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The dream of ubiquitous connectivity has sparked interest to explore future technologies to increase datarate in datacenters with lower costs. On 12-13th June, Cube Optics AG participated in the '100G in a single lambda' workshop held at San Jose Convention Center organized by Ethernet Alliance and OIDA devoted to hear out predictions from analysts and proposals from industry leaders with different methods to propel 100 Gbps over a single wavelength with 2 km reach for datacenters.
Compelled by largely bandwidth-hungry traffic demand, it is very natural that datacenters are installing faster Ethernet to connect servers and storage equipment and for networking. Today we see the transformation from 1GbE to 40GbE and the prospect for 100GbE is already making huge waves. However the future of 100GbE technology for the datacenter environment truly depends on three factors; cost, power and space with the highest priority given to cost of technology and migration and the least to space. An option for reducing power consumption (by the 100G equipment or accessories like fans) by 1% in datacenters was pointed out during the event to save tens of millions per year as OPEX. These factors are assisting the R&D to scrutinize different solutions like Silicon Photonics, Advanced Modulation formats namely discrete multi-tone (DMT) and pulse amplitude modulation (PAM) to make the connectivity affordable and feasible for the data centers.
Clearly, 100GbE in a single lambda is not a technology that will materialize next year; however 100GbE per lambda is a compelling investment that will relief the needs of datacenters. As commented by the Ethernet Alliance Chairman, John D'Ambrosia, the industry leaders must come together and decide what kinds of investments are needed and which technological development is required to form a cohesive market to bring down the costs.
Fig. Evolution of Ethernet