16 November 2011

Avago demos embedded parallel optical transmit & receive modules for high-performance computing

In booth 5315 at the 24th annual Supercomputing Conference (SC’11) in Seattle, WA, USA this week (14-17 November), Avago Technologies is showcasing parallel optical fiber technology that enables what is claimed to be industry-leading bandwidth for emerging high-performance computing (HPC) applications. Avago is demonstrating its small-footprint MicroPOD and MiniPOD embedded parallel optical transmitter and receiver modules (which deliver bandwidth of up to 120Gbps) working with technologies from companies that provide the data throughput required for cloud computing and virtual server applications.

A live joint-demonstration with PLX Technology is showing the industry’s first PCI Express (PCIe) Gen3 end-to-end fiber-optic link with Avago MiniPOD technology connecting a PC to an I/O expansion box. A separate mechanical sample shows Altera’s optical FPGA concept working in conjunction with Avago MicroPOD technology. At SC11, Avago is also exhibiting its broad portfolio of industry-standard pluggable modules.

“Avago is committed to working with innovative technology companies such as PLX and Altera to extend fiber-optic connectivity box-to-box, board-to-board and eventually chip-to-chip,” says Victor Krutul, director of marketing for Avago’s Fiber Optics Products Division. “The unrivaled bandwidth and interconnect density of our embedded parallel optical modules will empower high-performance computing applications to enable the future of cloud computing and virtual servers,” he adds.

The PCIe demo shows MiniPOD technology, enabled by PLX PEX8748 PCIe Gen3 switches, extending box-to-box traffic up to 30m with full 64Gbps bi-directional connectivity. Optical PCIe provides a superior solution for data centers by eliminating the complicated, latency-ridden conversion of standards, extending the reach of PCIe technology, Avago says.

“Our work with Avago is bringing the premium performance of optical solutions to PCIe Gen3 applications,” comments Reggie Conley, senior director, hardware applications, at PLX. “Our joint PCIe Gen3 technology is providing maximum throughput with plug-and-play simplicity for next-generation data centers,” he adds.

The Altera optical FPGA concept targets applications such as HPC, distributed server clusters, multi-chassis network switches and routers, and high-speed backplanes. The technology combines the advantages of programmable logic, advanced SerDes, and high-density optical modules to increase signal integrity and optical port density, as well as reduce PCB area and power consumption.

Avago claims that its embedded parallel optics offer industry-leading density and bandwidth. The optical modules enable flexible inside-the-box designs, eliminating the need for EMI/RFI shielding. These benefits are leveraged in applications such as next-generation supercomputers powering scientific research, as well as for high-performance routers, switches and other data-center equipment enabling cloud computing, server virtualization and video-on-demand.

The MicroPOD and MiniPOD embedded parallel optical modules offer 12 transmit or receive channels at up to 10.3125Gbps, while consuming only 125mW per channel. MicroPOD devices have an 8.2mm by 7.8mm footprint with an LGA electrical interface for ultra-dense embedded solutions, while the MiniPOD arrays have a 22mm by 18.5mm footprint with a 9mm by 9mm MegArray connector for simplified embedded solutions and ease of manufacturing.

Tags: Avago Optical transmit & receive modules

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