNova will help them do that.”

SambaNova is based in Palo Alto, California.

SambaNova raises $676 million for its AI platform

SambaNova Systems, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced $676 million in Series D funding for its software, hardware and services to run AI applications.SambaNova’s flagship offering is Dataflow-as-a-Service (DaaS), a subscription-based, extensible AI services platform designed to jump-start enterprise-level AI initiatives, augmenting organizations’ AI capabilities and accelerating the work of existing data centers, allowing the organization...