Wednesday, April 3, 2024

#OFC24: Moving Data at the Speed of AI

 Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

Ayar Labs is unveiling the second generation of SuperNova, which powers the company’s TeraPHY optical I/O chiplet and enables huge leaps in bi-directional bandwidth. Mark Wade, CEO and Co-founder from Ayar Labs, discusses:

- The unveiling of Ayar Labs' latest hardware, achieving full bandwidth between two chips of 4 terabits per second.

- The power of this technology to transmit massive amounts of bandwidth with low latency, high bandwidth densities, and excellent power efficiency, all while maintaining signal integrity.

- The ongoing ecosystem work, including optically connected FPGAs with Intel, high-density optical connector work with Teramount, and the management of optical connections with Corning around glass interposers and optical interposers with glass shuffles.

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Intel and Ayar Labs demo 4 Tbps optically-connected FPGA

Intel and Ayar Labs are showcasing a 4 Tbps optical FPGA with Ayar Labs’ in-package optical I/O at this week’s HOT CHIPS 2023 event at Stanford Univertsity.The demo shows 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.


#OFC24: Big Power Savings with 800G Linear Receive Optics

Energy consumption is one of the biggest challenges with GenAI, so reducing the power consumed by optical modules, while increasing data rates, is a top priority. Bill Brennan, President and CEO from Credo, shares some insights:

- He discusses the importance of connectivity and the shift towards faster lane rates and denser connections in the face of AI advancements.

- Brennan introduces the innovative solution of Linear Receive Optics, which effectively halves the power of the DSP function in optical modules while maintaining industry standards.

- He highlights the significant energy savings achieved with this approach, allowing for more energy to be redirected towards compute, thereby enhancing the value of the cluster.

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SK hynix to build $3.8B advanced packaging fab in Indiana

SK hynix plans to invest an estimated $3.87 billion to build a state-of-the-art advanced packaging fabrication and R&D facility for AI products in West Lafayette, Indiana.

SK hynix is the world's leading producer of High-Bandwidth Memory (HBM) chips. The new facility will be home to an advanced semiconductor production line that will mass-produce next-generation HBM, the highest-performing Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) chips, which are the critical components of graphic processing units that train AI systems such as ChatGPT. The company plans to begin mass production in the second half of 2028, while the new facility will also develop future generations of chips and house an advanced packaging R&D line.

At the event, officials from each party including Governor of Indiana Eric Holcomb, Senator Todd Young, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Arati Prabhakar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Arun Venkataraman, Secretary of Commerce State of Indiana David Rosenberg, Purdue University President Mung Chiang, Chairman of Purdue Research Foundation Mitch Daniels, Mayor of city of West Lafayette Erin Easter, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States Hyundong Cho, Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago Junghan Kim, SK vice chairman Jeong Joon Yu, SK hynix CEO Kwak Noh-Jung and SK hynix Head of Package & Test Choi Woojin, participated.

"SK hynix is the global pioneer and dominant market leader in memory chips for AI," Purdue University President Mung Chiang said. "This transformational investment reflects our state and university's tremendous strength in semiconductors, hardware AI, and hard tech corridor. It is also a monumental moment for completing the supply chain of digital economy in our country through chips advanced packaging. Located at Purdue Research Park, the largest facility of its kind at a U.S. university will grow and succeed through innovation."

"We are excited to become the first in the industry to build a state-of-the-art advanced packaging facility for AI products in the United States that will help strengthen supply-chain resilience and develop a local semiconductor ecosystem," said SK hynix CEO Kwak Noh-Jung. "With this new facility, we hope to advance our goal of providing AI memory chips with unmatched capabilities, serving the needs of our customers."

SK hynix is collaborating with Purdue University, one of the leading research institutions in the U.S., on plans for future R&D projects. These projects include work on advanced packaging and heterogeneous integration with Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center and other research institutes and industry partners. They also hope to collaborate on a project related to memory-centric solutions and architecture for the generative AI era, specifically system-level memory design and in/near-memory computing.

The company also plans to collaborate with Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College to develop training programs and interdisciplinary degree curricula that will cultivate a high-tech workforce and build a reliable pipeline of new talent.

Separately, SK hynix will also proceed with Korean domestic investments as planned. The company has been working to prepare the site for the Yongin Semiconductor Cluster where it will invest 120 trillion won to build production facilities. The company plans to break ground on the first fab in March of 2025, with plans for completion in early 2027. It will also build a mini fab, a facility with equipment for 300mm wafer processing, to test semiconductor materials, components and equipment.


