Monday, April 1, 2024

#OFC24: A New Class of Silicon Photonics for AI Data Centers

Silicon Photonics is poised to play a much greater role in data centers going forward. 

Loi Nguyen, EVP and GM, Optical from Marvell explains how:

- The introduction of Marvell's  Marvell 3D SiPho Engine, a highly integrated silicon photonics engine that can deliver 6.4 Tbps, enabling faster speeds for future AI technologies.

- The successful use of silicon photonics technology in the metro market to connect data centers, and its potential for wider use within data centers.

- The increasing demand for bandwidth due to AI and machine learning, and how silicon photonics can meet this demand with highly integrated optics.

Featuring 200G I/O, 3D SiPho Engine delivers 2x the bandwidth, 2x the input/output (I/O) bandwidth density, and 30% lower power per bit versus comparable devices with 100 Gbps electrical and optical interfaces.

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#OFC24: Indium Phosphide (InP) Interconnect for AI Infrastructure

 Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

Indium Phosphide (InP) components will play a critical role connecting AI clusters across and between data centers, yet only a few vendors have deep expertise in Indium Phosphide. Robert Shore, SVP of Marketing from Infinera, provides a quick primer:

- The challenges faced by network operators due to the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, particularly in building and interconnecting AI clusters in data centers.

- The limitations of existing technologies like VCSELs or silicon-based technologies in transmitting information over longer distances within data centers, and how Infinera's Indium Phosphide technology excels in this area.

- Infinera's integrated InP photonic integrated circuit not only lowers costs and increases manufacturability, but also reduces power per bit, a crucial factor for data center operators.

- Infinera can help network operators to establish a secure supply chain in the United States of highly-integrated, low-power, and high-performance optics for AI clusters.

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#OFC24: Co-Package Optics (CPO) Takes a Huge Step Forward

 The big players are now making significant bets on co-packaged optics (CPO) as a driver a for the highest performance interconnects in AI clusters. Hamid Arabzadeh, CEO from Ranovus, gives us the update from #OFC24:

- The significant investment in co-packaged optics by major industry players like TSMC, Nvidia, Broadcom, AMD/Xilinx, SilTerra, and Mediatek, and how this technology is being utilized in AI and Edge AI applications where traditional modules don't fit.

- The development of a new generation of co-packaged optics that includes the laser inside the module, allowing for breakthroughs in power consumption and beachfront density where copper could not provide.

- The design and manufacturing process of these optics, integrating multiple components inside a single die, using the silicon photonics substrate as a packaging platform, and achieving substantially lower power consumption than other technologies.

Keep up to speed with CPO, as it is poised to have a major impact of AI system design.

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#OFC24: Demonstrating Marvell's Latest Portfolio Solutions for AI

Marvell is building a full-range of solutions for AI infrastructure. At #OFC24. George Hervey, Principal Architect from Marvell, shows a full-rack with the latest technologies:

- A demonstration of Marvell's racks of solutions for AI infrastructure, including their latest product portfolio and coherent optics driven by their integrated MacSec retimer solution.

- An exploration of their 51 terabit switch solution, showcasing interaction with their AEC cable solution at 800 gig, extending the reach up to 5m and 

- A detailed look at their 51T platform demonstrating a liquid cooling option developed by their partners in Taiwan, and an additional 51T platform using 64 800F OSFP modules, showcasing interoperability across the portfolio.

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#OFC24: Transmit-Retimed Optical DSPs Yield Huge Power Savings

 A new category of optical DSPs, Marvell's new Spica Gen2-T is designed for transmit retimed optical (TRO) modules, an emerging class of modules for AI and cloud use cases. Transmit-only DSPs enable TROs to reduce power consumption by more than 40% compared to conventional transceivers. Xi Wang, Vice President from Marvell, provides the overview:

- Introduction of Marvell's new product, the Spica Gen2-T, a transmit-only DSP that enables a new class of optical module, the Transmit Real Time Optical module.

- The Transmit Real Time Optical module allows operators to save 40% of power consumption while maintaining flexibility and scalability with a DSP based module.

- With this new class of optical module, not only is performance guaranteed and power reduced, but operators are satisfied and we contribute to saving the world.

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#OFC24: New 800ZR and 800ZR+ Pluggables Extend Reach

 The coming wave of 800ZR and 800ZR+ pluggable optics deliver outstanding performance over distance.  Stephen Adolph, AVP, CDSP Product Line Management from Marvell explains:

- At #OFC24 Marvell demonstrated its Orion DSP housed inside an OSFP module, perfect for for hyperscale network operators who need more distance from their network.

- The introduction of the Probabilistic Constellation Shaping (PCS) technology. This technology is important as it allows customers to extend their 800G reach to over 1,000 kilometers.

- The progression of technology from 800ZR, which supports up to 100 kilometers, to 800ZR+, which supports up to 500 kilometers, and finally to PCS, which significantly extends the reach. This progression is key to keeping the cost of scaling networks down and extending their capabilities to higher reach and capacities.

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#OFC24: Key Trends in Optical Networks and AI

What's hot in the world of optical transmission? Richard Colter, Head of Marketing from Fujitsu Network Communications shares these insights from #OFC24:

- The latest enhancements to the 1FINITY Ultra Optical System, which now boasts a baud rate of up to 150 gigabaud, extending its reach and improving performance in DCI and Long Haul networks.

