Broadcom, Tencent link for 25.6-Tbps co-packaged optics switch

Aug. 23, 2022
Tencent plans to field 2RU boxes based on the Humboldt CPO switch devices in the first half of next year, according to a Broadcom source.

Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) and Tencent Holdings Ltd. say they have partnered on the development of a 25.6-Tbps co-packaged optics (CPO) network switch. The Humboldt CPO switch device combines Broadcom’s StrataXGS Tomahawk 4 switch chip with four directly coupled and co-packaged 3.2-Tbps Silicon Photonics Chiplets in Package (SCIP) optical engines. Tencent plans to field 2RU boxes based on the Humboldt CPO switch devices in the first half of next year, according to a Broadcom source.

The system architecture, which Tencent defined, sees the 4x3.2-Tbps optical CPO interfaces routed to 16 MPO connectors and 32x400G electrical QSFP112 ports. The design enables links from the CPO engine to the front-panel routing to be accomplished via either traditional fiber or flexible printed fiber (FPF). Multiple CW remote laser modules (RLMs) are supported as well.

Ruijie Networks Co., Ltd., Tencent’s contract manufacturing partner, will build the switch platforms.

“Customer demands for higher bandwidth have pushed Tencent to perpetually scale our network,” said Sage Zou, vice president of Tencent Cloud. “We are glad to partner with Broadcom on CPO-based technology, which will bring not only higher bandwidth for applications such as AI/ML and HPC, but also it could address the power constraints from the acceleration of growth in new workloads.”

The CPO approach will enable 30% savings in power and 40% optics cost/bit, according to Rajiv Pancholy, director of hyperscale strategy and products within Broadcom’s Optical Systems Division. Pancholy noted that Tencent owns the design that will drive this implementation; however, he said that other hyperscalers who employ CPO likely will have similar designs. He declined to discuss additional engagements Broadcom has with such hyperscalers, either at 25.6 Tbps or 51.2 Tbps, but implied that such engagements exist. He noted that at 51.2 Tbps, Broadcom will supply 6.4-Tbps SCIP engines based on 100G lanes; support of 200G lanes is on the development roadmap as well. While the RLM here is a Broadcom design, it’s not the company’s intention to the be the sole source; rather, they will release the design for others to produce and supply.

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