Sunday, April 7, 2024

#OFC24: 800ZR, 400ZR and OpenZR+ Optics Interoperability

Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

At #OFC24, OIF hosted its latest pluggable coherent optics demonstration, showcasing the latest advancements in 800ZR, 400ZR and ZR+ optics interoperability. The demo highlights include the first public 800ZR multivendor interop; high transmit power, OpenZR+ over a 1000km, multi-span network; OpenROADM/ITU-T over that same network; and 400ZR collocated on the single-span network with 800ZR. Karl Gass, Physical and Link Layer Working Group Optical Vice Chair from OIF, provides some highlights:

- The demonstration of a single span demo with eight channels at 400 ZR and four channels of 800 ZR, showcasing the actual optical spectrum of both the 400 and 800 ZR traffic.

- a multispan demo featuring Raman amplification over 1000 kilometers, with six more channels and one channel of open rodm application.

- The use of new Corning smf28 ultra low LOF fiber in one direction and standard smf28 in the other, with both terminal RMS and a set of equalizer RMS to balance the channels in the middle.

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#OFC24:Rethinking Optical Modules for Liquid Immersion in AI Clusters

Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

Many optical components used in data centers, such as transceivers, incorporate free-space gaps in their designs. These gaps enable effective coupling from the laser to the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) and from the PIC to the optical fiber, however, because liquids (including immersion liquids) have a different index of refraction than air, when a traditional optical component is immersed in fluid, the light path is significantly altered, rendering these devices effectively unusable for liquid cooling.

DustPhotonics’ transmit Carmel-8-IMC chip supports an optical assembly with no free-space optics. Inside the chip, lasers are butt-coupled to the PIC and the fiber is also attached directly to the PIC, thus enabling transceiver designs that can be used for both immersion and air cooling.

Ronnen Lovinger, CEO from Dust Photonics, explains:

- The application of immersion cooling for power management in next-generation data centers.

- Dust Photonics' PICs are ready for integration into cutting-edge transceivers for this immersion cooling application

- A live demonstration of their product in collaboration with Amphenol

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Dust Photonics raises US$24 million in Series B

DustPhotonics, a start-up based in Modi'in, Israel, raised US$24 million in Series B funding for its silicon photonics technology for data center and AI applications, The oversubscribed funding round was funded by a combination of prominent investors, including new and existing investors such as Sienna Venture Capital, Greenfield Partners, Atreides Management, and Exor Ventures.DustPhotonics said it plans to use the funding to scale production...

#OFC24: Materials Science, Lasers, All-Optical Switching

#OFC24 was a huge event for Coherent Corp., which made big announcements in material sciences, including new Indium Phosphide capabilities, pushing VCSELs to 200 Gbps per lane and thereby enabling optical transceivers with 1.6 Tbps capacity, and previewing an all-optical switching platform.  Sanjai Parthasarathi, CMO from Coherent, explains:

- The world’s first capability for 6-inch indium phosphide (InP) wafer fabrication, in the company’s Sherman, Texas, and Järfälla, Sweden, wafer fabs.

- The use of advanced materials, including diamond, for cooling applications in AI server pods, which is generating excitement among their customer base.

- The unveiling of their Optical circuit switch, which offers significant cost savings, latency reduction, and power savings, particularly for emerging applications in AI connectivity within the data center.

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#OFC24: Advanced DFB Laser Arrays for I/O in AI Clusters

 Sivers Photonics is supplying its DFB laser arrays for Ayar Labs’ SuperNova optical interconnect for AI/ML clusters, disaggregated data centers, 6G networks, phased array sensor systems and etc. Anders Storm, CEO from Sivers Semiconductors explains:

- The current lack of communication and insufficient bandwidth between GPUs can be addressed by scaling the number of GPUs and using photons instead of electrons. This approach not only increases the bandwidth by 10x but also reduces electricity usage by the same factor.

- Sivers Semiconductors is partnering with Ayar Labs to demonstrate an eight-array optical interconnects capable of 4 Tbps, scaling to much higher rates

- The company is a promoter member of CW WDM, a forum that has created a standard for how laser sources will work within these systems. The technology is maturing, with new members joining the forum and the use of Indian phosphide lasers proving to be a very effective material for these applications.

