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rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/17/2013 11:37:28 PM
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What would you do with those new 100G silicon optics modules?

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/25/2013 9:48:30 PM
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For a broader analysis of this area including news of a pending foundry deal for Kotura see: http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4405636/Kotura-preps-fab-deal-amid-silicon-photonics-surge

krisi
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
krisi   1/18/2013 12:01:37 AM
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What is electronic and what is photonic here? Kris

pica0
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
pica0   1/18/2013 9:04:44 AM
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Interesting question, are to make it more specific: is optical (DE)MUX used?

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/18/2013 4:49:18 PM
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The module is all photonic, right off the silicon which has a self-guided fibre optic link on chip with the fibre mated into the module at the factory and this new low cost Corning optical connector replacing the higher cost CFP

elPresidente
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
elPresidente   1/19/2013 10:20:32 AM
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I seriously, and I mean SERIOUSLY, doubt the module is "all photonic" and is only silicon, as being inferred by the hype. The lasers are probably flip chipped and HAVE to be compound semiconductor devices. Nothing new here that wasn't done by Honeywell and others (like Cray and Finisar) in the mid 1990's with POLO etc, and DARPA has been doing all this for over a decade in their all-optical computer and photonic backplane efforts - no mention of any kind of history in the article because it is all pumpy about Intel's "breakthrough", lest its shareholders get angry at the R&D level spent on this so far. Then there's the question of interoperability and second sourcing. Will this be open sourced? Licensed? No mention of wavelength, reach, type of fiber, etc in 11 pages of drivel that's mostly, and very disappointingly, about a Facebook CPU CIRCUIT BOARD standard, and an unnecessary picture of a giant and a midget shaking hands to take up space where a diagram of the optical module guts should be. Come on EE Times - more meat, less sawdust filler that's right off the press release.

jaybus0
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
jaybus0   1/19/2013 4:10:14 PM
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The laser itself is electronic, and of course it connects electronically to an electronic PCIe bus. However, a silicon Raman laser in IR wavelengths is indeed possible, as is all optical modulation and forming on-chip waveguides, lenses, and other optical components. It is not, with just a NIC, different than former approaches in principle of operation, but it is vastly different in terms of cost, size, and power requirements. Also, a NIC is just the beginning. Having this on-chip will lead to replacing the electronic bus with a much faster and lower power photonic bus for chip-to-chip data transfer. That has huge implications. For example, an optical memory bus might mitigate the need for L3 or even L2 cache. The distance between chips could be several meters without affecting data rates or power consumption, so a system's chips could be distributed across many chassis as if it were one huge mainboard.

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/21/2013 4:27:23 AM
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@elPresidente: Over lunch Intel's Rattner said the laser light source is on the single chip. The only things off chip are a transimpedence amp "to bring the signal to a useful level" and "drivers required to power the [on chip] silicon hybrid laser." He and others refused to give product details until a formal product introduction, perhaps at OFC later this year. Thanks to Luxtera for chiming in!

resistion
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
resistion   1/26/2013 3:47:23 AM
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A silicon Raman laser still requires optical pumping, cannot be activated by on-chip electronics. So they're bonding III-V.

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/18/2013 4:52:14 PM
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I have encouraged Intel reps to jump into this discussion

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/18/2013 4:52:53 PM
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BTW, I'd also love to here from Luxtera, IBM and others in silicon photonics. Let's get some perspective!

Luxtera Chris
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Luxtera Chris   1/19/2013 2:34:58 PM
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elPresidente makes some good points in his post: Silicon is not a good material to create light from although people are trying, however the efficiency of these light sources are so low today that they are not practical for a real communication system. So there is a 3:5 materal in this system somewhere as a photon pump for system. The rest of the elements: modulators, waveguides and recievers can all be in the silicon as Rick mentioned. Intel in the past as talked about making a hybrid chip from with a silicon wafer being bonded to a InP wafer: http://www.intel.com/pressroom/archive/releases/2006/20060918corp.htm. In the Luxtera case we build a micropackaged light source at waferscale (~1mm x 2mm) that gets placed on top of the chip, shinning down into the device to be the photon pump for the entire device. Luxtera Silicon Photonics are used in many of the AoC devices that TheMeasurementBlues mentioned. It has been proven as a very effective, low cost, high reliability way to make optical links, competiting and winning verse VCSEL alternatives with many added benefits in reach, relability and ability to integrate with large VLSI devices.

shmuel levy
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
shmuel levy   1/24/2013 7:39:31 AM
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Hi Chris, is the Intel modulator has 25G per channel?

