Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Intel shows eight-wavelength DFB laser array in silicon

Intel Labs has demonstrated an eight-wavelength distributed feedback (DFB) laser array that is fully integrated on a silicon wafer. The laser array, which is built on Intel’s commercial 300-millimeter silicon photonics manufacturing process, delivers output power uniformity of +/- 0.25 decibel (dB) and wavelength spacing uniformity of ±6.5% that exceed industry specifications.

 Intel Labs says this advancement will enable the production of the optical source with the required performance for future high-volume applications, such as co-packaged optics and optical compute interconnect. The fabrication of the eight-wavelength DFB laser array employed the same process which is used to manufacture production optical transceivers in volume. Specifically, Intel used advanced lithography to define the waveguide gratings in silicon prior to the III-V wafer bonding process. This technique resulted in better wavelength uniformity compared to conventional semiconductor lasers manufactured in 3-inch or 4-inch III-V wafer fabs. In addition, due to the tight integration of the lasers, the array also maintains its channel spacing when the ambient temperature is changed.

In addition, many aspects of the eight-wavelength integrated laser array technology are being implemented by Intel’s Silicon Photonics Products Division as part of a future optical compute interconnect chiplet product. The forthcoming product will offer power-efficient, high-performance multi-terabits per second interconnect between compute resources including CPUs, GPUs and memory. The integrated laser array is a critical element to achieve a compact and cost-effective solution that supports high-volume manufacturing and deployment.

“This new research demonstrates that it’s possible to achieve well-matched output power with uniform and densely spaced wavelengths. Most importantly, this can be done using existing manufacturing and process controls in Intel’s fabs, thereby ensuring a clear path to volume production of the next-generation co-packaged optics and optical compute interconnect at scale,” states Haisheng Rong, senior principal engineer at Intel Labs.


Intel establishes Integrated Photonics Research Center

Intel Labs has established an academically-oriented Integrated Photonics Research Center with a mission to accelerate optical input/output (I/O) technology innovation in performance scaling and integration with a specific focus on photonics technology and devices, CMOS circuits and link architecture, and package integration and fiber coupling.The Intel Research Center for Integrated Photonics for Data Center Interconnects will bring together leading...

Intel shows micro-ring modulators, all-silicon photodetectors, multi-lambda lasers

Intel showcased a number of advancements in the field of optical interconnects, advancing its long-term ambition to bring optical I/O directly into silicon packages. During a virtual Intel Labs day presentatio, the company demonstrated advances in key technology building blocks, including with light generation, amplification, detection, modulation, complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) interface circuits and package integration. Key...

MEF appoints AT&T and Verizon Executives to its Board

MEF announced the appointment of two new members to its board of directors: Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer, Verizon Business, and John Nolan, Vice President, Global Connection Management, AT&T.

Bhattacharya and Nolan join MEF’s world-class board of directors who guide the advancement of the MEF baseline for LSO supply chain automation, MEF 3.0 standardized services, and test, training and certification, allowing service and technology providers and the enterprise to differentiate with on-demand, cloud-like experiences for their customers. Bhattacharya leads product management across all customer segments for Verizon Business and is responsible for the company’s product portfolio and its strategy and alignment with Verizon’s Network-as-a-Service framework. Nolan leads a team of professionals in more than 30 countries responsible for AT&T’s voice, data, international roaming, IoT, and performance relationships with other telecommunications providers in support of AT&T’s wireless and wireline businesses objectives around the world.

MEF Board of Directors:

  • Debika Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer, Verizon Business
  • Nan Chen, Head of The One Network, Ericsson
  • Frederick Chui, Chief Commercial Officer, PCCW Global
  • Andrew Dugan, Chief Technology Officer, Lumen
  • Shawn Hakl, Vice President, 5G Strategy, Microsoft
  • Daniele Mancuso, Senior Vice President Chief Product Management, Sparkle
  • Franck Morales, Vice President, Connectivity Services, Orange Business Services
  • John Nolan, Vice President, Global Connection Management, AT&T
  • Robert “Bob” Victor, Senior Vice President of Product Management, Comcast Business
  • Mirko Voltolini, Vice President, Innovation, Colt Technology Services
  • Jeremy Wubs, Senior Vice President, Product, Marketing and Professional Services for Bell Business Markets, Bell Canada


Mexico's Neutral Networks deploys Infinera's ICE6

Neutral Networks has deployed Infinera’s ICE6 800G coherent technology for its new transnational, fiber network called NEXT. NEC collaborated on the project.

