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Fiber optic sol'ns target cloud, virtual server apps

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:fiber optic? embedded parallel modules? HPC applications?

Avago Technologies has announced its parallel optical fiber technology that enables industry-leading bandwidth for emerging high-performance computing (HPC) applications.

Avago's MicroPOD and MiniPOD embedded parallel optical transmitter and receiver modules deliver bandwidth of up to 120Gbit/s, and targets technologies that provide the data throughput required for cloud computing and virtual server applications.

The company also gave a live demonstration at the SC11 supercomputing conference using PLX technology and showing what it claims as the industry's first PCI Express (PCIe) Gen3 end-to-end fiber optic link with its MiniPOD technology connecting a PC to an I/O expansion box. A separate mechanical sample shows Altera's optical FPGA concept working in conjunction with Avago MicroPOD technology.

"Avago is committed to working with innovative technology companies such as PLX and Altera to extend fiber optic connectivity box-to-box, board-to-board and eventually chip-to-chip," said Victor Krutul, director of marketing for the fiber optics products division at Avago. "The unrivaled bandwidth and interconnect density of our embedded parallel optical modules will empower high-performance computing applications to enable the future of cloud computing and virtual servers."

The PCIe demo shows MiniPOD technology, enabled by PLX PEX8748 PCIe Gen3 switches, extending box-to-box traffic up to 30m with full 64Gbit/s bidirectional connectivity. Optical PCIe provides a superior solution for data centers by eliminating the complicated, latency-ridden conversion of standards, extending the reach of PCIe technology.

"Our work with Avago is bringing the premium performance of optical solutions to PCIe Gen3 applications," said Reggie Conley, senior director, hardware applications, PLX. "Our joint PCIe Gen3 technology is providing maximum throughput with plug-and-play simplicity for next-generation data centers."

The Altera optical FPGA concept targets applications such as HPC, distributed server clusters, multichassis network switches and routers, and high-speed backplanes. The technology combines the advantages of programmable logic, advanced SERDES and high-density optical modules to increase signal integrity and optical port density, as well as reduce PCB area and power consumption.

Avago's optical modules enable flexible inside-the-box designs, eliminating the need for EMI/RFI shielding, the company said. These benefits are leveraged in applications such as next-generation supercomputers powering scientific research breakthroughs, as well as for high-performance routers, switches and other data center equipment enabling cloud computing, server virtualization and video-on-demand.

The MicroPOD and MiniPOD embedded parallel optical modules offer 12 transmit or receive channels at up to 10.3125Gbit/s, while consuming only 125mW per channel. MicroPOD devices have an 8.2 x 7.8mm footprint with an LGA electrical interface for ultra-dense embedded solutions, while the MiniPOD arrays have a 22 x 18.5mm footprint with a 9 x 9mm MegArray connector for simplified embedded solutions and ease of manufacturing.

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