Monday, December 11, 2023

AI is Driving Big Changes in Ethernet Switching

Is it time to rethink data center switching? Nick Kucharewski, SVP and GM, Network Switching from Marvell explains:

  • The advent of high-performance AI Cloud computing brings new requirements for Ethernet switching, including high bandwidth, low latency, and the ability to provide deterministic low latency even with multiple users sharing the fabric.
  • The solution lies in a new category of Ethernet switch that can provide high bandwidth, deterministic low latency, and high Ric, essential for wider, flatter networks that can connect compute nodes quickly and efficiently.
  • As we move forward, switches built for AI cluster compute racks and AI Fabrics will start to diverge from switches built for general-purpose compute, with the former focusing on higher bandwidth, lower latency, and more features for deterministic low latency performance, while the latter will focus on efficiency.

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CPO Switches are Here!

Are CPO data center switches ready for market? Near Margalit, GM and VP of Optical Systems Division from Broadcom, answers:

  • Demonstrating the reliability of core silicon photonics technology: Margalit emphasizes the need to prove to the market that the core silicon photonics technology is reliable and that this reliability will translate to box-level reliability, similar to pluggable modules.
  • Establishing the economic and total cost of ownership benefits of CPO technology: He highlights the importance of showing a clear economic and total cost of ownership benefit of using CPO technology over pluggable modules.
  • Addressing the time-to-market criticism of CPO technology: Margalit discusses the criticism of CPO technology's time to market, explaining that as they move from the 25 terabit generation to 51T and beyond, the time between when CPO technology is available to integrate with the switch and when that switch comes to market is decreasing.

Join us to learn more about the future of CPO switches.

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Equinix Advances Plans for Direct-to-Chip Liquid Cooling

Equinix is expanding its support for advanced liquid cooling technologies to over 100 of its data centers worldwide. This will enable businesses to use the most efficient cooling methods for high-density hardware used in compute-intensive workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI). 

Direct-to-chip liquid cooling, a unique approach that involves cooling the chip directly, will be available in over 45 metros, including major tech hubs like London, Silicon Valley, and Singapore. 

Equinix said its vendor-neutral approach allows customers to choose their preferred hardware provider, ensuring a flexible and efficient data center experience. Equinix supports major liquid cooling technologies, including direct-to-chip and rear-door heat exchangers so that customers can take advantage of the most efficient solutions. 

"Liquid cooling is revolutionizing how data centers cool powerful, high-density hardware that supports emerging technologies, and Equinix is at the heart of that innovation," said Tiffany Osias, Vice President of Global Colocation, Equinix. "We have been helping businesses with significant liquid-cooled deployments across a range of deployment sizes and densities for years. Equinix has the experience and expertise to help organizations innovate data center capacity to support the complex, modern IT deployments that applications like AI require."

Nokia and Venture Partners Target Deep Tech Commercialization

Nokia announced long-term strategic partnerships with America’s Frontier Fund (AFF), Roadrunner Venture Studios (RVS) and Celesta Capital to commercialize deep technologies from Nokia Bell Labs.

The venture partners will invest in and help develop technologies incubated and developed within Nokia Bell Labs, forming independent venture-backed companies.

Celesta Capital is a venture capital firm specializing in investments in disruptive technology companies and entrepreneurs. The firm is based in San Francisco.

Key areas of focus and collaboration are expected to include:

  • Advanced Communications: Foundational communication technologies that will enable 5G and 6G networks and emerging use cases powering smart cities, factories, precision farming, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, and connectivity.
  • AI and Deep Learning: Autonomous annotation, synthetic data generation, and analytics.
  • Next-Generation Semiconductor Fabrication: scaling of near-terahertz RF technology to unlock new applications
  • Sensors: novel biomedical and environmental sensors including MEMS-based optical sensors.
  • Quantum Computing: advanced cubit architectures for scale-out computing and next generation data centers.

"Celesta Capital is thrilled to collaborate with Nokia, with its unparalleled strength in industrial research and rich technology portfolio," said Sriram Viswanathan, Founding Managing Partner of Celesta Capital. "We believe this partnership with Nokia Bell Labs leverages Celesta Capital's unique strengths in identifying, nurturing and developing high potential technologies into the leading deep tech companies of tomorrow."

"Nokia Bell Labs is a leader in innovation with a robust IP portfolio and research expertise," said Nishant Batra, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer (CSTO) of Nokia. "Partnering with a leading deep tech venture firm like Celesta, with its strong investment acumen and operational experience, will allow us to scale and lead new startups in key technology areas that will create long-term value for Nokia."

Broadcom funds Quantum Laboratory at Caltech

Broadcom announced a multi-year partnership with Caltech to advance quantum science research and discoveries with the potential to seed new innovative technologies and applications. 

The partnership, supported with a significant investment from Broadcom, will establish the Broadcom Quantum Laboratory at Caltech, a physical collaboration space that will bring together experts in the fields of quantum computing, quantum sensing, quantum measurement, and quantum engineering. Broadcom's investment will support joint programming and research to accelerate discovery.

