12.8Tbps! Intel’s world’s first integrated package optical Ethernet switch

Intel recently announced that it has successfully integrated a 1.6Tbps silicon light engine with a 12.8Tbps programmable Ethernet switch. This all-in-one-package solution integrates the basic technology building blocks of Intel and its Barefoot Networks division and can be used for integrated optical devices on Ethernet switches.

Intel said that the integrated packaging optical display is the first step to realize optical I/O with silicon optics. On 25Tbps and higher speed switches, integrated packaging optical devices have more advantages in power consumption and density, and will eventually become the future network Supporting technology necessary for bandwidth expansion.

Very-large-scale data centers often have unlimited demands for cost-effective interconnection and bandwidth. Intel’s integrated packaged switch has been specifically optimized.

Today’s data center switches rely on pluggable optical components installed on the switch panel, which use electrical wiring to connect to the switch serializer/deserializer (SerDes) port, but with the continuous increase of data center switch bandwidth, This process becomes more and more complicated and consumes more power.

Using an integrated package of optical devices, the optical ports can be placed near the switch in the same package, thereby reducing power consumption and continuing to maintain the expansion capability of the switch bandwidth.

The solution presented by Intel this time combines the most advanced Barefoot Networks programmable Ethernet switch technology and Intel’s silicon optical technology. It uses Barefoot Tofino 2 switch ASIC and is packaged with the 1.6TTbps silicon optical engine of Intel’s silicon optical product division.

Barefoot Tofino 2 Ethernet switch has a throughput of up to 12.8Tbps (converted to a more familiar concept is equivalent to 12.8 Gigabit) and is based on the company’s Independent Switch Architecture Protocol (PISA), using the open-source P4 programming language for data The plane is programmed to meet the needs of ultra-large-scale data centers, clouds, and service provider networks.

The Intel silicon optical interconnect platform uses a 1.6 Tbps photon engine, designed and manufactured on the Intel silicon optical platform, and can provide four 400GBase-DR4 interfaces. The platform has delivered more than 3 million 100G pluggable optical modules and provides support for 200G and 400G pluggable optical modules. These modules will increase production this year.

In 2019, Intel acquired Barefoot Networks, an emerging leader in Ethernet switch chips and data center software, in order to accelerate the delivery of its Ethernet switch platform.