Wednesday, April 5, 2023

OIF announces 3.2T Co-Packaged Module Implementation Agreement

OIF announced its Co-Packaging-3.2T-Module-01.0 Implementation Agreement for Ethernet switching applications utilizing 100G electrical lanes while ensuring backward compatibility with 50G lanes. 

The module definition can be in the form of an optical module or a passive copper cable assembly and provides ~140G/mm of bandwidth edge-density. It can enable optical and/or electrical interfaces for a 51.2Tb/s aggregate bandwidth switch.

The new IA includes interoperability specifications for the 3.2 Tb/s CPO modules, including:

  • 8x400Gb/s optical interface options for FR4 and DR4 connectivity
  • 32 x CEI-112G-XSR host interface (or 32 x CEI-56G-XSR in “backwards compatible” mode)
  • Opto-mechanical module specifications
  • Electrical specifications
  • Control and management interface, enabled by enhancements to the existing OIF CMIS specification

“OIF’s members are committed to driving innovation and progress in co-packaging, continuously seeking ways to improve and innovate,” said Jeff Hutchins, OIF PLL Working Group Co-Packaging Vice Chair and Board Member, Ranovus. “This IA is part of a trio of projects which include the Framework project and the External Laser Small Form Factor Pluggable (ELSFP) project. Building on OIF’s successful track record of coherent and laser module IAs, it addresses the market need for interoperable integrated optics standardization identified by the CPO Framework IA.”

“Considerable progress has been made in co-packaging, and this new IA, along with a collaborative ecosystem, is a critical piece to propel the technology so that it meets industry needs, including that of Cloud service providers as they build their next-generation AI networks,” said Richard Ward, Technical Editor of the OIF 3.2T Co-Packaged Module IA, Astera Labs.

UK to investigate cloud infrastructure giants

Ofcom is proposing to refer the cloud infastructure market to the UK Competition and Markets Authority for further investigation and possible regulatory action.

A new study on the cloud infrastructure market by Ofcom reveals that Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft have a combined market share of 60-70%. Google is their closest competitor with a share of 5-10%. Collectively these firms are known as the ‘hyperscalers’ and the vast majority of cloud customers use their services in some form.

The features and practices undertaken by these hyperscaler make it more difficult for customers to switch and use multiple cloud suppliers. We are particularly concerned about the practices of Amazon and Microsoft because of their market position.

Ofcom lists the following causes for concern:

  • Egress fees. These are the charges that customers pay to transfer their data out of a cloud and the hyperscalers set them at significantly higher rates than other providers. The cost of egress fees can discourage customers from using services from more than one cloud provider or to switch to an alternative provider.
  • Technical restrictions on interoperability. These are imposed by the leading firms that prevent some of their services working effectively with services from other providers. This means customers need to put additional effort into reconfiguring their data and applications to work across different clouds.
  • Committed spend discounts. These can benefit customers by reducing their costs, but the way these discounts are structured can incentivise customers to use a single hyperscaler for all or most of their cloud needs, even when better quality alternatives are available.

Equinix builds a 2nd data center in Montreal

Equinix is building a new state-of-the-art data center in Montreal. 

The new facility, known as MT2 and which is expected to open in the second half of 2023, will expand Equinix's presence in Montreal and continue the company's commitment to bring the full value of Platform Equinix and its portfolio of solutions to Canadian businesses. Once open, the new site will expand Equinix's Canadian footprint to 16 high-quality IBX data centers coast to coast and will provide customers a digital on-ramp to Equinix's global platform of more than 245 data centers. It will add more than 37,000 square feet of colocation space and offer global connectivity to better serve Montreal-based organizations' growing demand for digital infrastructure services.

MT2 is expected to be among the first cohort of data centers to support Equinix's efficiency commitment to sustainable air-cooling practices by aligning the operating temperature boundaries with the globally accepted standards described by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) A1A. Optimizing cooling operations within these standards improves data center efficiency, which can result in a reduction in customers' Scope 3 carbon emissions associated with their MT2 deployment.

Andrew Eppich, Managing Director at Equinix Canada, noted, "MT2 represents a major milestone in our investment to bring the best of Equinix to Canada and the best of Canada to the world. Montreal is a key economic center in Canada and globally, with a thriving and innovative ecosystem known for its diversity, creativity and collaborative spirit. Expanding our footprint in this metro will offer companies the best-in-class data center design with access to connectivity both globally and within Canada, so they can advance on their digital infrastructure and innovation journey at home and abroad."

Lumentum trims outlook as major network OEM pauses deliveries

Citing an unexpected pause in orders from a major network equipment vender, Lumentum trimmed its financial outlook saying it now expects revenue for its fiscal third quarter 2023 to be in the range of $380 to $384 million, compared to the company’s previous expectation of $430 to $460 million.

