Thursday, March 17, 2022

Crehan: Amazon and Google deployed >50% of total data center Ethernet switch bandwidth in 2021

The data center Ethernet switch market saw very strong annual bandwidth growth during 2021, with an increase of more than 60%, according to a recent report from Crehan Research Inc. This growth is the largest in four years, despite market bandwidth being five times bigger now. 

A major driver of the strong increase were high-volume 400 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch deployments by Amazon and Google, resulting in these two companies accounting for over half of all 2021 bandwidth deployed.

“The insatiable demand for data center networking bandwidth continues," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research, "with hyperscale cloud service providers at the tip of this spear. Artificial intelligence is one of the latest applications driving robust high-bandwidth growth, as this service-offering from cloud providers gains traction.”

Crehan’s report further shows that it took only about three years for 400GbE to comprise the majority of data center Ethernet switching bandwidth, despite its limited number of early customers. In fact, 400GbE data center switching is just now hitting broad market adoption in terms of number of customers deploying this technology.

"Although the portion of total data center Ethernet networking bandwidth from Amazon and Google has surged over the past couple of years," Crehan said, "it will likely rebalance a bit in 2022 as 400GbE and 200GbE see broader market deployments, starting with Meta and Microsoft early this year."

Keysight delivers 800G test solution for 112 Gbps Serial data interfaces

Keysight Technologies introduced an 800G compliance test solution for validating 112 gigabit per second (Gbps) serial data center interfaces. The new 112 Gbps conformance test solution leverages Keysight’s M8040A 64 GBaud high performance bit error ratio tester (BERT) with a N1060A Digital Communication Analyzer (DCA) for receiver testing and Keysight’s Infiniium UXR-Series real-time oscilloscope for transmitter testing. 

Interfaces capable of supporting speeds of at least 100 Gbps and per lane are critical to realizing the benefits of 800G deployments. Keysight’s 112 Gbps conformance test platform enables optical transceiver manufacturers to accurately verify both the transmitter (TX) and receiver (RX) of designs that support connectivity speeds of 100 Gbps or greater.

Keysight said its fully automated 112 Gbps conformance test solution enables users to:

  • perform flexible, precise and repeatable testing across a variety of implementation scenarios, to minimize development schedules.
  • leverage a wide range of test cases for validating compliance to the latest specifications defined by both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF).
  • simplify and accelerate testing of multiple interfaces, including chip-to-chip, chip-to-module, cabled and backplane.

The solution includes automated test software for verifying the following:

  • receiver in conformance to IEEE 802.3ck specifications (M8091CKPA)
  • transmitter in conformance to IEEE 802.3ck specifications (N1091CKCA and D90103CKC)
  • transmitter in conformance to OIF-CEI-112G PAM4 specifications (N109212CA and D9050CEIC)

Keysight expands 800G test solutions with multimode interfaces

Keysight Technologies expanded its portfolio of 800G test solutions for the optical transceiver ecosystem. The latest addition to Keysight’s existing portfolio of 800G test solutions are new design and validation solutions that support multimode interfaces, which are critical for an energy efficient data center infrastructure. The 800G multimode test solutions uniquely support high-speed data interconnect speeds of up to 100 Gbps.

In December 2020, Keysight launched industry-first 800G test solutions to help speed development of next generation data center technologies. The 800G multimode test solutions enable users to verify the performance of a wide range of optical transceiver modules and components, including vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), photodiodes, modulator drivers, transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs) and physical layer (PHY) chips.

The extended portfolio supports 400G and 800G design validation, in accordance with standards defined by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), across the entire product lifecycle, from early research and development to manufacturing. Industry-leading test capabilities from Keysight include:

  • Multimode component characterization using Keysight’s N4373E lightwave component analyzer
  • Conformance and interoperability validation using Keysight’s N1077B 64Gbaud multimode optical and electrical clock recovery solutions
  • Transceiver module performance evaluation using Keysight’s A400GE-QDD and G800GE layer 1 multiport test solutions.

