Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Meta unveils Grand Teton, its next-gen AI system

At Open Compute Project Summit in San Jose, Meta unveiled Grand Teton, its next-generation, GPU-based hardware platform. Compared to its Zion, its predecessor, Grand Teton boasts 4x the host-to-GPU bandwidth, 2x the compute and data network bandwidth, and 2x the power envelope. Grand Teton also has an integrated chassis in contrast to Zion-EX, which comprises multiple independent subsystems.

Grand Teton has been designed with greater compute capacity to better support memory-bandwidth-bound workloads at Meta, such as its open source DLRMs. Grand Teton’s expanded operational compute power envelope also optimizes it for compute-bound workloads, such as content understanding. 

The previous-generation Zion platform consists of three boxes: a CPU head node, a switch sync system, and a GPU system, and requires external cabling to connect everything. Grand Teton integrates this into a single chassis with fully integrated power, control, compute, and fabric interfaces for better overall performance, signal integrity, and thermal performance. 

This high level of integration dramatically simplifies the deployment of Grand Teton, allowing it to be introduced into data center fleets faster and with fewer potential points of failure, while providing rapid scale with increased reliability.

Meta also introduced Open Rack v3 (ORV3), a data center rack with a frame and power infrastructure capable of supporting a wide range of use cases — including support for Grand Teton.

ORV3’s power shelf isn’t bolted to the busbar. Instead, the power shelf installs anywhere in the rack, which enables flexible rack configurations. Multiple shelves can be installed on a single busbar to support 30kW racks, while 48VDC output will support the higher power transmission needs of future AI accelerators. It also features an improved battery backup unit, upping the capacity to four minutes, compared with the previous model’s 90 seconds, and with a power capacity of 15kW per shelf. Like the power shelf, this backup unit installs anywhere in the rack for customization and provides 30kW when installed as a pair.


OCP adopts Data Center Sustainability as top-level project

The OCP Foundation has adopted Sustainability as a new top-level project and as the 5th Tenet to ensure that all work efforts across all OCP Projects have a focus on sustainability.

OCP’s Sustainability top-level project will set reporting targets, monitor and plan compliance with external regulations and best practices, develop high level sustainability KPIs that go beyond traditional data center measures such as power usage effectiveness (PUE), and assemble sustainability technology and process roadmaps for the larger OCP Community to follow under the OCP’s new Sustainability Tenet.

Sustainability efforts carried out across the OCP will focus on technology specific implementations of the directions set by its new OCP Sustainability Project. 

Currently within the OCP there are sustainability efforts in cooling environments involving increasing thermal management efficiency with liquid based cooling technologies such as immersion and cold plate cooling and heat re-use. Beyond thermal optimizations, data center facilities efforts are working to optimize carbon associated from operations and data center facilities construction, and the manufacturing of IT equipment. 

Designing for circularity is also an important focus to positively control the lifecycle of IT physical infrastructure. For example, firmware needs to be open to promote reuse and improve long term sustainability. OCP hardware specifications will continue to evolve to enable products to remain in use for as long as possible, and design for circularity to enable infrastructure within the data center to be repurposed, and ultimately enable component and material recovery when decommissioned.

"The OCP community has a responsibility to contribute towards reducing the environmental impact of the industry, and drive conversations within their influence to impact technologies deployed in the data centers. The tenets of the OCP foster openness that enables mainstream delivery of the most efficient designs for scalable computing and uniquely positions OCP to be an effective agent for climate action. Adding a mandate for sustainability looking at transparency, circularity, and embodied carbon in IT equipment, silicon and data center facilities will add significant weight to our ability to help the industry minimize its impact on the environment," said George Tchaparian, CEO Open Compute Project Foundation.


Alexander Rakov, Sustainability Leader - C&SP, Schneider Electric, talks about how the OCP community is driving innovation that could achieve huge gains in sustainable performance. #OCPSUMMIT2022

Windstream achieves 400 Gig Open ZR+ integration

Windstream Wholesale, along with its partners Coherent and Nokia, completed full integration of the 400 Gig, 0 dBm QSFP-DD Pluggable into the generally available Nokia 7250 IXR X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 routers. 

The integrated solution is ready for full commercial deployment, accelerating Windstream’s ICON and ICON-Edge network strategy. 

Windstream announced in October 2021 co-development with Coherent (formerly II-VI) of the world’s first high performance 0 dBm, 400G QSFP-DD coherent pluggable module – making these transceivers compatible with existing and emerging modern ROADM-based photonic layers supporting multi-service, multi-layer, open and interoperable architectures.


