Missed a session at the Data Summit? View on demand here.
While there is still much innovation in traditional copper-based interconnects, including the recently announced UCIe chiplet standard, in recent years the industry has also increasingly adopted the use of light (or optics), especially in the data center. Some even argue that copper is almost reaching a memory wall.
In that regard, silicon photonics has proven to be superior in cost, power consumption and bandwidth as an interpack for long-distance interconnection. Several announcements were made at Optical Fiber Conference2022 as the next step to make silicon photonics truly ubiquitous.
Ranovus Demonstrates 800G Interconnect for Co-Packaged Optics
Ranovus has announced and demonstrated a co-packaged optics platform called Analog-Drive CPO 2.0, based on its Odin 800 Gbps architecture. The product is a collaboration with TE Connectivity, which was responsible for the fine pitch socket interposer technology.
Since the advent of silicon photonics in the data center about half a decade ago, optics-based interconnections are slowly becoming more ubiquitous in the data center as integration and volume production have reduced costs compared to discrete optics and copper. The next evolution is to integrate the transceivers even closer to the switches, which could further reduce power. This is called co-packaged optics (CPO). Silicon photonics engines can also integrate with other silicon, such as AI accelerators, to reduce the power and cost of data transfer.
The CPO solution Ranovus demonstrated is based on its Odin silicon photonics engine, which delivers 100 Gbps per wavelength and consists of electro-photonic integrated circuit cores, a laser platform and advanced packaging. The engine scales from 800 Gbps to 3.2 Tbps, although the demonstration was at 800 Gbps. The co-packaged aspect is achieved by TE’s interposer technology, which allows integration of the photonics engines with an ASIC. Ranovus said the technology is being trialled across the industry.
However, it should be noted that Ranovus is not the only company working on co-packaged optics. For example, in 2020 Intel announced a similar demonstration of co-packaged optics in combination with its Barefoot Network Tofino Ethernet switch. Intel aims to commercialize the technology from 50 Tbps switches by the end of 2023, which is twice the bandwidth of the current state of the art.
Ranovus Demonstrates Co-Packaged Optics Combined with Xilinx Versal
In the same vein as the previous demonstration, Ranovus also showcased its 800G CPO 2.0 platform along with a Xilinx Versal FPGA, targeting AI/ML workloads. Ranovus said this reduced both power and cost by simplifying the routing of the board. Ranovus told EETimes that he expected the cost to be about a tenth of a typical $800 400G module and to reduce power consumption by at least 10W, consuming just 4W.
“We have been at the forefront of the CPO movement since 2018 and are excited to share our multidisciplinary IP cores with our customers looking to accelerate the adoption of Analog Drive CPO in data centers,” said Hamid Arabzadeh, Ranovus Chairman and CEO. †
“We are proud of our partnership with Ranovus who has helped achieve record performance levels while reducing the power and overall footprint of the complete solution,” said Dan Mansur, vice president of the adaptable and embedded computing group at AMD (formerly Xilinx). “This CPO demonstration highlights the Versal GTM SERDES’ versatility to work over everything from long-range copper to directly driving the Ranovus Analog-Drive CPO 2.0 optical engine. The co-packaging of Ranovus Odin™ with Xilinx Versal is a significant advancement, enabling data center customers to build highly efficient and cost-effective systems for next-generation workloads.”
Ranovus Delivers 100G Optical I/O Cores Based on GlobalFoundries’ Fotonix Platform
Finally, Ranovus announced the availability of its protocol-agnostic Odin 100G optical I/O core, which was used in the two demonstrations described above. It is based on GlobalFoundries’ Fotonix silicon photonics platform that combines photonics and RF CMOS on a 300mm silicon wafer.
As the name implies, the Odin 100G core delivers 100Gbps bandwidth per wavelength. Ranovus goes on to say that it is scalable from 8 to 32 cores in a package, meaning it can deliver up to 3.2 Tbps in total. The core is available as optical I/O chiplets or IP core and can be integrated as such with processors, switches and memory devices. This allows the technology to appeal to various segments, including AI/ML, metaverse, cloud, 5G communications, defense and aerospace.
GlobalFoundries itself announced its Fotonix platform at Optical Fiber Conference 2022, along with multiple wins from customers such as Broadcom, Cisco and Nvidia. Together, its customers include almost all leading competitors in (silicon) photonics, with the exception of Intel. GlobalFoundries said the platform can be scaled up to 500 Gbps per fiber. The first PDK will be available in April.
“Silicon photonics is now recognized as a necessary technology for the data center revolution, and our industry-leading semiconductor manufacturing technology platform is accelerating its adoption into the mainstream,” said Amir Faintuch, senior vice president and general manager of computing and wired infrastructure at GlobalFoundries.
VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital city square for tech decision makers to learn about transformative business technology and transactions. Learn more
This post Ranovus demonstrates co-packaged optics | VentureBeat
was original published at “https://venturebeat.com/2022/03/11/ranovus-demonstrates-co-packaged-optics/”