Mellanox LinkX Interconnects at ECOC – Europe’s Biggest Optical Networking Conference

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Mellanox Demonstrates Silicon Photonics PSM4 1550nm with Industry 1310nm Transceivers Interoperating over 2 Km Single-mode fiber

September was a big month for LinkX cables and transceivers interconnect displays at the European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Dusseldorf, Germany.  EOCO had more than 5,000 attendees interested in optical technologies, networking and data center systems and interconnects.

At this event, Mellanox showcased live demonstrations of its 25G AOCs and SR transceivers; 25G/50G/100G copper DAC and AOC cables and both multi-mode SR/SR4 and Silicon Photonics PSM4 single-mode transceivers. Additionally, we demonstrated 1550nm PSM4 transceivers interoperating with other industry 1310nm-based transceivers from Innolight, Oclaro and Ligent-HiSense.

Industry excitement in optical interconnects is being driven by next-generation 25G-based interconnects for 25G/50G/100G cables and transceivers used by hyperscale and large Enterprise bandwidth requirements to communicate between compute servers, storage and memories and move the massive amount of data being generated inside modern data centers today.



ECOC Conference, Dusseldorf, Germany


 LinkX Product Line Static Display: DAC, AOCs, & Transceivers


Mellanox’s LinkX static display showed the full line of copper DAC and AOCs cables as well as both multi-mode and single-mode transceivers and port adapters. What many do not know is that almost all of these cables and transceivers are designed and manufactured by Mellanox including the control ICs and Silicon Photonics chips.



Mellanox ECOC Booth and “LinkX Rack & Roll” Live Demo Display Rack

Blinking Lights Always Draw a Crowd!

The newly designed, glass enclosed, “LinkX Rack” was a big hit and was extremely successful in telling our story of Mellanox as an industry leader in 25, 50 and 100G Ethernet interconnects for Data Centers. Displayed was our full line of 25G, 50G and 100G DAC cables and breakouts; 25G & 100G AOCs; and 25G SR & 100G SR4 multi-mode transceivers in static and live demos.

Also featured were our new 25G SR transceiver and 25G AOC which are becoming very popular for server uplinks, storage and network appliance applications.


End-to-End Switch, Adapter, and Interconnect Display

These events give Mellanox a chance to show not only cables and transceivers but the various types of our Ethernet switches and network adapters such as:

  • SN2410: 48-port 25GbE + 8-port 100GbE Open Ethernet Top-of-Rack Switch
  • SN2100: Half-Width 16-port Non-blocking 100GbE Open Ethernet Switch
  • ConnectX-4 single + dual port 25/50/100G network adapters combinations
  • 25/50/100G Direct Attach Cables (DAC) and Active Optical Cables (AOCs)
  • 25G SR and 100G SR4, multi-mode transceivers
  • 100G LR4 10Km, 1310nm, single-mode transceiver
  • 100G PSM4 2km, 1550nm, Silicon Photonics single-mode transceiver
  • 100G WDM4 2Km, 1550nm, Silicon Photonics single-mode transceiver




“Rack & Roll” LinkX Demo Racks Network Diagram


Several 1550nm/1310nm Interoperability Demos

On display was our single-mode, Silicon Photonics-based, 100G PSM4 interoperating with several industry transceivers.  We demonstrated Mellanox 1550nm wavelength 100G PSM4 transceivers linked with Innolight 1310nm 100G PSM4 transceivers – even though the wavelengths are different! Additionally, the demo was over 2Km of single-mode fiber – even though the PSM4.MSA spec is only 500m.


Live Demo 1550nm Silicon Photonics PSM4 with Innolight 1310nm PSM4


Also we demonstrated Mellanox 1550nm, 100G PSM4 Silicon Photonics transceivers linked with Oclaro and Ligent-Hisense 1310nm 25G SFP28 LR transceivers over 10m of single-mode fiber in a quad breakout configuration.


1550nm-1310nm PSM4 to QUAD 25G LR Live Demo with Oclaro & Ligent-HiSense

The combination of PSM4 QSFP28 with LR SFP28 transceivers is one of the most economical, lowest-cost, single-mode solution for linking 100G ToR switches with 25G-based servers, network appliances and HDD, SSD and NVMe FLASH storage subsystems. The single-mode fiber feature makes any reach within a data center a non-issue as it supports up to 2Km reach and the inexpensive LC and MPO optical connectors enable use of optical patch panels.

These demonstrations highlight the interoperability of our 1550nm PSM4 Silicon Photonics transceivers with 1310nm, InP-based 100G PSM4/QSFP28 (with Innolight) and breakouts to quad 25G InP-based LR SFP28 transceivers (with Ligent-Hisense and Oclaro).

These transceivers interoperate seamlessly even though the transceiver technology is different (Silicon Photonics and Indium Phosphide) and the wavelengths are different (1310nm and 1550nm). Optical detectors in each type of transceiver are wide band enough to receive both 1310nm and 1550nm light – hence can interoperate


2017 Future products on Display

Also on display was our first showing of a newly announced and future products: 25G AOCs and SFP28 transceivers for multi-mode, single channel applications, our new 100G LR4 10Km transceivers and our new Silicon Photonics-based WDM4 2Km transceivers that transport four channels of 25G each, multiplexed onto only a single fiber.





ECOC is both a technical as well as a marketing conference, with workshops, technical tracks, and post deadline papers. Mellanox had booths with live demos as well as numerous speaker presentations at both conferences which will be posted on the new LinkX section on the main Mellanox website.

For more information on Mellanox’s LinkX cables and transceivers details and specifications, visit:

About Brad Smith

Brad is the Director of Marketing at Mellanox, based in Silicon Valley for the LinkX cables and transceivers business focusing on hyperscale, Web 2.0, enterprise, storage and telco markets. Recently, Brad was Product Line Manager for Intel’s Silicon Photonics group for CWDM4/CLR4 and QSFP28 product lines and ran the 100G CLR4 Alliance. Director of Marketing & BusDev at OpSIS MPW Silicon Photonics foundry. President/COO of LuxSonar Semiconductors ( Cirrus Logic) and co-founder & Director of Product Marketing of NexGen, a X86-compatible CPU company sold to AMD - now the X86 product line. Brad also has ~15 years in technology market research as Vice president of the Computer Systems group at Dataquest/Gartner; VP/Chief Analyst at RHK and Light Counting networking research firms. Brad started his career at Digital Equipment near Boston with the VAX 11/780 and has served as CEO, president/COO and on the board-of-directors of three start-up companies. Brad has a BSEE degree from the University of Massachusetts; MBA from University of Phoenix and holds 2 optical patents

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