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Top vendors collaborate to advance data centre tech

By Catherine Knowles
Thu 19 Mar 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Ranovus has entered into a strategic collaboration with IBM, TE Connectivity and Senko Advanced Components with key focus on advancing data center technology for global customers.

Each of the providers of multi-terabit interconnect solutions have created an ecosystem to design and manufacture multi-vendor solutions for co-packaged options applications in the data center, drawing on specific technologies of each of the vendors.

The motivation behind the collaboration is to aid data center traffic and providing networking infrastructure to scale in capacity while maintaining total power consumption and footprint.

According to a statement from the company, disaggregated Ethernet switch IC and optical module architecture does not provide the scalability required to support the future growth of the data centers.

As such, co-packaging of optics and Ethernet switch ICs is a natural next step to reduce the power consumption burden of the electrical I/Os in the data center networking equipment.

The transition of the Ethernet switch IC SER/DES from 50Gbps to 100Gbps, in 25.6Tbps and 51.2Tbps switch configurations, presents a unique inflection point in the architecture of the Ethernet switch systems.

The following technologies will be utilised from each of the collaborators.

Ranovus Odin silicon photonics engine: Odin incorporates the company's disruptive innovation in multi-wavelength Quantum Dot Laser (QDL), 100Gbps Silicon Photonics based Micro Ring Resonator modulators and photodetectors, 100Gbps Driver, 100Gbps TIA and control Integrated Circuits in a single chip.

IBM fiber V-groove interconnect packaging technology: This is a reliable assembly technique to interface optical fibers to silicon photonics devices. The process makes use of passive alignment techniques and achieves low insertion loss across a wide spectral range in both the O-band and C-band regimes.

The solution is scalable in physical channel count and the automated process provides a path to high-volume manufacturing of co-packaged optics.

TE co-packaged (CP) fine pitch socket interposer technology: This technology enables integration of small chipset and optical engine component technologies into high-value co-package assemblies with reworkable and interoperable interfaces.

The signal integrity performance of the CP fine pitch socket interposer technology can be critical to 100 Gbps high density electrical packaging requirements.

The integration of TE's thermal bridge technology completes the assembly by providing a solution for thermal management of the switch, serialiser/deserialiser (SerDes), and optics.

Senko fiber optic connectivity solutions: Optic connectivity is used for for optical coupling, on-board/mid-board, and faceplate to support 100Gbps/lane and beyond Co-Packaged Optics equipment designs.

These include low profile and precision Fiber coupler assemblies, micro-sized on-/mid-board connectors, reflow compatible connector assemblies, and space saving connector options for faceplate.

Each of the collaborators commented on the announcement.

Ranovus chief technology officer Georg Roell says, “Odin platform was conceived with miniaturised components such as Micro Ring Resonators in a monolithic Electronic and Photonic Integrated Circuit to deliver highly scalable solutions in support of single and multi-wavelength applications.

“We are delighted to contribute our IP and create an ecosystem to remove a major hurdle for the adoption of Co-Packaged Optics solutions for data centers.”

IBM senior engineer business development Paul Fortier says, “IBM is enthusiastic to bring to this collaboration more than 45 years history in microelectronics packaging and its deep experience in optical packaging.

“IBM’s optical assembly processes leverage our automated high-volume semiconductor packaging and IBMs Assembly and Test division provides the co-packaged optics ecosystem with a seamless end to end manufacturing capability.”

TE Connectivity technologist Nathan Tracy says, “TE is pleased to be able to bring decades of socket expertise to this co-packaging effort in the form of the fine pitch CP socket technology. In addition, TE's thermal bridge technology is a key enabler to the high density packaging and extreme thermal management necessary for co-packaging.”

Senko business development/product line manager Tiger Ninomiya says, “SENKO is pleased to contribute our product designs, and IPs to enhance the design capability, scalability, and flexibility for the Co-Packaged Optics embedded products. Innovative optical connectivity solutions are key to making Co-Packaged Optics solutions a success in the market.”

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