Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Intel highlights 4 Tbps optical compute interconnect chiplet

Intel announced an integrated optical compute interconnect (OCI) chiplet co-packaged with an Intel CPU, representing a leap forward in high-bandwidth interconnect by enabling co-packaged optical input/output (I/O) in emerging AI infrastructure. 

The prototype chiplet was demonstrated earlier this year at OFC 2024 (see video below).

The fully Integrated OCI chiplet leverages Intel’s field-proven silicon photonics technology and integrates a silicon photonics integrated circuit (PIC), which includes on-chip lasers and optical amplifiers, with an electrical IC. The OCI chiplet demonstrated at OFC was co-packaged with an Intel CPU but can also be integrated with next-generation CPUs, GPUs, IPUs and other system-on-chips (SoCs).

This first OCI implementation supports up to 4 terabits per second (Tbps) bidirectional data transfer, compatible with peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) Gen5. The live optical link demonstration showcases a transmitter (Tx) and receiver (Rx) connection between two CPU platforms over a single-mode fiber (SMF) patch cord. The CPUs generated and measured the optical Bit Error Rate (BER), and the demo showcases the Tx optical spectrum with 8 wavelengths at 200 gigahertz (GHz) spacing on a single fiber, along with a 32 Gbps Tx eye diagram illustrating strong signal quality.

The current chiplet supports 64 channels of 32 Gbps data in each direction up to 100 meters (though practical applications may be limited to tens of meters due to time-of-flight latency), utilizing eight fiber pairs, each carrying eight DWDM wavelengths. In terms of energy efficiency, the co-packaged solution consumes only 5 pico-Joules (pJ) per bit compared to pluggable optical transceiver modules at about 15 pJ/bit. 

Key features of Intel's OCI chiplet include:

  • Fully integrated die stack, consisting of a single Intel® Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) with on-chip DWDM lasers and SOAs, and an advanced node CMOS electrical integrated circuit (EIC) with all the electronic devices required to form a complete optical I/O subsystem. No external laser source or optical amplification is required.
  • The first-generation chiplet supports 4 Tbps bidirectionally, with a roadmap to tens of Terabits per second per device.
  • Works over standard single-mode fiber (SMF-28). No polarization-maintaining fiber (PMF) is required.
  • A path to incorporate a detachable optical connector.
  • Designed to be co-packaged with next-generation CPU, GPU, IPU, and other SOCs. Stand-alone on-board implementations can also be supported.
  • Chiplet-level evaluation platforms to be available.
  • Based on the field-proven Intel Silicon Photonics platform, which has already shipped more than 8 million PICs with over 32 million on-chip lasers embedded in pluggable optical transceivers for data center networking, with industry-leading reliability.

“The ever-increasing movement of data from server to server is straining the capabilities of today’s data center infrastructure, and current solutions are rapidly approaching the practical limits of electrical I/O performance. However, Intel’s groundbreaking achievement empowers customers to seamlessly integrate co-packaged silicon photonics interconnect solutions into next-generation compute systems. Our OCI chiplet boosts bandwidth, reduces power consumption and increases reach, enabling ML workload acceleration that promises to revolutionize high-performance AI infrastructure,” stated Thomas Liljeberg, senior director, Product Management and Strategy, Integrated Photonics Solutions (IPS) Group.

#OFC24: Intel's Optical I/O Chiplet Co-Packaged with Server CPU

At #OFC24, Intel demonstrated an advanced Optical Compute Interconnect (OCI) chiplet co-packaged with a prototype of a next-generation Intel CPU.

The OCI chiplet contains a single Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) with integrated lasers, an electrical IC with RF Through-Silicon-Vias (TSV), and a path to incorporate a detachable/re-usable optical connector.  The 4 Tbps bidirectional chiplet is compatible with PCIe Gen5, supporting 64 lanes of 32 Gbps data in each direction over 10’s of meters, realized as eight fiber pairs each carrying eight DWDM wavelengths.

Christian Urricariet, Senior Director of Product Marketing, from Intel's Silicon Photonics Products Division explains:

- Intel demoed its first Optical Compute Interconnect(OCI) chiplet, a high-density optical interconnect solution for compute elements like CPU or GPU clusters.

