Monday, December 18, 2023

AI's impact on data center traffic and ZR/ZR+ optics

 How is AI impacting data center traffic and what effect will this have on inter data center links? Josef Berger, AVP Marketing from Marvell explains:

  • The increasing demand for data center interconnect bandwidth due to upgrades in GPU clusters and the construction of new data centers. This demand is driving the need for ZR connectivity.
  • The benefits and growing demand for their 400 ZR and upcoming 800 gig ZR and ZR plus products. These products offer more modes, longer reaches, and larger network coverage with low-cost and low-power plugables.
  • The company's ongoing engagement with customers and end users who are excited about the additional capabilities of these products. They are currently ramping up 400 ZR and are looking forward to making more announcements around the 800 gig ZR product line.

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The Arms Race for AI Clusters

Check out AI and Cloud Data Center Networking videos here:

Has the demand for AI data center spurred a new arms race in advanced semiconductors and optics? Brad Booth, Ethernet and Optical Technology Advisor, explains:

  • The exponential growth of AI data centers in the past five years, driven by the increasing capabilities of AI and the demand from both hyperscale and cloud markets.
  • The challenges faced in meeting the demand for GPUs and optical modules, and the subsequent surge in bandwidth requirements for these devices.
  • The innovation spurred by this growth, including the rise of startups bringing new technologies to the market, the exploration of new materials, and the need for faster bandwidth and memory elements to handle the increasing demands.

Join Brad as he delves into the exciting world of AI data centers, discussing the challenges, innovations, and future predictions in this rapidly evolving industry.

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Multi-Color Lasers and Micro Ring Resonators for DCI

Check out AI and Cloud Data Center Networking videos here:

Scaling data center interconnect bandwidth is a daunting challenge. John Jost, Co-founder and Co-CEO from Enlightra, proposes an innovative developmental path:

  • The traditional method of moving information with a single color laser is reaching its practical limits. Enlightra's technology allows us to use many colors to scale bandwidth.
  • Enlightra's unique approach involves taking a single laser and converting it into many colors, capable of high-capacity data transfer. This is a more efficient solution than trying to put hundreds of lasers on a single chip.
  • Enlightra's core technology, a micro ring resonator, uses special physics properties to convert a single color laser into many stable, coherent, and low-noise colors.

Join John as he explains how this Swiss-based startup, founded in 2022, is targeting data transfer and AI capacities with their multicolor lasers.

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HellasQCI and Nokia target quantum-safe networks

Nokia completed a proof of concept (PoC) of Quantum-Safe Networks (QSN) in a complex optical network ring topology across three locations in Greece with HellasQCI, the Greek National Quantum Communication Infrastructure Consortium. 

The tests demonstrated hybrid key generation using both classic and quantum physics to generate and distribute Quantum-Safe keys for encrypted optical services. The goal of the PoC was to run use cases with the HellasQCI consortium members from government, research and education, defense, law enforcement and private sector critical infrastructure owners to ensure Quantum-Safe connectivity infrastructure.

The Nokia QSN solution showcased the value added by the Nokia Security Management Server (SMS) to orchestrate Quantum-Safe keys and provide continuous monitoring and management of quantum secured connectivity. This particular SMS is the Quantum-Safe Key orchestrator, managing key requests and assuring Quantum-Safe services for the given crypto period. Upon continuous monitoring of Quantum-Safe connectivity service, the system’s SMS can increase secured connectivity resiliency automatically by reverting to classic physics-based keys in case of issues on the QKD layer.

The PoC was performed on a ring connecting three nodes in GRNET’s Data Center, the National Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) Network Operations Center (NOC), and the NKUA Department of Informatics and Telecommunications (DIT), Optics Communications and Photonic Technology Laboratory (OPTCOMMS-PTL).

The HellasQCI consortium consists of 14 public organizations and private corporations, and is led by GRNET as project coordinator and NKUA as its technical coordinator. GRNET operates under the auspices of the Greek Ministry of Digital Governance, providing networking, cloud computing, high-performance computing, and e-Infrastructures. It connects more than 150 organizations across 50 cities and serves hundreds of thousands of users daily in public administration, education, research, health and culture.