Zayo expands its nationwide 400G backbone

Zayo announced its latest round of critical infrastructure upgrades, including its newest long-haul dark fiber route connecting Columbus to Pittsburgh and a highly sought-after 400G-enabled wavelength route connecting Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. The new long-haul dark fiber route connecting Columbus to Pittsburgh is carrier-diverse, 100% underground, and built with a high fiber count for maximum scalability and uptime availability.

Zayo has also added four additional routes to its 400G network—currently the largest 400G network in North America—in key markets including:

  • Indianapolis to Columbus
  • Cut Bank, Mont. to Calgary
  • New Orleans to Ponchatoula, La.
  • Grand Rapids, Mich. to Lansing, Mich.

Zayo is also expanding its leading IP network with the addition of 27 critical IP points of presence (PoPs) and 400G peering locations across North America. The addition of new IP PoPs and peering locations to Zayo’s tier-1 IP network guarantees scalable and dependable capacity availability. Built on Zayo’s wholly-owned fiber backbone, Zayo’s IP network also ensures enhanced reliability and performance with reduced latency to support the high-speed connectivity these applications require.

“While technology innovations like AI and next-gen cloud surge ahead, continued investment in network infrastructure to support this demand is critical. As the largest independent network, Zayo is in a prime position to bring network infrastructure up to par with today’s innovation, and ensure we and our customers are ready for what’s next,” said Bill Long, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at Zayo. “Our latest infrastructure expansions demonstrate our continuous efforts to provide our customers with unique, diverse, low-latency routes — where they need it today and where we know they'll need it tomorrow.”


Casa Systems disbands under Chapter 11

Citing "a significant decline in revenue and profits due in large part to industry-wide downward capital investment and procurement trends in the cable and telco markets," Casa Systems filed  voluntary petitions for debt relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. 

As part of this process, the company agreed to sell its 5G Mobile Core and RAN businesses to Lumine Group and have asked the court for approval to complete the transaction by the end of April.

Additionally, Casa Systems secured a stalking horse bid from an affiliate of Vecima for our Cable and Virtual Broadband Network Gateway (vBNG) business, and anticipate that an auction process will follow, in which other parties will have the opportunity to submit bids for the business.

Casa Systems belives this sale process is the best and most viable path forward to maximize value, preserve jobs and minimize disruption for its customers.


AT&T commits $3 billion to closing Digital Divide

AT&T is committing an additional $3 billion by 2030 to help close the digital divide, bringing the company's total commitment to $5 billion since 2021. 

This cumulative commitment includes an ambitious goal to help 25 million people get and stay connected to affordable, high-speed internet access throughout this decade. Working to close the digital divide is the linchpin of AT&T's mission to leave no one behind when it comes to online opportunity. This commitment is a pillar of the work the company does to help build this country's digital infrastructure.

"Connectivity is critical for success and prosperity in America today. Whether it's a first-generation high school graduate applying for college, a veteran accessing telehealth services, or a grandparent connecting with their family thousands of miles away — we want to help unlock greater possibility for the millions of people who remain unconnected," said AT&T CEO John Stankey. "The pace of innovation and the global economy aren't waiting on anyone, and we're committed to bringing connectivity and digital literacy in reach for all Americans." 

Since 2021, nearly 5 million Americans have benefited from our discounted internet service and digital literacy programs.

AT&T continues to expand its network of Connected Learning Centers (CLC) in communities across the country that are equipped with high-speed internet connections and computers supplied by Dell.

#OFC24: 800G Linear Receive Optics Connected to 51.2T Switch

At #OFC24, Credo and Wistron demonstrated Linear Receive Optics (LRO), using the Credo Dove 850 DSP, with the 51.2Tb/s Wistron DS-6183-64O 64-port 800GbE switch.  Easwar Sankar, Optical FAE Director from Credo Semi, explains:

- The introduction of Credo's Linear Receive Optics (LRO) product, a response to industry demand for more efficient DSP solutions. This innovative product addresses the shortcomings recognized in previous LRO attempts by other vendors.

- The unique design of the LRO, which includes a retimer on the transmit sided and a linear receiver. This allows for improved performance of the switch 30s while addressing all the impairments on the transmitter. This design enables customers to tune the transmitter for different kinds of optics.

- The benefits of the LRO, including a significant reduction in power and cost. The LRO is practical, deployable in mass volume, and can be used in a significant percentage of the current DSP-based transceiver market.

In an LRO transceiver, or Active Optical Cable (AOC), only the transmit path from the electrical input to the optical line side output includes a DSP for signal retiming and equalization. This unlocks dramatic power savings without sacrificing interoperability or standards compliance. All three 800G OSFP LRO modules provided by Credo partners for this demonstration seamlessly “plug and play” with the 51.2T Wistron switch.

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