- The capabilities of the OCI chiplet, which can support up to 4 terabits per second bi-directionally, and its integration with next-generation Intel CPUs.

- The performance of the OCI technology, showcasing its ability to run over standard, widely deployed single-mode fiber (SMF-28), without requiring Polarization Maintaining Fiber (PMF) like other technical approaches in the market.

See Intel's blog on this topic:


Zayo selected for Nevada's Middle Mile project

The State of Nevada has awarded $153 million grant to Zayo to build, operate, maintain, and commercialize the state’s new Middle Mile Network project. 

Zayo will construct over 800 miles of the open-access, fiber optic network backed by funding from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the Office of Science, Innovation, and Technology (OSIT) to provide robust broadband access to unserved and underserved communities with routes through Reno and Las Vegas.

Project overview: 

The project encompasses two major routes:

  • The US 93 Route through Las Vegas with an investment of $43.5 million from the NTIA Middle Mile Grant Program and $43.5 million funded by the Nevada Department of Transportation. 
  • The I-80 Route through Reno with an investment of over $66 million funded by the Department of Treasury Capital Project Funds and the State of Nevada. 

The routes will connect over 40,000 unserved or underserved locations, including households, schools, libraries, community buildings and more. 

Zayo said the new routes will be built with its new Digital Equity Access Network (DEAN) architecture which enhances rural connectivity by lowering the barrier to entry for rural ISPs to build last-mile infrastructure by providing pre-provisioned, dedicated fiber backhaul and competitive IP pricing that matches metro market rates. The new architecture includes multiple interconnection points pre-built into the network, making connecting to our middle-mile more affordable for ISPs.  

Zayo also notes that this public-private partnership with the State of Nevada enables unique revenue-sharing opportunities that would not otherwise be available, enabling Zayo to operate, maintain, and commercialize the route to ensure the long-term sustainability and economic viability of the project. 

“Lack of reliable internet access puts communities and businesses at a severe disadvantage when it comes to entrepreneurship, employment, healthcare and education. Zayo’s work in the Nevada Middle-Mile project will help bridge the digital divide in these underserved areas,” said Bill Long, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at Zayo. “In addition, as Reno and Las Vegas emerge as major data center hubs, these two new routes will also enhance connectivity in these areas to support increased bandwidth needs. Together, the project will support profound societal and economic transformation for the State of Nevada.”


Türk Telekom carries 800Gbps over 2300km with Nokia

Türk Telekom International (TTI) used Nokia’s sixth generation of super-coherent Photonic Service Engine (PSE-6s) technology to transmit an 800 Gbps single wavelength over 2,300 km -- a new distance record according to the companies.

The real-world field trial took place on a highly loaded commercial network with no regeneration on C+L band WDM infrastructure.

The two companies also conducted real-world demonstrations on similarly highly-loaded links delivering 700 Gbps single wavelength transmission over 2500km and 600 Gbps over 4100km. They were performed with no regeneration and with traffic loads near 95% of the maximum WDM capacity of the network, further highlighting the scale and performance of Nokia’s optical network solutions.

The companies said the field trial successfully achieved its main target: avoiding regeneration on routes between Turkey and Frankfurt with significantly higher line rates than 200Gbps and 300Gbps that are used today.

Zekeriya Erkan, Chief Technology Officer at TTI, said: “Our main target was to avoid regeneration between Turkey and Frankfurt with highly efficient lambdas for transporting aggregated 100GE and 400GE services. We were pleased to validate that the capabilities of the PSE-6S-based transponder on our existing C+L infrastructure allowed us to go beyond our goal and grow the wavelengths from 200/300Gbps to 600/700/800Gbps, thus scaling the overall bandwidth on a brownfield network. These are truly groundbreaking results that will allow us to offer more efficient services, reduced cost and greener transport to our customers.”

James Watt, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Optical at Nokia, said: “Faster, greener, more efficient.  This new industry benchmark of 800Gbps over 2,300 kilometers ticks all the boxes for organizations needing to transmit data at immense scale, over long distances, fast and with the minimum energy use.  In Türk Telekom, we have a partner who is ready to set the bar extremely high and help us push the limits of optical technology.  It’s gratifying to reach this important milestone together.”