Dr. Ognjen Prnjat, Director for European Infrastructures and Projects Directorate at GRNET, said: “We are very pleased with the successful completion of the PoC with Nokia, which is one of the key milestones for the HellasQCI project that establishes the National Quantum Communication Infrastructure in Greece. GRNET plays a crucial role in various European infrastructures for research and education, including EOSC, EUDAT, EGI, G√ČANT, PRACE, and EuroHPC, and we are honored to have been given the responsibility by the Ministry of Digital Governance to lead the implementation of this innovative quantum network infrastructure as part of the pan-European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI) initiative. The PoC demonstrated the feasibility and the benefits of Quantum-Safe Networks for securing critical communications in Greece and in Europe and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with Nokia and other partners to develop and deploy an operational and secure EuroQCI.”

James Watt, Head of the Optical Networks Division at Nokia, said: “We are proud to partner with HellasQCI and its consortium members to demonstrate our QSN solution in this challenging and innovative PoC. Test environments like this are crucial to ensure networks are ready for quantum-level cybersecurity attacks, which are inevitable as quantum computing becomes more accessible around the world. Nokia brings a structured framework and a collaborative partner-based approach combined with our world-leading networking expertise with extensive experience managing large-scale and complex deployments with multi-connectivity domain and multi QKD vendor technologies.”

Lockheed Martin, Verizon demo 5G streaming for DoD

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works and Verizon demonstrated 5G streaming for real-time visualization content on edge computing devices to advance Department of Defense (DOD) sustainment missions.

The demonstration validated three things:

  • 5G at the edge for latency critical interactions of complex visualization applications such as augmented, virtual, or extended reality experiences
  • Streaming of real-time, complex, 3D visualization content
  • Streaming to edge compute devices including tablets, mobile, Head Mounted Displays (HMDs), and more

These technologies enable Lockheed Martin's "Maintainer as a Node" concept, by which a connected maintainer receives all the information where, when and how it is needed in a latency-critical environment.

The companies said their collaboration enables sustainment use cases where advanced visualization capabilities are critical to supporting the maintainer with Resilient Logistics in a Contested Environment (RLCE). Examples of these use cases include:

  • 3D step-based work instructions
  • Augmented/virtual/extended reality content deployment
  • Remote desktop of high-end, real-time, 3D applications scenarios
  • Remote assistance and other 3D graphically intensive applications

"Streaming is the future, and through our strategic collaboration with Verizon, together we're advancing crucial 21st Century Security technologies that drive speed, efficiency, quality and reliability where our customers need it most," said Marc O'Brien, senior manager of Virtual Prototyping at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works. 

Armada raises $55M for edge data center in containers

Armada, a start-up based in San Francisco specializing in edge computing, AI, and connectivity, recently emerged from stealth with a notable capital raise exceeding $55M. The funding round was led by prominent investors including Founders Fund, Lux Capital, Shield Capital, and 8090 Industries. 

The company is developing dge computing solutions that are designed to be deployable on both on-premise and cloud infrastructures. The edge computing technology enables data processing closer to the source of data generation, which is particularly crucial for real-time processing and decision-making in remote regions and in various industries. The solutions will offer edge satellite internet connectivity to the world’s most remote regions. 

“Today, AI — including large language models, multimodal AI and predictive models — is revolutionizing every facet of our lives and work, but not everyone has the same opportunity. What’s truly astounding is that vast swaths of the world still lack basic internet access, much less the ability to derive tangible value from their data,” said Armada co-founder and CEO Dan Wright. “Armada’s mission is to bridge the digital divide once and for all, giving our customers the ability to solve their biggest problems.”

Lumen appoints Satish Lakshmanan as CPO

Lumen Technologies named Dr. Satish Lakshmanan as its new Chief Product Officer, reporting to Lumen CEO Kate Johnson.

Dr. Lakshmanan comes to Lumen from Amazon Web Services (AWS) where he was the global leader for Artificial Intelligence Services. At AWS, he generated and delivered new revenue streams across major industries and segments improving existing revenue channels and setting global revenue targets aligned with goals and objectives. He also held various product leadership roles at NetApp, Western Digital, QLogic, and Texas Instruments and has a doctorate in chemical engineering.