Mellanox’s Silicon Photonics gains momentum

19 April, 2017

During the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC) in Los Angeles, Mellanox introduced a new line of 200Gb/s silicon photonics and VCSEL-based transceivers

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Figure above: Silicon photonic Variable optical Attenuator with the cover removed

Mellanox Technologies, Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLNX), announced that it has shipped more than 200,000 VCSEL and silicon photonics transceiver modules for hyperscale Web 2.0, cloud, and enterprise 100Gb/s networks. “The 100Gb/s optical transceivers market has ramped very quickly and we have ramped our optical manufacturing capabilities with it, and are shipping multiple product families in high volume,” said Amir Prescher, senior vice president of business development at Mellanox.

“The 100Gb/s transceiver and AOC market grew dramatically in 2016 to about $1.15 billion with demand exceeding supply. The early adopter hyperscale and HPC spaces lead consumption,” remarked Dale Murray, Principal Analyst, Lightcounting Market Research. “Going forward, we see 100G quickly surpassing the very popular 40G and going on to have a very long life cycle.”

Backward compatibility

Recently, Mellanox announced that is has shipped over 100,000 Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables for 100Gb/s networks. DAC are used to link servers and storage to Top-of-Rack switches; typically less than 3 meters in length. Transceivers and AOCs offer lengths up to 2km.

Last month Mellanox introduced a new line of 100Gb/s silicon photonics modules, such as 100Gb/s 1550nm transmitter, with flip-chip bonded DFB lasers that reach distance of 2km, Low-power 100Gb/s (4x25G) modulator driver IC, Low-power 100Gb/s (4x25G) trans-impedance amplifier IC and more.

Now the company is moving to the next level: During the Optical Fiber Conference (OFC), held in March 21-23, in Los Angeles, it introduced a new line of 200Gb/s silicon photonics and VCSEL-based transceivers in the same QSFP28 package as today’s 100Gb/s products. “Our hyperscale customers can double their bandwidth and scale to 200G while using their existing installed fiber and without changing to a new form factor,” said Amir Prescher.

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