Nokia teams with Google Cloud on telco APIs

Nokia is collaborating with Google Cloud to enhance 5G enterprise and consumer applications through telco infrastructure. This partnership will leverage Nokia's Network as Code platform, which will run on Google Cloud, integrating Google Cloud's data and generative AI solutions, including Vertex AI and Gemini 1.5 Pro. This integration aims to improve the developer experience by providing AI capabilities and coding assistance tools, thereby boosting productivity.

The collaboration will initially focus on healthcare, aiming to deliver better and safer customer experiences. Google Cloud’s extensive developer community, spanning various industries and geographies, will gain access to standardized 5G network capabilities worldwide through Nokia's platform. This will equip developers with the necessary tools to swiftly create new applications for their customers. Since its launch in September 2023, Nokia's Network as Code platform has signed collaboration agreements with 13 network operators and ecosystem partners across Europe, North America, and South America.

Key Points:

  • Nokia and Google Cloud partner to enhance 5G applications via telco infrastructure.
  • Nokia's Network as Code platform integrates Google Cloud's AI solutions to improve developer productivity.
  • Initial focus on healthcare to enhance customer experiences.
  • Google Cloud’s developer community will access global standardized 5G network capabilities.
  • Nokia's platform has secured 13 collaboration agreements since its launch in September 2023.


Dell'Oro: campus Ethernet switch revenues dropped in Q1

Worldwide Campus Switch revenues dropped by 23 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) during the first quarter of 2024, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  The only two vendors that grew Campus Switch revenues Y/Y in 1Q 2024 were Arista and Ubiquiti.

“Vendor backlogs of campus switch orders have now been completely run down, and the market is in a multi-quarter digestion cycle,” said Siân Morgan, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “The shipments of most port speeds declined, and the Average Sales Price (ASP) also dropped on a Y/Y basis.

“However, in 1Q 2024, Arista had its third sequential quarter of share gain, growing Campus Switch sales to large enterprises. Meanwhile, Cisco’s Campus Switch shipments contracted sharply.  This reduction contrasts with their shipments in 2023, when Cisco opened the “floodgate” for Catalyst and Meraki port shipments which had been on backorder,” added Morgan.

Additional highlights from the 1Q 2024 Ethernet Switch – Campus Report:

  • The contraction in campus switch sales was broad-based across all regions, with the exception of CALA.
  • Some vendors bucked the price trend and were able to grow port ASPs thanks to richer product mixes.
  • 5/5.0 Gbps switch ports are expected to return to growth as shipments of Wi-Fi 7 Access Points accelerate.

NTT DATA and Zebra partner on 5G device ecosystem

NTT DATA has announced a strategic partnership with Zebra Technologies aimed at accelerating innovation within the 5G device ecosystem. The collaboration focuses on the development of devices designed for intelligent asset tracking and real-time monitoring in industrial and enterprise environments. These advancements are expected to significantly improve visibility, efficiency, and security in Industry 4.0 supply chain management.

A key aspect of this partnership addresses the limited availability of 5G devices for enterprises, which has been a barrier to the adoption of Private 5G networks. By combining their expertise, NTT DATA and Zebra Technologies plan to bridge this gap, with market analysts from Omdia predicting a 35% global growth in the enterprise Private 5G market, reaching nearly $10 billion by 2028. This partnership also establishes Zebra Technologies as a strategic partner in NTT DATA’s Device as a Service practice, facilitating easier access to 5G device lifecycle management and support for customers worldwide.

Key Points:

  • NTT DATA and Zebra Technologies partner to enhance the 5G device ecosystem.
  • The collaboration aims to improve asset tracking and real-time monitoring in industrial settings.
  • The partnership addresses the shortage of 5G devices for enterprises, critical for Private 5G adoption.
  • The enterprise Private 5G market is projected to grow by 35% globally, reaching nearly $10 billion by 2028.
  • Zebra Technologies joins NTT DATA’s Device as a Service practice, simplifying 5G device management for customers.