Molex, Calient extend optical circuit switching to InfiniBand applications

Molex Inc. has teamed with Calient Technologies, Inc., to demonstrate an InfiniBand-based hybrid packet-optical circuit switched network architecture at this week’s Supercomputing 2013 event in Denver.

Molex Inc. has teamed with Calient Technologies, Inc., to demonstrate an InfiniBand-based hybrid packet-optical circuit switched network architecture at this week’s Supercomputing 2013 event in Denver.

The architecture combines Molex’s QSFP+ parallel singlemode silicon photonics-based Quad Data Rate (QDR) active optical interconnects with Calient’s low-latency S320 3D MEMS optical circuit switch. The Molex interconnect is based on the active optical cable product line it acquired from Luxtera in 2011 (see "Molex buys Luxtera’s active optical cable line"). Calient introduced the S320 in 2012 (see “Calient debuts high-density photonic switch for data centers”).

The companies say the demonstration highlights the potential for very low latency port mapping within an InfiniBand network while simultaneously enabling medium to long reach links.

“We’ve had strong interest in using our S320 optical circuit switch for InfiniBand-based high-performance computing networks, but until now we haven’t been able to offer a solution to adapt the physical layer connections,” said Daniel Tardent, Calient’s vice president of marketing. “The partnership with Molex solves this problem and allows us to extend the very positive performance, low-power, and cost advantages of pure photonic optical circuit switching to InfiniBand applications.”

“While Calient’s traditional market has been in data center Ethernet switching, the need for low-latency applications within InfiniBand high-performance computing networks has become apparent,” said Brent Hatfield, product manager, Molex. “The combination of Molex 4-km singlemode silicon photonics-based interconnects and Calient’s low-latency optical switching demonstrates the two companies’ unique ability to resolve increased demands for long-reach, low-latency, low-power interconnects.”

The demonstration can be seen at Calient’s booth #4219 at SC13.

For more information on optical switches and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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