The data center’s biggest industry conference centered around high-speed interconnects, the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC), was in San Diego, CA March 13-to-15 with 15,000 attendees.
In the Mellanox booth, we showed our full line of 25G NRZ-based 25/50/100G DAC and AOC cables including multi-mode and single-mode optical transceivers both in a static display and operating live in a switching system rack. We showed live demonstrations of our 50G PAM4-based 200G and 400G Direct Attached Copper (DAC) interconnect product line. Lastly, live demos of our 200G SR4 QSFP56 VCSEL-based transceiver and a static demo of our 400G SR8 in an OSFP form-factor.
Below is a photo tour of what was on display in the booth.
On the left, we showed our Spectrum Ethernet series of 25/50/100G network switches:
Ethernet Storage Fabric Switch
The half-wide SN2100 and SN2010 switches enable mixing and matching different 25G SFP28 and 100G QSFP28 combination in the same 1RU rack slot to best fit the application. Mellanox’s half-width SN2010 Top-of-Rack (TOR) switch is the best switch for storage and hyperconverged networks.
The new SN2010 is designed for low-latency applications for Ethernet Storage Fabric (ESF) networks and offers four 100G QSFP28 up links and eighteen 25G SFP28 down links to NVME FLASH systems all in a half-wide 1RU form-factor. Also operates at 10G/40G speeds as well.
Mellanox-designed Switch, Adapter and Transceiver ICs
In the background we displayed the Mellanox-designed CMOS switch and network adapter ASIC wafers and the BiCMOS multi-mode transceiver IC wafers in 8-inch and 12-inch formats.
Mellanox is the only company that builds not only switches, network adapter and transceivers but also the ICs inside – including DAC cables as well. This enables Mellanox to offer end-to-end systems with performances, signal integrity and power consumption tuning in ways that systems assembled from multiple companies cannot achieve.
25/50/100G Live Demo Rack
Switches, network adapters, cables and transceivers were all shown running live in the system rack and illustrated the complete end-to-end capabilities of Mellanox.
200G/400G DAC and SR4
On the right side of the booth, we showed two live running demos for next generation products with the next generation 50G PAM4 modulation scheme. A 200G and 400G DAC cable display with a QSFP-DD 8x50G PAM4 DAC running in an Ixia system. The display right side shows the 200G 4x50G PAM4 SR4 in QSFP56 running live and displaying the PAM4 eye diagram. Also, on display was a 400G SR8 OSFP transceiver based on two integrated 200G SR4 transceivers into a single 8-channel OSFP package.
The Bottom Line
25/50/100G clearly has hit mainstream and Mellanox offers a full line of DAC, AOC and transceiver products for any data center application. 200G is powering up for 2018 and 400G beyond that. The new PAM4 modulation scheme, 8-channel architectures and new form-factors will bring a lot of new capabilities and changes to the systems infrastructure. 200G is a much smaller and smoother step. Stay tuned for more LinkX cables and transceivers product developments. 2018 promises to show several new product announcements and capabilities.