Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (NASDAQ: AMCC) has unveiled the Multi-Link Gearbox II (MLG), which is designed to significantly lower the cost and complexity of interconnects for next-generation cloud computing and data center environments. The chip is the first to comply with the latest MLG implementation agreement from the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF), the company asserts.
The second-generation gearbox IC from AppliedMicro is the newest member of its X-Weave product family. The Gearbox II comes in two device variants:
- S28110PRIA1 – 100-Gbps multi-rate gearbox with 10-lane bypass for Ethernet and OTN
- S28115PRIA1 – 100-Gbps multi-link gearbox with 10-lane bypass
The MLG chip has a number of possible applications, says AppliedMicro. In a port expander application, the chip enables switch or network processor ASICs with a 4x25-Gbps interface to connect seamlessly with legacy 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) ports. The MLG also facilitates fiber-efficient rack-to-rack interconnections in the data center. By transporting up to ten 10GbE links on a single cable, data center operators can reduce the burden and cost of managing multiple interconnects. The gearbox IC makes it possible to move the 10G SFP+ cages from the faceplate of routers and switches to dedicated shelves, freeing valuable faceplate real estate.
"The need for reduced power consumption, lower cost and higher port density continues to drive interest in our Gearbox products," said Francesco Caggioni, senior director of marketing and technology, AppliedMicro. "Data center and access network developers have made multi-rate and multi-link must-have features for this product category, and we are thrilled to meet this market demand on the heels of the OIF-ratified standard."
Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group, sees a strong market need for such a chip. "At our recent Linley Tech Data Center Conference, AppliedMicro showed an X-Gene scale-out solution using an MLG Gearbox to aggregate 10G Ethernet to 100G Ethernet," he said. "With increasing pressure on both front-plate density and switch-ASIC pin counts, particularly in data centers, we expect to see double-digit annual growth in MLG shipments."
AppliedMicro will showcase its X-Weave Multi-Link Gearbox technology in a live demo in its booth, No. 3071, at OFC 2014, taking place in San Francisco from March 11-13.
For more information on communications ICs and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.