Showing posts from April, 2024

PAM4 DSPs Battle LPO for OFC Mindshare

Last year, module vendors demonstrated the first 1.6T optical modules, and this year DSP vendors looked ahead to second-generation 1.6T module designs. Whereas the first 1.6T modules connect a 16x100G host interface to 8x200G optics (16:8), next-generation designs will work with forthcoming 200G/lane switch ASICs, as shown in the top row of the figure. Broadcom disclosed its Sian2 1.6T 8:8 DSP at a March investor event, and Marvell followed by announcing its similar Nova 2 at OFC. Not wanting to be left out of the 1.6T landscape, MaxLinear pre-announced Rushmore, which similarly targets 8:8 designs. Although the company withheld product details, it disclosed Samsung Foundry as its manufacturing partner for Rushmore, setting it apart from competitors using TSMC. Source: Broadcom Progress on linear pluggable optics (LPO) and other less-than-full-DSP variants was evident at 100G/lane, but vendors also set the stage for 200G/lane. Last November, Credo Semiconductor was first to announc

All Eyes on NVIDIA

Aside from CEO Jensen Huang, the DGX GB200 NVL72 was the star of the GTC 2024 keynote. The rackscale system integrates 72 next-generation Blackwell GPUs connected by NVLink to form “1 Giant GPU.” Jensen’s description of the NVLink passive-copper “backplane” caused a brief panic among investors that believed it somehow replaced InfiniBand, which it does not. The NVL72 represents next-generation AI systems, but Nvidia also revealed new details of its deployed Hopper-generation clusters. Next-generation 800G (XDR) InfiniBand won’t reach customers until 2025, so early Blackwell systems will use 400G (NDR) InfiniBand instead. Source: NVIDIA Jensen said the Hopper-generation EOS supercomputer had just come online. This cluster uses 608 NDR switches with 64 ports each for a total of 38,912 switch ports. This system places the leaf switches in racks at the end of the row, so all InfiniBand links employ optical transceivers. We estimate the servers add 5,120 ports for a system total of 44,032 N