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#OFC24: Big Strides in Optical Transmission with Pluggables

Major strides are achieved this year in optical transmission thanks to new modules operating at high data rates and over greater distances. Coherent is introducing two such products.  Sanjai Parthasarathi, CMO from Coherent, explains:

- The introduction of the 100G ZR QSFP28 digital coherent optics (DCO) transceiver, an industrial temperature unit capable of functioning in outdoor environments, and the 800 GCR qsfp DD dco, boasting one of the highest optical power outputs in the industry.The DSP is paired with an efficient silicon photonics optical front-end and a power-optimized tunable laser, now enhanced to support a wider operating temperature range, resulting in module power consumption of less than 6 W at a case temperature of 85°C

- The introduction of an 800 Gbps coherent transceiver module in QSFP-DD form factor and capable of transmitting over 9000 ps/nm of dispersion, equivalent to approximately 450 km of fiber. This new 800G transceiver uses Coherent’s 140 Gbaud IC-TROSA optical subassembly, which features a high-efficiency indium phosphide modulator and receiver combined with a proprietary embedded wavelength-tunable laser. The Coherent 800G QSFP-DD transceiver has several operating modes that enable it to deliver up to 1000 km of reach at 800 Gbps and up to 2000 km at 400 Gbps in well-designed networks.

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Nokia and Vodafone test L4S over an end-to-end PON

Nokia and Vodafone are testing the viability of L4S technology over passive optical networks (PON).

L4S is an acronym for "Low Latency, Low Loss, and Scalable" throughput, a technology standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It addresses a major cause of high peak latency on the Internet, namely, queuing delays. These delays occur as packets linger in network buffers, such as those in routers and modems, waiting to be sent on.

The L4S networking approach reliably maintains packet queuing delay at almost zero, regardless of the network's load.

The first demonstration of L4S running over PON occurred in Vodafone’s lab in Newbury, U.K. The demonstration was performed on an end-to-end fixed access network built with Nokia technology. It consisted of a broadband network gateway (BNG), a PON optical line terminal (OLT), multiple PON optical network terminals (ONTs) and WiFi access points. The tests showed extremely low and consistent end-to-end latencies when travelling across every element of the network.

In the lab tests, Vodafone and Nokia Bell Labs measured consistent1 latencies of 1.05ms at local Ethernet ports running over a fully congested access network (BNG to ONT), and just 12.1ms when including a fully congested WiFi link as the final connection.

While the Vodafone and Nokia Bell Labs tests were conducted using PON networks, L4S can be implemented over any access technology, wireless or wireline, and applied to any latency-dependent application. In November, Nokia Bell Labs and Hololight, a leading innovator in enterprise XR solutions, created a proof of concept demonstrating how L4S could support multiple simultaneous XR users over the same wireless connection without sacrificing performance.

Azimeh Sefidcon, Head of Network Systems and Security Research, Bell Labs at Nokia, said: “These highly encouraging results show L4S will unshackle any real-time application that would normally be constrained by high latency. Videoconferencing, cloud-gaming, augmented reality and even the remote operations of drones would run flawlessly across the internet, without experiencing any significant queuing delays.”

Cloudflare acquires Baselime for its cloud-native observability platform

Cloudflare announced its acquisition of Baselime, a start-up specializing in cloud-native observability platforms. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Baselime platform offers a suite of tools designed to provide deep insights into application performance, errors, and usage patterns, making it an essential resource for developers working in cloud-native environments.

Key Highlights of the Acquisition:

  • Enhanced Observability for Serverless Apps: By integrating Baselime's observability technology, Cloudflare is poised to offer visibility into serverless applications, addressing one of the significant challenges in serverless computing.
  • Developer-Centric Innovations: The union aims to empower developers with advanced tools for analyzing observability data, adopting OpenTelemetry standards, and extracting actionable insights, facilitated by AI debugging and real-time tracking.
  • Commitment to Developer Experience: Cloudflare and Baselime share a vision for simplifying the development process. This acquisition underscores Cloudflare's commitment to providing developers with the necessary tools to build, ship, and troubleshoot applications efficiently.

Cloudflare's CEO, Matthew Prince, emphasized the importance of observability tools in becoming the leading developer platform, stating, "We believe that to be the leading developer platform, having the best observability tools built in is going to be table stakes."

Boris Tane, founder and CEO of Baselime, expressed excitement about the acquisition, highlighting the synergy between Baselime's mission and Cloudflare's ecosystem, "With Cloudflare, we're positioned to deeply integrate into a platform that two million developers trust, enabling them to build, ship, and troubleshoot applications fast."