LOS ANGELES--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Kaiam Corp. and Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) are showcasing an optical engine and single-mode fiber interface connector suitable for co-packaging with a 12.8 Tb/s switch chip at the 2017 Optical Fiber Communications Conference & Exhibition in the Los Angeles Convention Center this week. By converting high-speed signals to optical within the switch package, this high-density engine has the potential to cut chip interconnect power consumption in half.
“We’re working on the part of the problem that actually eliminates this power while also addressing the pressing cost and density needs of our hyperscale data center customers.”
As data rates increase, switch interconnects increasingly require single-mode fiber, particularly in the largest data centers which are the leading adopters of the newest switch technology. Prior to CoPPhI, the sub-micron alignment tolerances required in single-mode optical packaging have been a barrier to practical co-packaged single-mode optical interconnect solutions. The dramatically reduced power consumption of CoPPhI-enabled switches addresses a fundamental impediment to future data center growth.
The joint demonstration will take place on the exhibit floor of OFC 2017 in the Kaiam booth (#2953) with the prototype connector on display in Corning’s booth (#2325). The optics are capable of 1.6Tb/s throughput from four fibers at 400Gbps per fiber (4λ x 100Gbps, readily extended to 8λ). The live demo interoperates at 25Gb/s per λ with a standard CWDM4 transceiver. Multiple CoPPhI engines can be co-packaged in close proximity to the four sides of a switch ASIC to support 12Tb/s+ of optical connectivity. Single-mode fibers are interfaced to the engine using a low-profile, precision connector compatible with electronic packaging and assembly processes including solder reflow.
By the 12.8Tb/s switch IC generation, the power required to drive signals over a PCB between the switch IC and the optical module will equal the power required for the switching function itself. By shrinking the optics and pushing the electrical-optical conversion point close to the switch IC, the required line drive power can be minimized. Broadcom’s Rob Stone had issued a call for integrated optical chip interconnect to solve the looming power issue at 2014’s Executive Forum, where he stated “co-packaging of optics could be useful when switch IC interface speeds are 50Gb/s/lane but may become necessary once the lane speeds are 100Gb/s per lane.” (Note: 50Gb/s per lane chips are expected to be available from several vendors in 2017.)
“This is not just a nice-to-have; this will be a must-have a couple of Ethernet switch generations down the road. On-board optics such as COBO allow the industry to explore post-pluggable usage models but still require power-hungry electrical interfaces,” said Rob Kalman, Kaiam’s VP of Marketing. “We’re working on the part of the problem that actually eliminates this power while also addressing the pressing cost and density needs of our hyperscale data center customers.”
“Thermal stability has been a challenge for fiber components subjected to the processing and operation ranges of electronics. Corning is developing novel solutions to provide single-mode stability for multi-fiber connectors in a form factor compatible with chip packages. This demonstration is an important milestone for the future of data centers and the role that optics will play,” said David Hubbard, Vice President and Business Manager OEM, Corning Optical Communications.
About Kaiam Corporation
Headquartered in Newark, California, with large-scale manufacturing in Livingston, Scotland, Kaiam is a private company that manufactures high-performance optical transceivers used in the world’s largest hyperscale Cloud data centers. Founded in 2009 by leading technologists from the optical networking industry, the team has a record of delivering breakthrough products that change the rules of the marketplace. Current products include 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s LightScale™ optical transceivers and a range of planar lightwave circuits (PLCs). For more information, visit www.kaiam.com and follow on Twitter: @KAIAMcorp.
About Corning Incorporated
Corning (www.corning.com) is one of the world’s leading innovators in materials science. For more than 160 years, Corning has applied its unparalleled expertise in specialty glass, ceramics, and optical physics to develop products that have created new industries and transformed people’s lives. Corning succeeds through sustained investment in R&D, a unique combination of material and process innovation, and close collaboration with customers to solve tough technology challenges. Corning’s businesses and markets are constantly evolving. Today, Corning’s products enable diverse industries such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, transportation, and life sciences. They include damage-resistant cover glass for smartphones and tablets; precision glass for advanced displays; optical fiber, wireless technologies, and connectivity solutions for high-speed communications networks; trusted products that accelerate drug discovery and manufacturing; and emissions-control products for cars, trucks, and off-road vehicles.