Thursday, August 31, 2023

Tech Update: 4 Tbps FPGA with In-Package Optical I/O

Bringing optical I/O as close as possible to the processor is key design aim for high-performance computing. Intel and Ayar Labs demonstrate  a 4 Tbps bidirectional communication between two optically enabled Intel FPGAs using Ayar Labs TeraPHY optical I/O chiplets. Data generated from each FPGA is optically transmitted from one board and received and verified on the other board. 

Mark Wade, Chief Scientist and Co-founder of Ayar Labs, and Anthony Yu, Vice President of Computing and Wired Infrastructure at GlobalFoundries, walk us through the demo:

  • They showcase Ayar Labs' TeraPHY optical I/O chipletss, built in the GlobalFoundries' 45nm silicon photonics process, which enables breakthrough multi-terabit per second optical connectivity solutions.
  • They discuss the evolution of fiber attached technology, highlighting the importance of figuring out how to attach fiber once you have Optical I/O chiplets in the package.
  • They demonstrate the assembly of the whole solution into a standard card level form factor, integrating laser sources externally from the SoC package and sending laser light into the optical chiplets through optical fiber routed on the edge of the card.

The demo represents a major milestone on the path to drive optical connectivity all the way to the processor.

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Cignal AI: IPoDWDM represents a $1.6B Component Opportunity by 2026

 Metro WDM equipment spending will soon be disrupted by a transition to pluggable optics used in routers, according to the recent Impact of IPoDWDM report from Cignal AI. IPoDWDM is a 20-year-old concept, but new factors such as the emergence of 400ZR, architecturally progressive hyperscale network operators, and changing traffic and network management trends will catalyze widespread deployment by 2026.

“IP-over-DWDM is poised to disrupt the Metro WDM equipment market and will shift some revenue and technical leadership to vendors of coherent pluggables,” said Kyle Hollasch, Lead Analyst for Transport Hardware at Cignal AI. “A significant amount of hardware spending will be displaced, but total spending on equipment and pluggables will continue to grow due to the new applications enabled by router-hosted pluggable coherent modules.”

Additional Report Findings:

  • Most IP-over-DWDM modules deployed by hyperscale operators will drive new applications and architectures, but roughly half of these modules will replace traditional standalone hardware.
  • Total Cloud spending on traditional optical transport hardware will decline -5% annually through 2026.
  • IP-over-DWDM module revenue will more than offset this decline as 400ZR and 800ZR pluggables will represent nearly half of WDM transport spending by hyperscale operators.
  • Coherent modules used in IPoDWDM applications represent a $1.6B opportunity by 2026.
  • Service Provider optical spending will be flat through 2026 as a drop in Metro WDM spending due to IPoDWDM will offset growth in Long Haul.

Ciena reports sales of $1.07 billion, up 23%, solid performance

 Citing solid performance across all regions and a growing backlog, Ciena reported revenue of $1.07 billion for its fiscal third quarter ended July 29, 2023, up 23% compared with a year earlier. Ciena's adjusted (non-GAAP) net income for the fiscal third quarter 2023 was $89.1 million, or $0.59 per diluted common share, which compares to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $49.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted common share, for the fiscal third quarter 2022.

"We delivered excellent results for the fiscal third quarter with strength across all regions," said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. "We are encouraged by increased customer activity that, when combined with our elevated backlog, market leadership and expanding addressable market, we believe will drive growth and market share gains going forward."

"We are very encouraged by the level of overall customer activity that we are seeing across all regions and segments. Most notably, we are seeing early signs of near-term requirements with our customers as they work to ensure their network readiness for machine learning and AI traffic coming out of the data center and into the WAN."

Some additional highlights:

  • Added 18 new customers in Q3 for WaveLogic 5 Extreme, bringing the total customer count to 246. 
  • First order for WaveLogic 6 in the quarter, well before it is even generally available. 
  • Routing and Switching revenue was  up 27% year-over-year, with the addition of more than 30 new customers for the portfolio in the quarter.
  • First customer order for the WAVE router platform.
  • Platform Software and Services revenue was up 24% year-over-year. 
  • One 10% customer in the quarter, which is a cloud provider. 
  • Total non-telco revenue was 46% year-over-year in the quarter to $487 million, a record high. 
  • Subsea revenue was up 21% year-over- year in the quarter to $76 million. 
  • Revenue from service provider customers was up 9% year-over-year, which included one Tier 1 customer that came in just under 10% threshold in Q3.