Luxtera Chris
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Luxtera Chris   1/19/2013 2:35:28 PM
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I also agree that this was announcement was very light on details, however this seems to be a very strategic move by Intel. Open Compute has gone from nothing 18 months ago to one of the most influential computing show in the world, and there are not very many compute shows any more. By announcing at Open Compute, they get there intentions and message out to the world in a more effective way than doing this launch at IDF. Intel stated at the show that more details would be coming later in the year.

Luxtera Chris
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Luxtera Chris   1/19/2013 2:35:44 PM
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While all of this was great for Silicon Photonics, what I believe people are really missing is why you would want to build a system this way. With all of the virtualization that is occuring and repurposing of racks hour by hour based on load, there is a tremendous about of bottlenecks in the system that create wasted HW resources (and electricity) due hitting the wall on compute, memory or I/O. With this type of architecture, now you can assign memory, CPU and storage within the rack, or even to adjacent racks. While Intel showed a typical rack configuration where you see CPU cards at the top, memory dimms in the middle and storage at the bottom, this is just because people will have a hard time visualizing it differently. In reality you could do this accross multiple racks and have a memory rack, CPU rack, storage rack. Now you can add and assign CPU compute, memory or storage however you like as these links will only have a few ns of latency, and could go 3-500m. Plus, now with all of these ARM solutions discussed at the show, you can now update to a new processor vendor/processor node at what ever cadence they are available, same is true for memory or storage. Everything is virtualized over the high speed fabric and the fabric is the only consitant part of the system. A good example is FCOE, which works very well, although it hasn't been tremendously successful for mostly non-technical reasons. If you don't believe in this architecture, look at the arguably the compute thought leader for the last 30 years. This is how IBM builds their P series systems and they know a few things about how to manage big data.

elPresidente
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
elPresidente   1/19/2013 10:41:34 PM
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You mean partitioned like an IBM370. And users get VT100's in the shape of a smartphone. How novel.... With all the power in handsets these days, and the inherent interconnected networking of them, centralization is so WRONG. Computing and storage needs to be distributed and pushed outwards, with costs borne by terminal owners, not recentralized.Storage, on the other hand, could arguably be centralized, but that is making the very gross assumption that most users ever need more than one device - they don't. The ONLY reasons for cenntralization are: a) it is impossible for Big Brother (not just governments, but nosey-Parkers like Facebook and Google) to see, and monitor, what you are doing if you are doing it on a local compute resource that also happens to have its own encryption and ad-blocking capability b) MSFT and others can't force leasing of s/w and reign in software piracy that's rife on standalone compute resources.

qerqwe
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
qerqwe   1/21/2013 5:57:59 PM
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SO TRUE!!!

resistion
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
resistion   1/21/2013 11:54:22 AM
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Intel uses hybrid silicon lasers with a lot of wafer bonding. So it's not cheap. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_silicon_laser

Chris Cole
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Chris Cole   1/22/2013 6:35:07 PM
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The earlier comment that the Intel announcement was light (pun intended?) on content, and by implication heavy on marketing was right on the mark. Board mounted optics are available from multiple suppliers, using a variety of technologies, with inferred performance of the Intel module offering no distinguishing advantages. The area is of such broad industry interest that there are now several projects in the Optical Interface Forum (OIF) to standardize the I/O and mechanical characteristics. Further, technically oriented presentations start by referencing prior work to place new material in context, among other reasons because giving proper attribution to ideas is the accepted norm in the technical community. It is unfortunate that this approach was not chosen in the announcement. Andy’s comment that “IEEE standards groups have yet to set this technology and out of competitive politics have been shooting down the notion of a standard specific to silicon optics …” was inappropriate. The IEEE has a rigorous process for adopting new standards which sets a high technical and market bar for new proposals. It is this rigor that is a major factor in the extra ordinary success of Ethernet. Putting more effort in developing solid IEEE proposals is a more constructive approach than casting aspersions on the IEEE process. It is also a better outlet for unhappiness than sawing the branch on which one sits.