“Late in our fiscal 2023 third quarter, a network equipment manufacturer who represented more than 10 percent of our fiscal second quarter revenue informed us that due to their inventory management, they would not take the shipments we had originally projected for the quarter,” said Alan Lowe, Lumentum President and CEO. “This shortfall is the primary reason that our fiscal 2023 third quarter revenue will be below the low end of our prior guidance range. Looking ahead, we expect a similar level of shipments to this customer in our fiscal Q4, as we saw in Q3. Nevertheless, our customer relationship remains strong, and we continue to work together closely to help them achieve success.”

Mr. Lowe continued, “We have confidence in our long-term strategy and operating model, and today we are announcing an increase in our share repurchase program.”

Lumentum’s board of directors recently approved an increase in its share repurchase program authorization to an aggregate amount of $1.2 billion and extended its duration through May 2025. Lumentum’s previously announced authorization was $1 billion through May 2024. As of April 1, 2023, Lumentum had used $615.5 million to repurchase 7.4 million shares. Lumentum expects to fund the repurchases under the extended share repurchase program out of its existing cash balance.

Edgecore launches switch supporting 64 X400G ports

Edgecore Networks a high capacity 400G switch designed for next-generation data center and cloud computing environments.

The DCS520 is powered by the Broadcom Tomahawk 4 chipset, which boasts 25.6 Tbps switching capacity and low-latency performance. It suports a density of 64 400G ports. It also supports up to 16 400G ZR or ZR+ coherent optics with up to 24W power budget per port, It is equipped with hot-swappable, redundant power supplies and fan modules.

The new switch also supports a hardened, validated, and supported SONiC distribution – Enterprise SONiC distribution by Edgecore. This is a hardened version of Community SONiC that includes feature enhancements, enterprise-ready Layer 2 and Layer 3 functions, Quality of Service capabilities, and key management protocols. 

“Edgecore committed to helping operators build their new network architectures for 400G and 800G in the future. We will continue to develop collaborative solutions between the ecosystem of software and system integrator partners to deliver robust disaggregated networking solutions," said Nanda Ravindran, Vice President of Product Management. "With the DCS520, we are proud to offer a powerful solution that meets the evolving needs of modern data center and cloud computing environments. We aim to help customers build cost-effective, reliable, and scalable networks that meet the demands of their end customers."

NTT and NEC target decarbonization initiatives

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), NTT Anode Energy Corporation (NTT Anode Energy), NEC Corporation (NEC) and NEC Platforms Co., announced a basic agreement for reducing the environmental impact of business activities and have begun collaborating on the promotion of a decarbonized society.


  • NTT Anode Energy will provide 100% renewable energy to the NEC Platforms Fukushima Plant, which manufactures 5G base station equipment, with the aim of starting from June 2024. Part of the renewable energy will include power generated in an offsite PPA (*1) as well as green energy sent directly from a power plant (*2).
  • The NEC Platforms Fukushima Plant will be using renewable energy supplied by NTT Anode Energy to manufacture networking equipment, such as IOWN (*3) products that incorporate cutting-edge energy-saving technologies.
  • NTT and NEC will jointly promote initiatives in support of a decarbonized society, including the supply chain.

Ericsson's Cradlepoint to acquire cloud-based security specialist Ericom

Cradlepoint, which is a subsidiary of Ericsson, has acquired cloud-based security specialist Ericom. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericom’s zero trust and cloud-based security solutions will form the basis of the new Cradlepoint NetCloud Threat Defense cloud service, expanding the company’s mobile-capable and router-integrated SASE (secure access service edge) and zero trust portfolio of solutions for fixed-site, remote worker, in-vehicle and IoT use cases.

Welcoming Ericom, George Mulhern, Head of Ericsson Business Area Enterprise Wireless Solutions and CEO of Cradlepoint, said: “We can now deliver a comprehensive SD-WAN and SASE solution for Wireless WAN and private cellular networking, leveraging 5G while addressing the wireline needs of enterprise customers.”

ATX Networks opens manufacturing site in Michigan

ATX Networks,which supplies broadband access and media distribution solutions, opened a new manufacturing plant in Grand Blanc Township, Michigan, to build its GigaXtend HFC amplifiers and future ATX solutions.

The state-of-the-art facility, announced in September of last year, is owned and operated by Mara Technologies, a subsidiary of the Invotek Group. Mara incorporated an advanced and highly automated linear production line and testing capabilities into the plant’s design for high-volume and high-quality production of outside plant products.

The plant will initially produce ATX’s widely deployed GainMaker-compatible GigaXtend amplifiers.

“A USA-based manufacturing plant enables ATX to accelerate the assembly, packaging and shipping of ATX products while expanding our overall manufacturing capabilities to meet the time-to-market needs of our customers,” said Dan Whalen, CEO of ATX Networks, at the April 4th grand opening. “In addition to helping us keep supply chain constraints in check, a U.S. manufacturing facility has the potential to assist MSOs working to shrink the digital divide leveraging government funding.”

“We are honored to have ATX as an anchor tenant and assist in expanding the company’s manufacturing capabilities,” said Peter Schmied, President & COO of the Invotek Group of companies. “As demand for HFC amplifiers increases, the cable community can count on ATX to deliver the HFC products they need — when they need them — in lockstep with customer demand.”