100Gbit/s active cables ship to data centres

100Gbit/s active cables ship to data centres

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

TE, Amphenol and Molex are sampling 100Gbit/ active electrical cables (AEC) to cloud data centre operators.

The cables are powered by Marvell’s Alaska A PAM4 digital signal processors to provide server-to-ToR (top of rack) and switch-to-switch interconnects.

The Alaska A PAM4 DSP family enables AECs for next-generation 400G, 800G and 1.6T server-to-switch and switch-to-switch interconnects that require 100G serial I/Os for data-intensive artificial intelligence, machine learning and high-performance computing workloads.

The PAM4 SerDes technology and Ethernet IP in the Alaska A family uses DSP equalization techniques and flexible firmware to compensate for the impairments introduced by the cable on the high-speed 100G PAM4 signal. This provides the ability to deploy thin cables that address the reach and flexibility needs of next-generation data centre architectures.

“Alaska A DSPs are foundational to 100G/lane serial-based connectivity and have extended Marvell’s PAM4 DSP portfolio to short-reach interconnects in cloud data centres,” said Venu Balasubramonian, vice president of product marketing, High Speed Connectivity and PHY Business Unit at Marvell.

“The availability of these high-performance AECs by leading cable providers is an important milestone in addressing the 100G/lane architectures that are set to be the next data centre inflection point.”

“Amphenol’s AEC interconnect products incorporating Marvell’s Alaska A DSPs enable us to offer an advanced solution with the performance needed for next-generation infrastructure architectures,” said Brian Kirk, CTO at Amphenol. “The delivery of these AEC interconnects to our customers underscores the critical performance and reliability requirements they meet for 100G/lane connectivity.”

“Our data center customers are looking to extend link reach at higher data rates as speeds continue to rise and cable functionality continues to become increasingly important to cloud infrastructure,” said Brian Hauge, vice president and general manager, Copper Solutions, Molex.

“Our latest AEC portfolio shipping with Marvell’s Alaska A DSPs brings a compelling solution to our customers for their high-performance interconnect architectures.”

“Next-generation data centres with 100G/lane Ethernet will require advanced cabling solutions to meet the reach, flexibility and power requirements,” said Mike Tryson, CTO and vice president of Engineering at TE Connectivity. “The combination of Marvell’s Alaska A DSP with TE’s advanced 100G cabling capability will enable a portfolio of AEC solutions for mission-critical data centre applications.”

“A data center is only as strong as its weakest link. We anticipate AEC adoption to occur rapidly with shipments of AEC chips growing by 10x to nearly 25 million units per year by 2026,” said Alan Weckel, co-founder of the 650 Group. “AEC cables will play a pivotal role in server to Top-of-Rack switching in the data centre as server speeds increase to 100 Gbps and beyond. AI/ML-based servers are already pushing the limits of current cable technology.”

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