Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Luxtera’s silicon photonics technology enables 100Gbps data center interconnects

SC10, NEW ORLEANS, USA: Luxtera, the worldwide leader in Silicon CMOS Photonics, has demonstrated a 25Gbps receiver technology in its CMOS-based Silicon Photonics platform.

Leveraging the benefits of Silicon Photonics to overcome the barriers of current generation parallel and serial 10Gbps solutions, Luxtera can now fully support unmatched levels of optical interconnect bandwidth while offering extended reach at low cost.

This technology, combined with Luxtera’s recently announced 25Gbps transmitters, enables development of products for parallel 100Gbps InfiniBand and Ethernet, as well as for serial 32G Fibre Channel applications. Recognizing its potential impact in the high performance computing (HPC) market, Luxtera was selected to showcase its transceivers as part of the disruptive technologies exhibit at this year’s SuperComputing (SC10) in New Orleans.

Silicon Photonics utilizes CMOS processes to deliver on-chip waveguide level modulation and photo-detection. Unlike traditional directly modulated transceivers, lasers in silicon photonics applications are always on, acting as a continuous supply of photons to the chip - analogous to electrical power suppliers in electronic applications.

In addition, light from a single laser is utilized to power multiple optical transmitters on a chip eliminating the need for multiple lasers and reducing transceiver cost. This fact allows Luxtera to reuse the same laser used in current production 10Gbps transceivers to power next generation higher speed products, thus eliminating the need for development of higher speed light sources. When combined with single-mode fiber and waveguide photodetector receivers, this solution offers practically unlimited reach and performance at 25Gbps.

“Our 25Gbps silicon proven transceiver technology will enable data centers to keep pace with growing bandwidth demands, providing end-users with enhanced connectivity; all at a cost per gigabit lower than the current generation of interconnects,” said Peter De Dobbelaere, vice president of engineering at Luxtera. “Selection to showcase in this year’s SC10 disruptive technologies exhibit further underscores the technology’s potential to disrupt the HPC landscape.”

For the third year in a row, Luxtera’s 40Gbps Active Optical Cables (AOC), Blazar, will provide connectivity for the SC10 SCinet InfiniBand network, built for HPC demonstrations. Selected for its extended reach and reliability, Blazar can support up to 4,000 meters and offers the industry’s lowest power consumption of 20mW per Gigabit.

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