100Gbit/s on copper: we've got IP for that says Aquantia

October 24, 2016 // By Julien Happich
After it announced last June 5/2.5 Gigabit NBASE-T PHY devices for Ethernet over twisted pair copper wire, fabless company Aquantia is eyeing hyperscale data centers with an all-electrical 100Gbit/s SerDes solution.

Aquantia's Co-Founder and Senior Vice President for Business Development, Philippe Delansay explains the company's bold move to 100Gbit/s as a requirement for fast evolving hyperscale data centers.

"When data centers only had North-South data flows between aggregation switches and Top-of-Rack switches, there was a linear correlation between the total IP traffic and the aggregate data center bandwidth. But with novel Leaf-Spine architectures, server-to-server traffic now flows East-West too, and data center bandwidth accelerates beyond global IP traffic".

Comparing yesterday's data centers with next gen hyperscale topologies.

Then Delansay cited the results from a recent survey from Crehan Research, revealing that the majority of direct server and storage Ethernet network connections in hyperscale data centers are currently within 3 meters.

Aquantia's Co-Founder and Senior Vice President
for Business Development, Philippe Delansay.

"We've figured out that if you could support 100Gbit/s on copper for up to 3 meters, we would serve a sizeable portion of the hyperscale data center market, without the costs of deploying optical fiber", continued Delansay.

Listening to companies like Facebook, LinkedIn or Juniper Networks, Aquantia's Co-Founder notes that although 100 Gigabit Ethernet is the future, 100Gbit/s optical transceivers are considered as too expensive for massive deployment. Somehow, the industry seems to be ready to pay up to $1/1G for 100G links. A price tag unreachable with optics.

"Hence, why not keep optical fibers for long distances only?" suggests Delansay, confident that Aquantia's QuantumStream technology will deliver 100Gbit/s on a single-lane of copper at an unbeatable price.