Sunday, January 21, 2024

Crehan: Rapid growth ahead for 800GbE

According to the most recent Data Center Switch Long-Range Forecast Report from Crehan Research, 800 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches will see rapid customer adoption and will surpass 20 million ports in annual shipments within four years – equating to the fastest ever data center Ethernet switch speed ramp (see accompanying chart). 

An expected key driver of the fast adoption is generative AI, which requires much higher networking bandwidth than other workloads.

“Generative AI is potentially the biggest killer application to emerge in decades," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. "As the de facto data center networking technology, with an installed base of over 400 million switch ports as well as the proven ability to incorporate additional features to handle the requirements of new applications, we expect Ethernet to be the main enabler of these workloads,” he said. “Already, Ethernet networking is seeing generative AI enabling deployments in five of the top seven hyperscale cloud service providers, as well as the world’s fastest supercomputers including the Frontier exascale system and the Aurora system.”

In conjunction with strong adoption of high-speed Ethernet switches to handle generative AI applications, Crehan’s report also predicts rapid growth in 100-Gbps SerDes shipments. The company expects this technology to surpass 50-Gbps SerDes shipments to become the most-deployed data center Ethernet switch SerDes speed within three years.

NTT & Nokia demo Dynamic Rerouting in Mobile Fronthaul

NTT and Nokia demonstrated mobile fronthaul between the antenna unit (Radio Unit/RU) and the control unit (Distributed Unit/DU) of a 5G RAN base station using the IOWN All Photonics Network (APN) architecture.

The demonstration showed that latency remains within established mobile backhaul parameters even when the distance between RU and DU is about 25 km. It was confirmed that the RU and DU of 5G operate normally. 

This achievement will contribute to reducing the number of DUs and their power consumption by enabling long-distance transmission between RU and DU and wide-range base station operation.

The IOWN APN enables dynamic re-routing between RUs and DUs. If a failure occurs between an RU and a DU, the IOWN APN can bypass the failure, allowing the service to continue in the

area covered by the RU. There is currently a strict industry standard3 for mobile fronthaul with a delay time of 160 μs or less4, and 5G RUs and DUs are designed to operate under this standard. 

The companies also confirmed that, in theory that, with the delay time of 133 μs, the maximum distance of long-distance transmission is approximately 30 km. 

EU's Nostradamus targets quantum communications

The European Commission has tasked a group led by Deutsche Telekom, called "Nostradamus," with creating a quantum key distribution (QKD) test infrastructure. This project will assess QKD devices from European manufacturers. The consortium includes Thales, a leader in advanced technologies, and the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, along with other industry and academic experts. Their work supports the development of EuroQCI, a secure, quantum-based, pan-European communication network. This network will enhance the security of critical infrastructures for all EU member states and their citizens.

The initiative aims to build the European Quantum Communication Infrastructure (EuroQCI), enhancing security for data centers, communication networks, and vital services like hospitals and power grids. It will utilize fiber optics and satellite technology, reinforced by quantum physics for added defense against new cyber threats. This quantum technology application is central to the EU's cyber security strategy for the future.

Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) uses quantum mechanics principles to secure communication, with keys for decoding information sent using single photons. 

The upcoming EU satellite network, IRIS2 (Infrastructure for Resilience, Interconnectivity and Security by Satellite), will be encrypted and dependent on EuroQCI. Its primary role is to deliver communication services and support critical network infrastructure for governments. Additionally, IRIS2 will offer rapid satellite internet to businesses and organizations. As the third key component of the EU's space infrastructure, following Galileo (navigation) and Copernicus (earth observation), IRIS2 received EU approval last year. Its initial services are set to start this year, with complete operational capability targeted for 2027.

EllaLink to connect French Guiana and continental Europe

A new 2,100km cable extension to the existing EllaLink cable will provide a direct fiber connection  between French Guiana, home of the European Space Centre, and continental Europe.

This new submarine branch will land in Cayenne, French Guiana, and include 2 fibre pairs. The system will be built by Alcatel Submarine Networks and use state-of-the-art optical technologies such as a ROADM WSS branching unit, allowing direct connectivity without regeneration from French Guiana to continental Europe with an RTD latency of less than 80ms. The new infrastructure will also enable direct connections from French Guiana to Fortaleza, Brazil.

Singtel adds Starlink connectivity to its maritime portfolio

Singtel is adding Starlink service to its portfolion of maritime digital offerings for ship owners and operators so they can innovate and tap into advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, edge computing, as well as access cloud-based solutions to improve safety, operational efficiencies, and crew well-being. 

Starlink is the first low Earth orbit (LEO) broadband service to be added to Singtel’s  portfolio of digital smart solutions for vessels known as iSHIP, which also includes Paragon - the telco’s an all-in-one orchestration platform for 5G edge computing and cloud services. The platform will manage and automate the smart switching between satellite communication services ensuring uninterrupted, high quality network coverage as ships traverse long distances, including the most remote locations and under severe conditions. It will also enable ships to leverage edge computing, host mission critical applications either on-premises or at shore - freeing up valuable bandwidth and improving reliability.

“The maritime industry is a complex, interconnected environment involving large volumes of data being transmitted between thousands of terminals, ships, and ports across the world. We have seen growing demands for faster, more resilient, and low latency connectivity as the industry starts to embrace digital transformation. The addition of Starlink to our existing suite of satellite communications solutions, orchestrated by our patented Paragon platform, is part of our multi-orbit strategy to increase the resilience of satellite connectivity in the industry and to enable the rapid adoption of digital technologies and solutions. As the first telco in Singapore to offer Starlink, we are confident that this offering will further facilitate the development of smart, secure, and sustainable solutions that will positively impact the industry,” said Mr Bill Chang, Chief Executive Officer, Digital InfraCo, Singtel.