Broadband Forum completes Phase 2 of its 5G work.

The Broadband Forum released three new specifications for providing operators with new 5G deployment options, including 5G hybrid access using wireline and LTE or NR:

  • TR-456 Issue 2 ‘Access Gateway Function Functional Requirements’ - the capabilities introduced by TR-456 Issue 2 include ensuring operators have the capacity to multiplex multiple sessions between the 5G-Residential Gateway and Access Gateway Function on top of the customer VLAN. This enables each session to be unique in terms of User Plane Functions (UPFs) selection, and operators can place video traffic, business traffic or community Wi-Fi all on their own wireline connection with different policies for each. The specification also expands support for legacy CPE in the form of multi-session support and expanded legacy authentication models. It also addressed other operational aspects such as maximum transmission unit handling, improved NAS transport reliability and Quality of Service enhancements.
  • TR-470 Issue 2 ‘5G Wireless Wireline Convergence Architecture’ - Hybrid-access with the functionality of ATSSS (Access Traffic Steering, Switching, Splitting) supports multiple traffic distribution mechanisms and policies, and is another key enabler from TR-470 Issue 2. This is based on the Residential Gateway with dual access: PON or DSL on the wireline side and 5G or LTE on the wireless side. The LTE support is critical as the operator can create and manage logical sessions that leverage existing network coverage and therefore can offer services with seamless availability for connectivity, bandwidth aggregation and policy-based forwarding, even if the 5G radio deployment is not complete yet.
  • TR-124 Issue 7 ‘Functional Requirements for Broadband Residential Gateway Devices’ - adds Multi-Access support and specifies requirements for the Residential Gateways connected to the 5G System which allow operators to maximize throughput, redundancy, and reliability. This provides the ability to not only run isolated sessions on each access, but to run multiple sessions that use multiple access either as active-standby or simultaneously.

“The Phase 2 work has delivered multi-session and enhanced authentication support for legacy Residential Gateways that do not have any 5G capability. Multi-session will enable the same user to connect to multiple service networks, while previously the user was limited to a single data network. This additional improvement can be considered a foretaste of what will be possible with 5G-Residential Gateways,” said Rosaria Persico, Principal Broadband Forum Delegate, TIM. “Operators are able to leverage innovation and common procedures specified by Broadband Forum that result in enhanced customer experience across available access network assets, and this specification development will ensure a smooth evolution path to a standardized 5G hybrid model.”

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab develops board-in-board interconnects

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) introduced a compact, robust, and low-cost method for interconnecting printed circuit boards (PCBs) without requiring soldering or additional components. 

Berkeley Lab says its narrow board-in-board connectors can handle higher voltages and mechanical stresses compared to currently available miniature connector technologies. Multiple boards can be connected into a variety of shapes, including 3D shapes. Potential uses are broad–ranging, from vital aviation electronics to thin sensor probes. This technology is now available for licensing.

“This new type of PCB interconnects opens up a world of design opportunities for electronics,” said Stijn Wielandt, a researcher in Berkeley Lab’s Earth and Environmental Sciences Area. “The strong locking mechanism means simple assembly and less breakage in applications that produce mechanical stress or vibrations on circuit boards. The compact format also allows for use in 3D components.”

Because the contacts are spaced out along the length of the board, the connector can also handle higher voltages, which opens opportunities in the field of power electronics, for example in the domain of solar power, battery packs, and motor control.

What's hot at OFC22? SENKO on dense fiber connectors for CPO

 Co-packaged optics (CPO) was one of the hottest topics at OFC, as evidenced by the many visitors at SENKO's booth who stopped by to discuss the latest requirements for high-density fiber interconnects, says  Emmanuel Kolczynski, Application Engineering Manager, SENKO.

At OFC, SENKO showcased its SN-MT connector for CPO applications.  Here is an overview.