Additionally, over the next five years, Broadcom and Caltech have agreed to host an annual symposium where scientists and engineers from both organizations will explore areas of mutual interest and future development opportunities in relevant fields.

"Developing deep connections to technology leaders like Broadcom amplifies the power of the science and engineering that Caltech can accomplish," says Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum, the Sonja and William Davidow Presidential Chair and professor of physics. "We share a belief in the transformative potential of quantum discoveries across the disciplines and welcome this new partnership." 

"Broadcom is thrilled to partner with Caltech to launch this critical R&D initiative on quantum computing. As a world-class leader in science and engineering research, Caltech has a long and rich history of technology innovation," says Hock Tan, President and CEO of Broadcom. "This multi-year investment and engineering collaboration reinforces our continued commitment to supporting advanced R&D and represents our relentless pursuit of innovation to connect our customers, employees and communities worldwide."

Nokia Bell Labs to relocate Murray Hill campus to New Brunswick

Nokia Bell Labs will relocate its campus to a new state-of-the-art research and development facility in New Brunswick.

The move will establish New Brunswick as Nokia's new R&D hub on the East Coast. The new facility, which will break ground in 2025 and is expected to be completed by 2028.

Nishant Batra, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer at Nokia, said: “Our Murray Hill campus has been home to iconic Nokia Bell Labs innovation for over 80 years. As we look toward the future of Nokia and Nokia Bell Labs in the region, we will take with us all that makes us exceptional – our vision, brainpower, culture of disruptive innovation, and technical prowess – and marry that legacy with a modern research and development facility that is built to our needs. Ultimately, we want a facility that feels right for the next 100 years of Nokia Bell Labs.”

  • The Nokia Bell Labs’ campus in Murray Hill, New Jersey, originally established in the 1940s as part of Bell Telephone Laboratories, has been a center of technological innovation for decades. Renowned for developing the transistor in 1947, the facility has been associated with numerous Nobel Prizes, including advancements in lasers, the charge-coupled device, and the creation of the Unix operating system. Following the AT&T breakup in the 1980s, Bell Labs became part of Lucent Technologies, which later merged with Alcatel to form Alcatel-Lucent. In 2016, Nokia acquired Alcatel-Lucent, integrating Bell Labs into its structure. 

Nokia and BT to develop Telco APIs for 5G monetization

Nokia announced an agreement with BT to develop new 5G network monetization opportunities through Nokia’s Network as Code platform with developer portal (platform) and BT Group’s cloud-native network.

BT Group, which operates the EE mobile network, said it is looking to Nokia’s growing ecosystem of developer partners to gain access to simplified network capabilities in the form of software code that can be built into applications for enterprise, industrial, and consumer use cases.

Nokia has announced a similar agreement with DISH Wireless.

The Nokia platform helps operators monetize their 5G network assets beyond pure connectivity.   It provides application developers with tools such as Software Development Kits (SDK) and open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which give developers access to deep network functionality and data that enables them to build new use cases for their customers.

U.S. awards first Chips Act Funding to BAE Systems

The U.S. Department of Commerce awarded $35 million in federal incentives under the CHIPS and Science Act to BAE Systems Electronic Systems to support the modernization of the company’s Microelectronics Center, a mature-node production facility in Nashua, New Hampshire. 

This is the first grant issued under the CHIPS and Science Act.

The project will replace aging tools and quadruple the production of chips necessary for critical defense programs including the F-35 fighter jet program.

“We have been clear since day one that the CHIPS for America Program is about advancing our national security and strengthening domestic supply chains, all while creating good jobs supporting long-term U.S. economic growth. As national security becomes as much about the chips inside of our weapons systems as the weapons systems themselves, this first CHIPS announcement shows how central semiconductors are to our national defense,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we have reached preliminary terms to make a substantial investment in New Hampshire’s expanding defense industrial base, which will help make our country and supply chains more secure and bolster the economy of the Granite State.”

Ayar Labs names Mark Wade as CEO

Ayar Labs, a lstart-up focused on optical I/O for chip-to-chip connectivity, has appointed its co-founder and CTO Mark Wade as its new CEO. Wade succeeds Charles Wuischpard, who will transition out of the company in mid-January and serve in an advisory capacity during the transition period.

“I’m humbled and honored to take on the role of CEO for Ayar Labs,” Wade said. “There is a growing sense of momentum across the industry as it becomes increasingly clear that optical I/O enables large-scale AI compute and other data intensive workloads to operate at bandwidths, energy efficiencies, and latencies that are unachievable through electrical based interconnect technology. I look forward to guiding our incredible team to capitalize on this opportunity, enabling our customers to realize the full potential of in-package optical I/O, and helping the company accelerate into our next growth phase.”

“Mark has been instrumental in building a strong foundation for Ayar Labs and this is a natural progression in an extraordinary journey for both him and the company,” Wuischpard said. “My focus since I joined Ayar Labs was to put the company on the path to long-term growth. With the incredible progress we have made over the past two years in particular, this feels like the right inflection point to make this transition and I couldn’t be more excited to see Mark lead the next phase of the company’s growth as CEO.”

  • 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.