SAN JOSE, Calif. – A handful of companies are edging closer to silicon photonics, hoping to enable a future generation of 100 Gbit/s networks. That was just one of several opinions about the future of networking from veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur Andreas Bechtolsheim in a keynote here.
Separately, the OpenFlow protocol is not likely to gain traction but the broader concept of software-defined networks will, he said in an impromptu session with two dozen engineers after his talk at the Linley Tech Processor Conference here.
[Get a 10% discount on ARM TechCon 2012 conference passes by using promo code EDIT. Click here to learn about the show and register.]
“Luxtera and a couple new companies are going after [silicon photonics], and think they have a path to market by 2014, enabling the first cost-effective 100G switches,” Bechtolsheim told EE Times after his talk. Such products are needed because “today the cost of the optics are far greater than the silicon,” at 100G, he said.
The rate of progress in networking has been relatively slow due to I/O bottlenecks such as limited pins on a chip package, he said. “It’s a nice improvement-- doubling every four years or so--but it’s not at the rate of Moore’s Law."
A handful of 100G interfaces are in the works, but only silicon photonics holds the promise of making 100G more cost effective than 10 and 40G nets, said Bechtolshiem. He predicted that the majority of servers will be on 10G Ethernet by about 2014 when Intel’s Haswell processors could start a shift to 40G nets.
Separately, Bechtolsheim predicted the OpenFlow protocol is too low level to have significant impact, but vendors will roll out their own APIs to simplify network configuration and management.
I'm not disagreeing with your analysis, but the reason DEC no longer exists is that Intel bought it as part of the settlement of the patent lawsuit brought by DEC against Intel.
Intel had no reason to keep producing the Alpha or keep the DEC name past the agreed period. It pays to be the 880 lb. gorilla.
Just by way of reminder, silicon photonics is very much an SOI-based technology. See http://www.advancedsubstratenews.com/tag/photonics/ for articles explaining the role of SOI in photonics by Intel, IBM, Luxtera, Sony and more.
Well, the Alpha no longer exists because Intel bought it and stopped making it.
DEC's demise is a little more complicated, as DEC had been selling of parts trying to stay alive before what was left was acquired by Compaq.
Far that matter, DEC competitor Data General suffered a similar fate. They made the AViiON line, originally based on the Motorola 88000 RISC processor, and shifted to Intel when Motorola dropped the 88000.
DG was eventually purchased by storage vendor EMC, who bought them to get the CLARiiON storage system, and promptly stopped making the computer.
But yeah, it pays to be the 800lb gorilla. It's yet another acquisition made to buy and kill off a potential competitor.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.