Neutral Networks, which provides connectivity to carriers, data centers, and enterprise customers on its existing 175-mile network, will establish a neutral, diverse, 100% underground and ultra-low latency fiber network to connect the City of Laredo in the United States with the City of Monterrey in Mexico. Leveraging Infinera’s ICE6 technology on the GX Series Compact Modular Platform, NEXT increases the capacity of the international network to meet the rapidly growing bandwidth demands in the region. The network will aggregate and transport 10G and 100G Ethernet services onto high-speed wavelengths across more than 175 miles from Mexico to the United States without regeneration.

“Our goal is for Mexico to have a modern, world-class network infrastructure which is why we found Infinera’s innovative ICE6 solution and NEC’s local engineering capabilities a reliable and ideal fit to ensure a seamless implementation at a scale of this kind,” said Noé Garza, CTO at Neutral Networks. “Our NEXT network is revolutionizing the telecoms industry in Mexico, contributing to its growth and providing the most advanced border-crossing network available with Laredo, Texas serving as a key access point to Mexico’s international clients.”

“We are delighted to collaborate with NEC to design and build NEXT, Neutral Networks’ next generation network, which will be a critical foundation for internet traffic between the U.S. and Mexico,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Infinera. “This is one of the most important telecom investment projects in the Northeast part of Mexico in recent history, and we are proud to have Infinera’s industry-leading ICE6 technology part of this transnational upgrade. ICE6 is deployed worldwide, and this deployment continues to demonstrate the solution’s scalable and flexible services to meet growing bandwidth demands.”



Taiwan's GlobalWafers to build new wafer fab in Sherman, Texas

GlobalWafers, a leading provider of semiconductor wafers based in Hsinchu, Taiwan, announced plans to build a state-of-the-art, silicon wafer factory in Sherman, Texas.

The new 300-millimeter facility represents a multi-billion dollar investment and could support as many as 1,500 jobs with production volumes ultimately reaching 1.2 million wafers per month after multiple stages of equipment installation. Production is anticipated as early as 2025.

300-millimeter silicon wafers are the starting material for all advanced semiconductor fabrication sites (or fabs), including recently announced United States (US) expansions by GlobalFoundries, Intel, Samsung, Texas Instruments and TSMC. 

GlobalWafers Chairman/CEO Doris Hsu stated, “With the global chips shortage and ongoing geopolitical concerns, GlobalWafers is taking this opportunity to address the United States semiconductor supply chain resiliency issue by building an advanced node, state-of-the-art, 300-millimeter silicon wafer factory. Instead of importing wafers from Asia, GlobalWafers USA (GWA) will produce and supply wafers locally thereby reducing significant carbon footprint benefitting both customers and GWA in the current ESG tide worldwide.”


Colt launches SASE Gateway based on Versa

Colt Technology Services has launched an integrated full Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solution that brings together SD WAN and SSE features.

The new Colt SASE Gateway solution, which is designed for global enterprise companies, is based on Versa SASE. This includes Versa Secure Web Gateway, a secure web access solution that offers organisations protection from malware and threats, and instant insight for policy management, along with reducing end-user friction to access cloud-based applications securely.

The Colt SASE Gateway works in combination with Colt SD WAN Remote Access, a feature launched last year based on Versa Secure Access (VSA) and Colt SD WAN’s core integrated features.

Peter Coppens, Colt’s VP Product Portfolio, said: “Colt was one of the first to offer a true SD WAN service in Europe many years ago, and now we extend our offering further with the launch of a full SD WAN-integrated SASE solution, powered by Versa. It comes as a result of the changes in how people are working and accessing systems, combined with increasingly complex enterprise networks and rapidly changing security threats. We see our customers looking to move away from more traditional network security solutions to a SASE approach. This brings together networking and security to offer secure access for employees no matter where they are and how they’re accessing the company network.”


Tele2 Estonia installs ADVA ALM fiber monitoring

Tele2 Estonia has deployed the ADVA ALM fiber monitoring solution for real-time assurance across its national network. 

The ADVA ALM is a low-power, service-agnostic solution that offers total fiber infrastructure visibility. Requiring no active equipment at the user site, it’s now delivering comprehensive insight into the integrity and performance of Tele2 Estonia’s fiber infrastructure. The Ensemble Fiber Director provides a GIS-based, real-time graphical user interface that proactively notifies the CSP’s field forces of any fiber anomaly, enabling them to take countermeasures before problems develop and services are affected. With complete control, Tele2 Estonia is now significantly improving robustness and efficiency across its nationwide network, which is built on the ADVA FSP 3000.