  • A direct technical path for IP-over-DWDM with ROADM-based photonic layers, extending the application space beyond simple point-to-point DCI style networks.
  • High-performance 0 dBm, 400G QSFP-DD coherent pluggable modules that provide widespread compatibility with existing and emerging modern ROADM-based photonic layers supporting multi-service, multi-layer architectures.
  • A significant reduction in capex and opex by eliminating intermediate DCI-style boxes, allowing for direct insertion of high-performance coherent optics into current 400G-enabled routers. This is enabled by Nokia’s 7250 IXR-X1 and 7250 IXR-X3 platforms running SR OS.
  • An important increase in 400G transceiver density, drastically reducing the size and power demands of 400G pluggables relative to sled-based and even CFP2-based solutions.

“This announcement demonstrates Windstream’s technology leadership in the evolution of both optical and packet networking,” said Art Nichols, chief technology officer for Windstream Enterprise and Wholesale. “Windstream’s ability to manage everything from the base science technology through system integration is key to achieving new architectural breakthroughs. Coherent and Nokia have been outstanding partners throughout the development process.”

“It’s been exciting to work with Windstream and Nokia at the frontier of high-speed transmission technology, transforming proprietary line cards into standardized pluggable transceivers that are much easier to provision on Nokia’s routers and deploy in Windstream’s network,” said Matthias Berger, vice president, Coherent Technology, Coherent Corp. 


Windstream Wholesale completes 1000 km 400G ZR+ field trials

Windstream Wholesale completed 1000 km 400G field trials leveraging pluggable modules from II-VI with QSFP-DD-DCO optics that achieve a high transmit power of 0dBm. The trials demonstrated unprecedented performance with strong working margins over a production network route and traversing up to 24 ROADMs in a lab environment.During the field trial, Windstream Wholesale closed established a 400G link on a 1,000+ kilometer link between Phoenix and...

Imagine 5G networks integrated with the Digital World


From Extended Reality (XR) and the Metaverse to the future of Enterprise connectivity, Jan Söderström walks us through the highlights of Ericsson's Imagine Possible event in Silicon Valley on October 18 and 19, 2022.

The next USB4 spec hits 80 Gbps

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) published the USB4 Version 2.0 specification, a major update to enable USB 80 Gbps performance over the USB Type-C cable and connector. 

This doubles the maximum aggregate bandwidth of USB to the benefit of higher-performance displays, storage, and USB-based hubs and docks. 

The USB Type-C and USB Power Delivery (USB PD) specifications have also been updated to support this higher level of data performance.


  • Up to 80Gbps operation, utilizing a new physical layer architecture based on PAM3 signal encoding, over existing 40Gbps USB Type-C passive cables and newly defined 80Gbps USB Type-C active cables.
  • Optionally for certain applications, such as driving very-high performance USB4-based displays, the USB Type-C signal interface can be configured asymmetrically to deliver up to 120Gbps in one direction while retaining 40Gbps in the other direction.
  • Updates to data and display protocols to better use the increase in available bandwidth
  • USB data architecture updates now enable Enhanced SuperSpeed USB data tunneling to exceed 20Gbps.
  • Aligns with DisplayPort Revision 2.1 and PCI Express Revision 4.
  • Backward compatibility with all previous versions of USB.

“For engineers, USB4 is defined by its multi-protocol tunneling that architecturally differentiates it from its predecessors – USB 3.2 and USB 2.0,” said Brad Saunders, USB-IF Board Chair and CEO. “This updated technical specification extends USB4 speed and data protocol performance, enabling manufacturers to develop products that can deliver USB 80Gbps in addition to existing USB 40Gbps and USB 20Gbps to end users.”


Australia’s NBNCo picks Nokia's 5G mmWave FWA

Australia’s NBNCo has selected Nokia's 5G mmWave Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) for a large-scale deployment reaching rural and suburban customers.

FWA currently covers almost 650,000 premises across Australia. This rollout will enable approximately 120,000 former satellite-only eligible premises access to fixed wireless services for the first time.

The 5G mmWave upgrade utilizes the 28 GHz band to be operated in Non-Stand Alone (NSA) mode along with cmWave spectrum and will help enable faster speeds on the network, including the launch of two new wholesale high-speed tiers – 100 Mbps and 250 Mbps.

Nokia’s mmWave solution introduces a high gain antenna design that can leverage mmWave to a range of up to 10km. The CPE comprises an outdoor unit installed on the roof of the premise and an indoor unit providing user interfaces for the customer, connecting to the outdoor receiver with a 2.5Gbps Power over Ethernet connection.

The devices will be used as part of nbn’s Fixed Wireless and Satellite Upgrade Program, a $750 million investment in the nbn Fixed Wireless network, made up of $480 million from the Australian Government supported by an additional $270 million from nbn.

"Using mmWave over long distances has been very challenging due to high signal attenuation. Nokia’s high gain Long Reach technology is an important innovation as it compensates for this attenuation, and minimises possible satellite interference, offering a balance of throughput and TCO,” said Shiv Putcha, Founder and Principal Analyst, Mandala Insights. “The collaboration with nbn is an important step to connecting the next billion users, who represent a significant opportunity for service providers in Australia and around the world.