What's hot at OFC22? Cudoform stamping for Co-Packaged Optics

Many companies are looking for new solution for integrating optics with electronics in a single package to shorten electrical link lengths and reduce power, says R. Ryan Vallance, CEO and CTO, Cudoform.

Cudoform specializes in high-accuracy stamping of metallic components, proving an innovative way to bring light into co-packaged optics.

AT&T leads 2021 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD

Vertical Systems Group announced today that the following seven companies achieved a position on the year-end 2021 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN Services LEADERBOARD (in rank order based on site share): AT&T, Comcast Business, Hughes, Verizon, Windstream, Lumen, and Aryaka. These service providers each have two percent (2%) or more of the installed and billable Carrier Managed SD-WAN customer sites in the U.S. as of December 31, 2021.

“The U.S. Managed SD-WAN services market emerged from the pandemic in 2021 with solid growth in new site installations, driven by accelerated network transformations and more flexible solutions for customers,” said Rick Malone, principal of Vertical Systems Group. “Competition is heating up as evidenced by the shake up in top provider rankings on our year-end 2021 U.S. LEADERBOARD benchmark.”

Three companies attained a Challenge Tier citation for 2021 (in alphabetical order): Fusion Connect, MetTel and TPx. This tier includes service providers with between one percent (1%) and two percent (2%) share of U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN sites.

Some additional highlights:

  • Rankings changed for five of the seven market leading providers on Vertical’s 2021 U.S. Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD based on latest site share results as compared to the previous year.
  • AT&T retains first position overall for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Comcast Business rises to second position, up from fourth in 2020 based on site share that includes organic growth plus sites added from its Masergy acquisition.
  • Hughes moves to third position, from second overall in 2020. Verizon moves into fourth position, a change from third in the previous year.
  • Lumen advances to rank fifth, up from sixth position. Windstream drops to sixth position from fifth in 2020. Aryaka retains seventh position and rounds out the roster of top providers for 2021.
  • Additionally, TPx drops into the 2021 Challenge Tier from the LEADERBOARD.
  • MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Service Certification has been attained by five of the 2021 U.S. LEADERBOARD companies: AT&T, Comcast Business, Verizon, Lumen and Windstream. Each of these providers also has employees with MEF SD-WAN Certified Professional training certification.
  • Primary technology suppliers to the service providers ranked on the 2021 Carrier Managed SD-WAN LEADERBOARD include Cisco, Fortinet, Versa and VMware. Additionally, SD-WAN providers Aryaka and Hughes utilize internally developed technologies.

Dell'Oro: PON equipment spending up 32% yoy

Total global revenue for the Broadband Access equipment market increased to $16.3B in 2021, up 12 percent year-over-year (Y/Y), according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Growth came once again from spending on both PON infrastructure and fixed wireless CPE.

"2021 was a record year for PON equipment spending, with some of the highest growth coming from the North American market, where expansion projects and fiber overbuilds are picking up considerably," said Jeff Heynen, Vice President, Broadband Access and Home Networking at Dell'Oro Group. "These fiber expansion projects show no signs of slowing heading into 2022."

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2021 Broadband Access and Home Networking quarterly report:

  • Total cable access concentrator revenue increased 4 percent Y/Y to just over $1B. Steady growth in Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) deployments helps offset declines in traditional CCAP licenses.
  • Total PON ONT unit shipments reached a record 140 M units for the year, bucking the supply chain constraints that have dogged the cable CPE market.

Lightpath expands fiber footprint west of Boston

 Lightpath announced a 75-mile expansion of its all-fiber network west of its Boston metro footprint, bringing the total size of the Lightpath network in the Boston metropolitan area to more than 200 route miles.

The Boston West expansion includes over 75 miles of new, high-count fiber along the I-90 corridor between Boston and Marlborough, planned in two phases. Phase 1 of the build (in yellow on map) will be completed later in 2022, while the additional proposed routes (in red on map) are targeted for completion in 2023.