Reflex Photonics presents 8.6-Tbps optical backplane architecture

Reflex Photonics Inc. says it will exhibit an optical backplane technology at OFC/NFOEC in Los Angeles, California, from March 6-8, 2012.

Reflex Photonics Inc. says it will exhibit an optical backplane technology at OFC/NFOEC in Los Angeles, California, from March 6-8, 2012.

The optical backplane demonstrator uses Reflex LightABLE optical engine technology to implement 864 point-to-point optical fiber links that can provide more than 8.6 Tbps of backplane connectivity in a single chassis.

The optical fabric has six layers of 12x12 fully connected broadcast meshes, giving more than 720 Gbps of bandwidth per line card into the optical backplane and over 60 Gbps of direct bandwidth between any two cards at the same time – and with zero latency, the company claims.

The backplane uses a distributed switching architecture where there are no central switch cards, and all cards act as a portion of the whole switch. This type of architecture can be used in conjunction with an existing electrical backplane to increase the total backplane throughput.

"The optical backplane can be retro-fitted to most standard electrical chassis, and it is easy to install and maintain, based on standard parts and design principles," explains David Rolston, CTO of Reflex Photonics. "This demonstrator rivals the performance of all existing standard electrical chassis, but is simple and can target applications from telecom/datacom installations to warehouse automation and production line communications."

Secondary features of the optical backplane chassis are its immunity to EMI, and the low total power consumption of less than 8.6 pJ/bit. Reflex also says that more than 10 chassis can be cascaded together, without line cards, thanks to the use of standard VSR multimode interoperability between the chassis's optical fabric and front-panel optical connectors.

The demonstration will take place at Reflex Photonics booth #2631. The company will also showcase a variety of other high-speed, parallel-channel optical data communications products including 40-Gbps QSFP transceivers, 112-Gbps CFP transceivers, 120-Gbps optical engines for converting between optical and electrical I/O, and the Light on Board optically-enabled semiconductor packaging for connections to and between integrated circuits.


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