Jason Ashton, Executive General Manager, Fixed Wireless and Satellite at nbn said: ‘We are facing a step-change in demand for broadband in rural and regional areas, with an estimated 300% increase in demand for data on our fixed wireless network over the next ten years. Nokia’s 5G mmWave solution allows nbn to better utilise both our sub6GHz and 5G mmWave spectrum allocations to vastly extend the range, speed and capacity of our existing fixed wireless network and improve the end user’s experience."


Ericsson confirms 5G contract with Reliance Jio

Ericsson signed a long-term strategic 5G contract with Indian communications service provider (CSP) Reliance Jio to roll out 5G Standalone (SA) in the country.

Ericsson’s energy-efficient 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) products and solutions (from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio) and E-band microwave mobile transport solutions will be deployed in the 5G network for Jio.All products and solutions are deployed on new-build 5G SA networks, designed to maximize the benefits of 5G to CSPs and their customers – whether individual subscribers or enterprise and industry customers.

Ericsson notes that it has played a pivotal role in powering virtually every facet of telecommunications in India, from setting up the first switch in India in 1903 to providing connectivity across 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G.

Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson, says: “India is building world-class digital infrastructure that will drive innovation, job creation and entrepreneurship across the country. We are happy to partner with Jio in those ambitions, through Ericsson 5G Standalone connectivity, which will be a major catalyst in meeting those digital transformation goals across society, enterprise and industry.”


Algar Telecom upgrades subsea infrastructure with Infinera

Algar Telecom, a leading provider of telecom and IT solutions in Brazil, has selected Infinera's GX Series Compact Modular Platform and FlexILS Open Optical Line System to modernize and scale its subsea network infrastructure. 

Algar Telecom will deploy Infinera’s state-of-the-art coherent technology to increase capacity on its jointly owned Monet Cable System connecting Boca Raton in Florida with landing sites in Fortaleza and Praia Grande in Brazil, expanding its spectrum service offerings and paving the way for new operator partnerships.

“As the high-speed connectivity needs of our customers evolve, we continue to deploy best-in-class technology to ensure superior network resiliency and scalability,” said Ivan Mendes, Wholesale and IOT Director. “Our technology partnership with Infinera enables us to provide modern and flexible optical transport and ensure economies of scale and efficiency in the services we deliver.”

Infinera’s ICE6-powered GX solution delivers the capacity and reach required for high-performance submarine cable spectrum and leverages the unique features of Infinera’s optical engine, which include Nyquist subcarriers, forward error correction gain sharing, and photonic integrated circuit-based technology. The solution also includes Intelligent Power Management tools that will enable Algar Telecom to effectively manage optical power across the entire fiber spectrum and maintain spectrum service stability under diverse and challenging conditions.

“We are pleased to extend our longstanding relationship with Algar Telecom to help them deliver a superior customer experience as they expand their services across the subsea spectrum and throughout Brazil,” said Nick Walden, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales at Infinera.


Angola Cables picks Infinera’s ICE6 for subsea upgrade

Angola Cables selected Infinera’s ICE6 technology to upgrade its subsea network connecting Miami and São Paulo.Angola Cables operates a robust subsea cable infrastructure and highly interconnected IP network through its SACS, Monet, and WACS submarine cable systems, directly connecting the Americas, Africa, and Europe; it also has established partnerships to expand connectivity to Asia. The success of the U.S.-to-Brazil subsea network upgrade,...

Sparkle activates capacity on the Monet subsea cable

Sparkle has activated spectrum capacity on the Monet submarine cable system connecting Brazil to the United States. The addition enhances Sparkle's regional backbone for the Americas, which now encompasses five diversified routes between North and South America. Sparkle is also present on the Seabras-1 cable system in the Atlantic and the Curie cable system in the Pacific.Sparkle now counts 56 Points of Presence across the U.S., Argentina, Brazil,...

Nokia picks Ottawa for ICT and cyber security R&D hub

Nokia selected Ottawa, Ontario, for a new sustainable research and development (R&D) hub focused on information and communications technology (ICT) and cyber security innovation. 

Nokia Canada plans to begin site construction in 2023 and expects to open the new facility in 2026. This project will transform Nokia Canada’s 26-acre campus at the Kanata North Business Park into a sustainable, accessible mixed-use corporate, residential and commercial hub where nearly 2,160 local employees, Ottawa residents and businesses, and Canada’s entire tech ecosystem can collaborate, innovate and drive Canadian and global wellbeing and prosperity. The facility is expected to create more than 340 new, high-value jobs.

Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia, said: “Nokia is helping to drive Canada’s tech leadership. This world-class, sustainable R&D hub will be one of Nokia’s most dynamic developments – and I’m proud that it will benefit the people of Ottawa also. This is an exciting day. I want to express my appreciation to the local, provincial and national governments for working with us on this project.”