Monday, April 8, 2024

TSMC to receive up to $6.6B under the CHIPS and Science Act.

TSMC Arizona is to receive up to $6.6 billion in direct funding under the CHIPS and Science Act to support its investment of more than $65 billion in three greenfield leading-edge fabs in Phoenix, Arizona.

After initially announcing two fabs in the U.S., TSMC Arizona is committing to build an additional third fab before the end of the decade. With this proposed funding, TSMC Arizona would be ensuring the formation of a scaled leading-edge cluster in Arizona, creating approximately 6,000 direct manufacturing jobs, more than 20,000 accumulated unique construction jobs, and tens of thousands of indirect jobs in this decade and bringing the most advanced process technology to the United States.

In Arizona, TSMC’s three fabs are expected to bring a suite of the most advanced process node technologies to the United States: the first fab  will produce 4nm FinFET process technologies; today, TSMC Arizona announced that the second fab will produce the world’s most advanced 2nm nanosheet process technology, in addition to previously announced plans to produce 3nm process technologies; and TSMC Arizona’s third fab will produce 2nm or more advanced process technologies depending on customer demand. At full capacity, TSMC Arizona’s three fabs would manufacture tens of millions of leading-edge chips that will power products like 5G/6G smartphones, autonomous vehicles, and AI datacenter servers. TSMC Arizona expects to begin high-volume production in their first fab in the U.S. by the first half of 2025.

The new facilities are expected to support key U.S. companies AMD, Apple, Nvidia, and Qualcomm, among others, by addressing their leading-edge capacity demand, mitigating supply chain concerns, and enabling them to compete effectively in the ongoing digital transformation era. With the proposed incentives, TSMC Arizona has also committed to support the development of advanced packaging capabilities – the next frontier of technology innovation for chip manufacturing – through its partners in the U.S., creating the opportunity for TSMC Arizona’s customers to be able to purchase advanced chips that are made entirely on U.S. soil.

“One of the key goals of President Biden’s CHIPS and Science Act was to bring the most advanced chip manufacturing in the world to the U.S., and with this announcement and TSMC’s increased investment in their Arizona campus, we are working to achieve that goal,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The leading-edge semiconductors that will be made here in Arizona are foundational to the technology that will define global economic and national security in the 21st century, including AI and high-performance computing. Thanks to President Biden’s leadership and TSMC’s continued investments in U.S. semiconductor manufacturing, this proposed funding would help make our supply chains more secure and create thousands of good-quality construction and manufacturing jobs for Arizonans.”

“The proposed funding from the CHIPS and Science Act would provide TSMC the opportunity to make this unprecedented investment and to offer our foundry service of the most advanced manufacturing technologies in the United States,” said TSMC Chairman Dr. Mark Liu. “Our U.S. operations allow us to better support our U.S. customers, which include several of the world’s leading technology companies. Our U.S. operations will also expand our capability to trailblaze future advancements in semiconductor technology.”

Researchers transfer electron spin to photons

Researchers at the University of Buffalo applied an electrical pulse to transfer spin information from electrons to photons, a technique that potentially could be useful in optical communications over great distances. The method met three crucial criteria — operation at room temperature, no need of magnetic field and the ability for electrical control.

“For decades we were dreaming of and predicting room-temperature spintronic devices beyond magnetoresistance and just storing information. With this team’s discovery, our dreams become reality,” says the study’s co-author, Igor Zutic, SUNY Distinguished Professor of physics at the University at Buffalo.

The research, described in a study published March 27 in Nature, was supported by the National Science Foundation’s Electronics, Photonics and Magnetic Devices (EPMD) program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences (BES) program. 

The study was led by the Jean Lamour Institute, a joint unit of France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the University of Lorraine. Other contributors represent universities and institutes in France, Germany, Japan, China and the United States.

Starlink advances its global Direct-to-Cell ambitions

 On Saturday, April 6, 2024, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket successfully carried out its 35th launch for the Starlink 8-1 mission from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. This launch saw the deployment of 21 Starlink satellites, including 6 Direct-to-Cell satellites, marking a pivotal step in the company's ambition to launch global Direct-to-Cell and Internet-of-Things service.

Key Highlights:

  • Direct-to-Cell Advancements: With the addition of 6 Direct-to-Cell satellites in this launch, the total number in orbit has reached 12. These satellites are part of Starlink's ambitious plan to scale its Direct to Cell network rapidly. The initiative aims to launch hundreds of satellites to provide text service by 2024 and expand to voice, data, and Internet of Things (IoT) services by 2025.
  • Technical Innovations: Starlink's Direct to Cell satellites are equipped with custom silicon, large advanced phased array antennas, and sophisticated software algorithms. These innovations allow the satellites to communicate with standard cell phones on Earth, overcoming significant technical and regulatory challenges.
  • Global Partnerships and Regulatory Milestones: Starlink has formed partnerships with several global operators, including T-Mobile, Rogers, and Optus, providing critical LTE spectrum for satellite communication. These collaborations, coupled with rapid regulatory approvals, aim to deliver seamless and lifesaving communication services worldwide.
  • Future Plans: Leveraging SpaceX's vertical integration and the upcoming Starship launches, Starlink plans to further improve its Direct to Cell service. The company's advanced LTE modems enable the satellites to function as cell towers in space, ensuring reliable and seamless communication.
  • Launch Success: The Falcon 9 rocket's 35th mission from Space Launch Complex 4E included the sixth flight of its booster, which has previously supported various missions, including Crew-7 and CRS-29. The successful landing on the drone ship "Of Course I Still Love You" in the Pacific Ocean underscores SpaceX's commitment to reusability.

