A handful of talks at the event will shine a light on silicon photonics, an emerging technology expected to drive high-speed networking initially for next-generation datacenters.
The head of silicon photonics at Mellanox will give an invited talk. Mellanox is one of several vendors, including Intel and Cisco, that have been working on silicon photonics for applications such as 25G links inside server racks and between switches. It's aiming to roll out products as early as this year.
Andy Bechtolsheim, a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur and co-founder of switch maker Arista Networks, will give an invited keynote. Bechtolshiem has long promoted silicon photonics as a key technology for enabling widespread use of the latest 100 Gbit/s links on network switches.
In addition, Richard Grzybowski, CTO at Photonic Controls, will give a talk on the readiness of EDA tools and process development kits for creating the kinds of system-in-package devices silicon photonics requires. Separately, researchers from Columbia University will describe models that show "silicon photonic interconnects can sustain very high loads (over 100 Tb/s) with low energy costs (< 1 pJ/bit)…[but may] come at a relatively high energy cost."
David Patterson, chair of the computer science department at Berkeley, will describe in a keynote a new kind of server design based on novel use of flash memory. Patterson was co-author of a widely used textbook on microprocessor design and has pioneered concepts ranging from RAID disk drives to computer clusters.
In another keynote, communication pioneer John Cioffi will describe new ways of measuring the quality of an Internet connection. Cioffi was an early developer of digital subscriber lines, a now widely deployed means for delivering broadband communications over the common copper wires used by telephone companies.
— Rick Merritt, Silicon Valley Bureau Chief, EE Times