“With the ADVA ALM, we can offer even more value to our customers. Needing no calibration, it easily plugged into our infrastructure to instantly provide detailed info on any fiber event. Having the ability to rapidly respond to network issues and take immediate targeted action helps us ensure zero downtime and uninterrupted connectivity,” said Asse Hang, head of international sales at Tele2 Estonia. “This deployment is also central to our role as a sustainability leader. As the first communication service provider (CSP) in the Baltic region to have achieved climate neutral operations, we’re dedicated to reducing environmental impact in every aspect of our business. The ADVA ALM fiber monitoring solution enables us to dramatically decrease truck rolls, helping to further cut our carbon footprint”.


ADVA supplies fiber monitoring for Westfalen Weser Netz

Westfalen Weser Netz, a regional utility provider serving 736,000 customers in Germany, has deployed ADVA's ALM fiber monitoring technology for precise, real-time insight into its regional metro network. The solution enables the municipal utility provider to instantly detect and rapidly repair fiber breaks with minimal disruption. “The ADVA ALM is helping us ensure excellent network availability while also reducing maintenance effort and expense....

Lightbits raises $42 million for NVMe over TCP

 Lightbits Labs, a start-up based in San Jose, California focused on NVMe over TCP (NVMe/TCP) software-defined storage, raised $42 million in growth capital, bringing total raised to over $100 million in funding since its founding in 2016. 

Lightbits eliminates storage complexities, unlike other NVM Express over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) implementations that require Fibre Channel or RDMA via the RoCE protocol, with specialized network interface cards and drivers. 

The funding round was led by new investor Atreides Management, alongside J.P. Morgan, Valor Equity Partners, Eyal Ofer’s O.G. Tech, founder and chairman of Pacific Century Group (PCG) Richard Li, existing investors, and others. 

“In today’s data-driven market, enterprise and data center customers are increasingly focused on achieving superior performance, scalability, and economics. Lightbits has established itself as a clear leader in disaggregated storage solutions—poised to meet accelerated customer demand with its cloud-native data platform. We are excited to partner with the Lightbits team at a critical stage in the company’s growth trajectory,” said Gavin Baker, Manager Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Atreides Management.

“The unprecedented events of the past two years and the impact of strained supply chains, have organizations thinking differently about their data infrastructure, rapidly accelerating the adoption of cloud solutions. There is tremendous pressure on Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) and IT Organizations with private clouds to profitably keep pace with growing business demand while providing fast, resilient, and secure services,” said Avigdor Willenz, Co-Founder and Chairman of Lightbits Labs. “Lightbits invented NVMe/TCP and has led the way in defining a cloud-native storage architecture that is simple, agile, and efficient. Delivering these benefits significantly improves the competitive advantage of our enterprise customers. This investment and our continued growth are validation of our strategy, our incredible team, and our mission to lead the cloud-native data center transformation by delivering scalable and efficient software-defined storage that is easy to consume.”


Open RF Association streamlines its technical work

 The Open RF Association, which is dedicated to creating an open 5G ecosystem of interoperable hardware and software across member multi-mode RF (radio frequency) front-end and chipset platforms, is consolidating its existing five working groups into three – Software Interoperability, Hardware Interoperability and Compliance.

When the Open RF Association was formed, it identified five key areas essential for specification development: the RF register map, software APIs, the hardware RF Front End and RFIC, RF power management, and compliance. With the completion of the first phase of its plan to establish a standard for the RF Front-end and RFIC ecosystem, the Open RF working groups have consolidated efforts along natural lines, merging the software-focused register map and software API working groups into the Software Interoperability Working Group, and combining the hardware and power management working groups into the Hardware Interoperability Working Group.

  • The new Software Interoperability Working Group, comprised of the Register Map and SW_API working groups, will increase its efforts to develop a register map framework and common hardware abstraction layer (HAL) creating an agnostic RFIC and RFFE interface model.
  • The new Hardware Interoperability Working Group, comprised of the RF PMIC and Hardware RFFE working groups, will continue to maximize common frontend features and capabilities, and evolve the 5G user curve model.
  • The Compliance Workgroup remains unchanged, working to deliver the consortium's initial Level 1 compliance requirement end of this year.

“The next stage of the OpenRF working groups will focus on standardizing various RF front-end applications – the hardware features, capabilities, and interface requirements associated with each, while still allowing for the flexibility needed for members to differentiate their products,” said OpenRF Hardware Working Group Chair Peter Bacon of MuRata.