Justin Rattner
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Justin Rattner   1/22/2013 10:22:53 PM
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Hi, Rick! Looks like some folks have gotten a bit confused with the preview of Intel's Silicon Photonics Technology at the OC Summit. Since we are not ready to describe our photonic product family, let me rely on our published research to try to clear things up. I don't talk about it very often, but I make it a personal policy as Intel CTO not to hype anything. If I can't show you the technology working in the lab, I don't talk about it. Period. Since we shipped engineering samples a month ago to folks like Arista Networks, our early customers know that there is no hype. Our version of silicon photonics is fast, real and fully functional at very low power levels. I suggest that everyone look back at our experimental 50Gbps link. You can see my slides from 2010 by opening: download.intel.com/.../photonics/50G_Silicon_Photonics_Link.pdf All of the major innovations are described there. More in next post.

Justin Rattner
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Justin Rattner   1/22/2013 10:26:27 PM
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We don't use the Raman laser for these comm applications. The Raman laser has been experimentally demonstrated in optical sensing devices. In comms, we use the hybrid silicon laser where a thin sliver of InP is positioned precisely over the silicon laser cavity. The InP patch only serves as a tiny light source. Think of it as tiny LED. It is definitely not a compound semiconductor laser. Everything else is pretty much standard Si or SiGe for the modulators and detectors as well as the passive structures such as multiplexers/demultiplexers. The difference between the 50Gbps link and the 100Gbps module we showed in the "photonic rack" at OCS is in its manufacturability. The 50Gbps link was built in the lab while the 100Gbps link and all of our future products will be built in the fab. The manufacturing steps, including the wafer-scale InP bonding step, are all now highly automated as well as tuned for high volume manufacturing. That's where we've been "focusing" our time (sorry) over the last two years, and now you are seeing the fruits of our labor. Rick slightly confused my comment about the electronic content in thhe module. Besides the TIA, we also have to drive the modulators, which is additional electronics. All else is just DC. More in next post.

resistion
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
resistion   1/26/2013 3:49:22 AM
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@Justin, just saw your post. Glad we were in sync.:)

Justin Rattner
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Justin Rattner   1/22/2013 10:27:35 PM
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Just a few other random comments to clean up: (1) we don't flip-chip the lasers, since they are monolithic which in turn lets us have multiple lasers tuned to different frequencies as we showed in the 50Gbps link. Rather than fabricate mirrors, we use monolithic Bragg gratings at each end of the cavity to photolithographically set the resonant frequency for each color. (2) I don't claim to know all the history of photonics, but if someone else built something like this in the 80s or 90s, I missed it. I was a DARPA/ISTO PI at the time and DARPA would periodically send the aforementioned companies to Intel to sell me their optical modules. I was building parallel supercomputers at the time with thousands of electrical links between the processing nodes (see ASCI Red for reference) which DARPA dreamed of replacing with optics. At $5K-$10K per transceiver, those transceivers (2 required for each link) would have cost more than the entire machine including processors, memory, and storage. There is simply nothing in common between those modules of yesteryear and what we described last week or in 2010 with 50Gbps module. Let me suggest that everyone calm down and wait a few months. All will be revealed in good time and great datacenters will be built from it.

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/23/2013 12:22:06 AM
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@Justin Rattner and Luxtera Chris: Thanks for chiming in! Anyone from Lightwave/Cisco or IBM is welcome to join the conversation!