Lumotive unveils Optical Beam Steering Chip for Next Gen LiDAR

Lumotive, a start-up based in Seattle, announced full production implementation of its Light Control Metasurface technology – the world's first digital beam steering solution.

The Lumotive LM device is a solid-state optical semiconductor which can be manufactured in high volume. It enables the next generation of lidar to expand into new applications and become the pervasive standard for intelligent 3D sensing worldwide. '

LM10 Key Features

  • Ultra wide 160-degree FOV in the steering axis
  • 10x9mm active aperture area fits many system designs
  • True solid-state, zero-inertia beam steering
  • Software-definable, non-sequential dynamic scanning
  • Compatible with all laser types, including VCSEL and EEL
  • Evaluation kit and full lidar reference designs available

"After 8 years of rigorous R&D, we are thrilled to bring the first ever solid-state optical beam steering product to market," said Dr. Gleb Akselrod, Founder and CTO of Lumotive. "LCM technology, which uses the revolutionary physics of dynamic metasurfaces to actively steer light without any moving parts, is enabling never before seen capabilities in 3D sensing and many other applications where software-controlled optical beamforming is critical."

"With the unveiling of our LM10, we are entering a new era of programmable optics where mastering light control is no longer a distant vision, but a here-and-now reality," said Dr. Sam Heidari, CEO of Lumotive. "By combining the transformative power of metamaterials with our patented semiconductor manufacturing process that enables low-cost mass production, we're democratizing high-quality, software-definable 3D sensing."

Vodafone implements Open RAN across U.K. with Samsung

Samsung is supporting Vodafone's large-scale deployment of Open RAN across 2,500 mobile sites in Wales and the South-West of England.

Specifically, Samsung is providing its vRAN software and Open RAN radio solutions for this deployment, which is described as the largest Open RAN rollout in the UK.

  • The vRAN software supports Multi-RAT (multiple radio access technology) across 4G and 5G.
  • The radio solutions include Massive MIMO radios in the low- and mid-bands.
  • Samsung has fully integrated its 64T64R Massive MIMO radios into Open RAN, demonstrating its capability to handle integration.

Vodafone has been at the forefront of Open RAN innovation and we are excited to kick-off the mass installation of Open RAN, working together with Samsung Networks and the rest of our ecosystem,” said Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK. “After rounds of testing and validation, we are well prepared to embark on this new phase in our Open RAN expansion, and look forward to opening up a new world of possibilities that will transform customer experiences.”

“Now we are witnessing how innovative technologies like Open RAN and vRAN can further bolster 5G capabilities, creating new paths and possibilities for network evolution,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Following this historic milestone in Europe, we will continue working together with Vodafone to take their Open RAN networks to new heights.”

Nutanix hits sales of $494.2 million, up 28% yoy

Nutanix reported revenue of $494.2 million for its fourth quarter ended July 31, 2023, up 28% compared to the same period last year. Non-GAAP operating income was $63.6 million compared to a loss of $(37.8) million a year earlier.

“Our fourth quarter capped off a fiscal year that showed healthy year-over-year top line growth and sharp year-over-year improvements in profitability and free cash flow,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, President and CEO of Nutanix. “Our consistent execution over the course of the year against an uncertain macro backdrop is a testament to the benefits of our subscription model, as well as the value our customers see in the Nutanix Cloud Platform as they look to modernize their IT footprints and implement hybrid multicloud operating models.”

VMware posts Q2 sales of $3.41B, up 2% yoy

VMware reported revenue for the second quarter of $3.41 billion, an increase of 2% from the second quarter of fiscal 2023.  Non-GAAP net income for the second quarter was $792 million, or $1.83 per diluted share, up 11% per diluted share compared to $697 million, or $1.64 per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2023.

“We delivered solid Q2 results. Our customers continue to invest in our Multi-Cloud offerings as they modernize their infrastructure to run enterprise, cloud-native, and new AI workloads,” said Raghu Raghuram, CEO, VMware. “At the recent VMware Explore Las Vegas, we unveiled new offerings including the next evolution of VMware Cloud, NSX+, vSAN Max, and an enhanced Tanzu Application Platform, all designed to help customers innovate faster and reduce total cost of ownership. We also introduced VMware Private AI Foundation with NVIDIA to accelerate AI-enabled applications in the enterprise.”

  • Subscription and SaaS revenue for the second quarter was $1.26 billion, an increase of 34% year-over-year.
  • Subscription and SaaS revenue constituted 37% of total revenue for the quarter.
  • Subscription and SaaS ARR exiting the second quarter was $5.31 billion, an increase of 36% year-over-year.