On January 8, the Starlink successfully sent and received the first text messages using T -Mobile network spectrum through one of its new Direct to Cell satellites launched six days prior.

In August 2022, Starlink announced its first partnership with T-Mobile, and have since announced deals with Rogers in Canada, Optus in Australia, One New Zealand, KDDI in Japan, Salt in

Switzerland, and Entel in Chile & Peru. The operators provide critical LTE spectrum in the 1.6-2.7 GHz range that we use to transmit our satellite signals. This allows Starlink to integrate

like a standard roaming partner with operators. Starlink says operators in its network have access to reciprocal global access that allows their users to access the service when they travel to one of partner countries. 


Grupo Aire deploys Infinera's ICE-X coherent pluggables

Grupo Aire, a wholesale telecommunications operator in Spain and Portugal, deployed Infinera’s software-programmable ICE-X coherent pluggable solution to expand the capacity of its single-fiber network infrastructure. The ability of Infinera’s ICE-X solution to provide ultra-high-speed transmissions over a single fiber in a pluggable form factor enables Aire Networks to continue to meet the bandwidth demands of its customers while maintaining its cost-effective single-fiber infrastructure.

Aire Networks operates a network that spans over 33,000 kilometers across the Iberian peninsula, providing connectivity, voice, mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE), media, cloud, and data center solutions to local and regional operators as well as enterprise customers.

Leveraging digital subcarrier technology, Infinera’s ICE-X solution can transmit up to 200 Gb/s bidirectionally per wavelength on a single fiber in a compact and power-efficient pluggable form factor. With 64 wavelengths supported per fiber, this translates to 12.8 Tb/s of capacity on a single fiber – substantially increasing the number of services that can be delivered by Aire Networks. Infinera partnered with APFutura to design and deploy the solution.

“Aire Networks is committed to providing our customers with the best connectivity available by utilizing cutting-edge industry solutions and innovations,” said Zigor Gaubeca, CTO at Aire Networks. “Leveraging innovative technology like Infinera’s ICE-X enables us to meet the needs of our customers, providing efficient, high-quality services that can scale to meet our customers’ demand.”

“Infinera is pleased to collaborate with APFutura in providing an innovative solution to Aire Networks that enabled them to meet their network objectives,” said Lorraine Twigg, Global VP of Channel Partners, Infinera. “This achievement underscores how network operators can leverage Infinera’s unique solutions to improve connectivity and infrastructure across the globe and the critical role our partners play in delivering open optical network.”


#OFC24: OIF's Energy Efficient Interfaces Framework

Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

The OIF's Energy Efficient Interfaces (EEI) Framework, which got underway in May 2023, is studying new energy-efficient electrical and optical interfaces (which, among others, includes the next generation of low power optics, also referred to as “Linear” or “Direct Drive”). Nathan Tracy, President from OIF, shows the demo at #OFC24:

- The importance of the Energy Efficient Interfaces (EII) project, which aims to outline the requirements of an AI fabric interface and the trade-offs to consider for interoperable solutions.

- The demonstration of an Ethernet frontend switch that integrates real-world accelerators and future view versions of accelerator cards, showcasing the potential of electrical and optical interconnects working together.

- The ongoing efforts in the OIF to understand the requirements for different links, quantify them, and develop industry-standard solutions for full interoperability in an AI/ML fabric.

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#OFC24: CPO External Laser Small Form-Factor Pluggables

Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

OIF has been studying the co-packaging of ASICs with optical and electrical transceivers within its Co-Packaging Framework Project.

The External Laser Small Form-Factor Pluggable (ELSFP) IA will define a future proofed external laser source form factor to support co-packaged optical modules. Nathan Tracy walks us through the #OFC24 demo.

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#OFC24: 800 Gigabit Ethernet Interoperability Demo

The Ethernet Alliance's OFC 2024 booth showcases Ethernet’s versatility and reliability at speeds of up to 800 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE). The booth demonstrated a wide range of switches, routers, interconnects and interfaces including OSFP, QSFP-DD, QSFP, and SFP pluggable form factors.  Dave Estes shares an overview.



#OFC24: All-Optical Circuit Switching for Scalable Data Centers

 Check out OFC Conference and Exposition 2024 videos here:

Google has deployed MEMS-based, all-optical switching technology in its data centers. Could all-optical switches gain traction with other operators? Coherent Corp. has just introduced  a new optical circuit switch (OCS) based on the company’s field-proven and ultrareliable Datacenter Lightwave Cross-Connect (DLX) technology. Sanjai Parthasarathi, CMO from Coherent explains:

- The unique features of Coherent's Optical switch platform, including its Liquid Crystal-based platform that requires lower drive voltage and has no moving parts, making it a highly reliable solution.

- The platform's data rate agnostic nature, which is a significant advantage in the rapidly evolving tech landscape.

- The substantial reduction in power consumption by 30-40%, a crucial factor in today's power-hungry data centers, and the promising customer attraction from data center operators, hyperscalers, and OEMs.

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