Mellanox @ OFC 2018: Mellanox Live & Static Demos 100G, 200G, 400G DAC and AOC Cables and Transceivers


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.

Mellanox Booth at OFC 2018


25/50/100G Spectrum Switches, ConnectX Adapters, Cables and Transceivers Display


On the left, we showed our Spectrum Ethernet series of 25/50/100G network switches:

  • SN2700 32-port 100G QSFP28, 1RU
  • SN2410 8-port 100G QSFP28 and 48-port 25G SFP28, 1RU
  • SN2100 16-port 100G QSFP28, ½ width 1RU
  • SN2010 4-port 100G QSFP28 and 18-port 25G SFP28, ½ width 1RU


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.

In the middle area of the display, we showed the ConnectX 3,4,5 series of network adapters in 25G NRZ-based SFP28 and QSFP28 and the 50G PAM4-based ConnectX-6 supporting dual 200G QSFP56 ports of 4x50G PAM4.

Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dual 200G QSFP56 Network Adapter


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.

Mellanox-Designed Spectrum, ConnectX and LinkX Multi-Mode Transceiver 8” & 12” IC Wafers


25G SR & 100G SR4 & AOC Open Transceiver Display with IC Wafer


100G SR4 Transceiver Module Showing Mellanox-Designed Tx Rx ICs


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.

  • Black cables are Mellanox-designed DAC cables and 1:2 and 1:4 splitters
  • Aqua cables are Mellanox-designed AOCs, and 1:2 and 1:4 splitter AOCs and multi-mode SR/SR4 transceivers
  • Yellow fibers are attached to LR, LR4, PSM4 and CWDM4 single-mode transceivers.
Mellanox Switches, Network adapters, cables and transceivers Live Rack Demo


Pictorial of Mellanox Switches, Network Adapters, Cables and Transceivers


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.

200G/400G DAC and SR4 Live Demo & SR8 Display


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.

Supporting Resources:


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

Comments are closed.