Chris Cole
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Chris Cole   1/23/2013 12:33:38 PM
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The 2010 Intel announcement was a 4x15.2G WDM Muxed/Demux chip set that carried 50Gb/s per fiber. The announcement last week is no longer WDM, and only carries 25Gb/s per fiber, so that’s a drop in fiber capacity by a factor of 2x. This research has been going on for the past decade and the track record so far of commercializing technology is not great. If we extrapolate the trend, in 2014 there will be a big media event announcing a great new Si Photonics chip set which will carry 10Gb/s per fiber. The announced 100G server to TOR switch application, based on Intel server roadmap, will not be need until 2017 and appreciable 100G server I/O volume won’t happen until 2020. So the good news is that gives 4 to 7 more years to iron out the bugs in the announced chip set. Unfortunately by then, 4x25G will not be the architecture of choice for I/O as the industry moves to 50Gb/s per lane and fiber. Perhaps better coordination with the guys that design products that pay the bills at Intel might help focus the photonics research towards something that would help the company.

shmuel levy
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
shmuel levy   1/23/2013 8:24:41 PM
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So the Intel device has 4 fibers each at 25G?

Chris Cole
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Chris Cole   1/23/2013 1:09:31 PM
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Another example of the announcement being light on content and heavy on marketing is the liberal use of adjectives to specify performance, instead of the more traditional numbers. For example, the modules are claimed to operate at “very low power levels”. At least for this spec we can quantify the adjectives because the modules were visible on the cards and had hefty heat sinks mounted on them. The heat sink size puts the module power dissipation above 3W, possibly 4W. This is similar to what other 100G board mounted optics dissipate today. (Also, earlier comment stated 4x15.2G for the 2010 announcement; it should have stated 4x12.5G).

rick merritt
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
rick merritt   1/25/2013 9:48:16 PM
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For a broader analysis of this area including news of a pending foundry deal for Kotura see: http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4405636/Kotura-preps-fab-deal-amid-silicon-photonics-surge

Chris Cole
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
Chris Cole   1/26/2013 6:57:25 PM
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Hello Shmuel, The answer to your question about the Intel Si Photonics module in the Open Compute Summit demo, based on the type of rack interconnect shown, is that it has four parallel 25G modulators driving four parallel single-mode fibers. This is the same approach as proposed for standardization in the IEEE 802.3bm 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Fiber Optic Task Force by three companies (Avago, Luxtera, Oclaro), for up to 500m reach data center application, and referred to as PSM4 (parallel single-mode 4-channel). Each company showed the technical feasibility of this approach based on their internal and unique technology, both Si Mod and InP DML based. What they have failed to do so far is demonstrate that there is an economic advantage and broad market potential. Many end users, including carriers and some IDC operators prefer duplex SMF for longer reach applications. This is enabled by WDM, for example the existing IEEE LR4 standard, the 2010 Intel announcement, recent IBM IEEE proposal, the Kotura announcement (see link provided by Rick) which they proposed to the IEEE, and many others. It is therefore not clear why on this thread commenting about the Intel demo at the Open Compute Initiative, there is a detailed description of how to set the frequency of each color {wavelength}. Perhaps a technical conference paper about the earlier work accidently got into the Summit marketing package.

gbaggett750
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re: Slideshow: Intel Lights 100G Interconnects at Facebook Summit
gbaggett750   1/30/2013 6:50:03 PM
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I'm sorry but this announcement isn't as exciting as it should be...maybe it's because I am not in a good mood today. 100G in a single optical module. This is all fine and good if you desire point-to-point communication only. Separating CPU, RAM and storage by using fiber links only invites disaster as you now have more componets that can fail and therefore MTTF goes down. More importantly is when are the major router/switch box producers going to get involved? Did anyone talk with them? Without them, as far as I am concerned, this is pointless. Can you see Cisco, Juniper or Big Iron putting a PCIx16 card slot into their machines so that 100G switching/routing can occur? or even 4x25G? This is where the explosion in the computing centers will occur. Without I/O to the world, the compute centers become data bound and do not need to expand their processing capacity. I cannot see a switch using 4x25G ports unless multiple switches are run in parallel or one big switch with 4 fabrics. Four times the cost for implementing switching or wait for a re-designed switch. I'll wait. On the other hand, I envision a complete redesign of switch fabric to take advantage of this 100G I/O. Can you say photonic fabric? Now this would be an important and meaningfull announcement.



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