Evolution from Pluggable to OIO, Enabling Ultra-Broadband Optical Connectivity for Future Data Centers

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Internet-driven innovations have heavily impacted the digitalization of the social economy, and are greatly transforming how we think, live, and work from all walks of life. In the past few decades, the amount of data traffic in the Internet and between servers has exploded exponentially and shows no signs of slowing down. The pandemic is driving a data center boom, causing 2021 was a boom year for internet, and a vast majority of that internet traffic has to flow through data centers. Simultaneously, the convergence of 5G wireless, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, data analytics, industrial IoT technologies, and advanced robotics is transforming industrial automation and taking manufacturing to new heights of productivity. With the upgrades of 5G networks and IoT enterprise services with edge computing, as well as kernel technologies such as storage media and computing capacity, data center throughput is pushed to hit all-time highs, which is in return imposing a huge pressure on the bandwidth requirements of data center networks (DCNs).

As DCN’s switching capacity transitions from 6.4Tb/s to 12.8Tb/s, to 25.6Tb/s, then all the way to 51.2Tb/s, the single switch ASIC development accelerates at breakneck speeds. However, when the capacity exceeds 51.2Tb/s, signal integrity represents the most difficult challenge for the high-frequency circuit and board designs because of limitations in the attenuation of high-frequency signals and constraints in the chip package size. As a result, the growth of chip capacity becomes a bottleneck.

This is the challenge that the optoelectronic industry aims to tackle with its latest development of innovative technologies. Notably, the industry has initiated the introduction of new Optical Input/Output (OIO) technology. Compared with the mature Electrical Input/Output (EIO) technology, OIO is spearheaded to provide 100 times or higher channel density, with each channel offering over 100 times more bandwidth. Consequently, OIO is likely a key enabler or game changer for switching to evolve to 100Tb/s or even 1000Tb/s. However, as with cutting-edge technologies, OIO faces many tough challenges, calling for open discussion and collaborative efforts across the entire optoelectronic industry.

Against this backdrop, the Global Advanced Optoelectronic Technology and Industry Development Seminar, jointly organized by the International Photonics & Electronics Committee (IPEC) and China International Optoelectronic Exposition (CIOE), will be held online on February 17, 2022 (EST). This seminar will focus on exploring advanced optoelectronic technologies to enable high-speed optical connectivities for 100Tb/s switching capacity, inspired by future hyperscale data centers.

This seminar will be championed by IPEC’s Advanced Research Work Group and invites Internet service providers (ISPs), data center equipment vendors, optoelectronic device vendors, and other international experts in the data center interconnection field to discuss DCN service application scenarios, future development trends, and cutting-edge technologies such as Co-Packaged Optics (CPO) and OIO. A panel discussion will offer global peers a platform for discussing network architectures and technology development trends



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