17 March 2017
Mellanox ships 200,000th optical transceiver module for next-gen 100Gb/s networks
Mellanox Technologies Ltd of Sunnyvale, CA, USA and Yokneam, Israel (a supplier of end-to-end InfiniBand and Ethernet interconnect solutions and services for data-center servers and storage systems) says that it has now shipped more than 200,000 vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and silicon photonics transceiver modules to serve the growing demand of hyperscale Web 2.0, cloud, and enterprise 100Gb/s networks. The modules are delivered in the QSFP28 form factor as active optical cables (AOCs) or as standalone pluggable transceivers.
“The 100Gb/s optical transceivers market has ramped very quickly and we have ramped our optical manufacturing capabilities with it, and are shipping multiple product families in high volume,” says Amir Prescher, senior VP of business development & general manager of the interconnect business at Mellanox. “Multi-mode optics are the most cost-effective solution on the market today to connect 25G and 100G Ethernet servers and switches over shorter data-center reaches. For longer reaches, customers selected our silicon photonics-based PSM4 transceivers as the most cost-effective, highest-configurable, single-mode transceiver available,” he adds.
“The 100Gb/s transceiver and AOC market grew dramatically in 2016 to about $1.15bn, with demand exceeding supply,” notes Dale Murray, principal analyst, Lightcounting Market Research. “The early-adopter hyperscale and HPC [high-performance computing] spaces lead consumption,” he adds. “Going forward, we see 100G quickly surpassing the very popular 40G and going on to have a very long life cycle.”
Recently, Mellanox announced that is has shipped over 100,000 direct attach copper (DAC) cables for 100Gb/s networks. DAC are used to link servers and storage to top-of-rack switches; typically less than 3m in length. Transceivers and AOCs offer lengths up to 2km. This latest announcement of optical transceivers confirms the broader market expansion of 100Gb/s networks, says the firm.
Key application segments driving demand are the next-generation 100Gb/s networks in hyperscale, Web 2.0, enterprise, and storage as well as high-performance computers. System builders are more broadly upgrading from 10G and 40Gb/s to 25, 50 and 100Gb/s networks.
To meet the high-volume demand and aggressive cost targets of end customers, Mellanox designs its own ICs, and uses automated manufacturing and parallel system testing. The firm says that its end-to-end control of the supply chain and manufacturing lines ensures that it can scale to meet market demand with limited reliance on third-party suppliers.
Mellanox says that, due to its supply chain control and manufacturing techniques, it can achieve a low bit error rate (BER) of 1E-15 for optical transceivers and AOCs (1000 times better than the IEEE industry minimum specification).
Exhibiting in booth 3715 at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference (OFC 2017) in Los Angeles (21-23 March), Mellanox is giving live demonstrations of all its 100Gb/s end-to-end solutions in switching, network adapter and copper and optical cables and transceivers:
- Spectrum SN2700, SN2410 and SN2100 100Gb/s QSFP28/SFP28 switches;
- ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-5 25G/50G/100Gb/s QSFP28/SFP28 network adapters;
- LinkX 25G/50G/100Gb/s DAC and AOC cables and SR4 and PSM4 transceivers;
- new Quantum switches with 40 ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28 in 1RU chassis;
- new ConnectX-6 adapters with two ports of 200Gb/s QSFP28; and
- 200Gb/s 50G PAM4 silicon photonics demonstrations.
The firm is also demonstrating interoperability of its silicon photonics 100Gb/s PSM4 with Innolight, AOI, Oclaro and Hisense transceivers, as well as interoperability demonstrations in the Ethernet Alliance booth 1709.