- The critical role of AI automation in open networks, making them easier to operate, design, and troubleshoot. 

- The shift in funding towards green initiatives to modernize networks and drive more broadband rollouts. Fujitsu is at the forefront of this change, offering services that help bridge the digital divide by building new broadband networks and modernizing existing ones.

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#OFC24: Massive Upgrades Coming with 200G per Lane Channels

One of the biggest trends at this year's OFC was the move to 200G per lane. Xi Wang, Vice President from Marvell, discusses:

- The current trend of moving to 200G not only on the GPU side but also the networking interface card, Ethernet switches, and Infiniband switches.

- Marvell's introduction of Nova 2, an optical DSP that has native 200G per lane electrical interfaces, enabling 200G per lane optical channels.

- How Nova enables module manufacturers to develop a wide range of industry-standard form factor optical modules that deliver 2x more bandwidth than current 800 Gbps optical modules

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Huawei posts 2023 revenue of US$99.4 billion, up 9.63%

Citing steady growth in its cloud computing and digital power businesses, Huawei generated revenue of CNY704.2 billion in 2023 and CNY87 billion in net profits, in line with the company's expectations.

2023 revenue by business

  • The ICT infrastructure business generated CNY362 billion, up 2.3% YoY. 
  • The consumer business recorded CNY251.5 billion, up 17.3% YoY. 
  • The cloud computing business brought in CNY55.3 billion, up 21.9% YoY. 
  • The digital power business earned CNY52.6 billion, up 3.5% YoY. 
  • The intelligent automotive solution business generated CNY4.7 billion, up 128.1% YoY.

The company invested CNY164.7 billion back into R&D, which accounted for 23.4% of its annual revenue. Altogether, the company's R&D investment over the past decade amounts to CNY1.11 trillion.

"The company's performance in 2023 was in line with forecast," said Ken Hu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "We've been through a lot over the past few years. But through one challenge after another, we've managed to grow. The trust and support of our customers, partners, and friends around the world is what helped us keep going, keep surviving, and keep growing."

"A new journey awaits us in 2024," Hu concluded. "We will create greater value for our customers and society by driving open innovation, building thriving ecosystems, and succeeding through quality. Here I'd like to thank those who have joined us – and will join us – along the way. Together, let's make something extraordinary. Let's build a fully connected, intelligent world."

In addition, Mr. Xu Zhijun (Eric Xu) will assume the position of Rotating and Acting Chairman of Huawei from April 1, 2024 to September 30, 2024. During his term, Mr. Xu will serve as the company's top leader, and head the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. Mr. Xu joined Huawei in 1993 and has served as President of the Wireless Network Product Line, Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer, Chief Products & Solutions Officer, Chairman of the Investment Review Board, Rotating CEO of Huawei, and Chairman of the Strategy & Development Committee (SDC). Currently, Mr. Xu serves as Deputy Chairman of the Board and Rotating Chairman of Huawei.


stl expands fiber deliveries for Australia's Vocus

Vocus, which owns and operates more than 25,000 kms of fibre network across Australia, will expand its usage of STL's ultra-slim profile Micro cables and flagship Stellar fibre. Using such a bend-resilient fibre will improve Vocus network quality with lower losses, higher network availability and longer lifetime. 

In the last three years, STL has supplied more than 1000 kms of optical fibre cable to Vocus and is committed to providing the most sustainable, quality products by being 'first in the world' to launch a range of externally certified Eco-labelled Optical Products.

"At Vocus, we believe connectivity should enable potential and, as a result, performance and reliability are key to the work we do to empower businesses and communities across Australia with superior network solutions," said Matt Walsh, Vocus' Chief Customer Officer. "STL's optical technology expertise, innovation and approach to sustainability are aligned with our operational, social and climate impact goals, and we look forward to continuing our partnership."

Commenting on this engagement, Paul Atkinson, CEO - Optical Networking Business, STL, said: "Our collaborative efforts with Vocus in developing tailored optical fibre solutions reflect our shared commitment to delivering high-speed connectivity across Australia and resonates with our purpose of transforming billions of lives by connecting the world. We are confident that our advanced optical networking solutions can elevate Vocus' network quality, guaranteeing exceptional connectivity."

Eutelsat 36D launched to Geostationary Transfer Orbit

SpaceX successfully launched the EUTELSAT 36D satellite to a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) from Kennedy Space Center on March 30, 2024.

Constructed on the Airbus Eurostar Neo platform, EUTELSAT 36D is set to take over from EUTELSAT 36B at the 36° East position in orbit, where it will work in conjunction with EUTELSAT 36C. With 70 Ku-band transponders onboard, EUTELSAT 36D is engineered to ensure continuous service with enhanced performance for Video broadcasting across its service area. 

Eva Berneke, CEO of Eutelsat Group, commented: “EUTELSAT 36D is now on its way to replace EUTELSAT 36B at the 36° East orbital position. We are looking forward to its entry into service in the second half of calendar 2024. This is also an opportunity to take our long-lasting relationship with Airbus to the next level. My congratulations to the Eutelsat Group, Airbus and SpaceX teams for the completion of another successful satellite program.”