OFC 2023: Ayar Labs demo’s 4 Tbps bidirectional WDM solution for AI, data centres

Created March 1, 2023
Technologies and Products

Ayar Labs, is to demonstrate its 4Tbps bidirectional WDM optical solution at OFC. The solution, powered by Ayar’s SuperNova light source, moves data from one TeraPHY™ optical I/O chiplet to another at 2.048 Tbps in each direction,. SuperNova powers 8 fibre links, using 64 wavelengths operating at 32 Gbps, for 8 wavelengths and 256 Gbps per individual fibre, running error free at lower than 10ns of latency and without needing Forward Error Correction (FEC). This allows for a total bandwidth of 2.048 Tbps in each direction, or 4.096 Tbps bidirectionally. The data transfer uses less than 5 pJ/bit (10W), providing the power density and performance per watt needed to achieve AI models with trillions of parameters andadvanced High Performance Computing (HPC) designs.

Ayar says its in-package optical I/O changes the power and performance trajectories of system design by enabling compute, memory and network silicon to communicate with a fraction of the power and dramatically improved performance, latency and reach versus existing electrical I/O solutions. Delivered in a co-packaged CMOS chiplet, optical I/O becomes foundational to next-generation AI, disaggregated data centres, dense 6G telecommunications systems and phased array sensory systems.

Ayar Labs 4 Tbps demo setup

“In-package optical I/O solutions have the potential to transform how semiconductor, AI, HPC and aerospace customers process their next-generation, data-intensive workloads,” said Craig Thompson, vice president of Business Development for Networking at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform is enabled by advanced technologies such as WDM optical interconnects to equip tomorrow’s innovators with the extreme performance they need.”

“Ayar Labs continues to showcase our technology leadership with this live silicon demonstration, an industry-first milestone on the path to overcoming the impending power and performance wall of electrical design, and unleashing the power of next generation compute,” said Charlie Wuischpard, CEO, Ayar Labs. “As we bring together all the supply, manufacturing, test and compute pieces needed for high-volume deployment, we also show today that we continue to lead in pure technical achievement.”

“Revenue generated by Optical I/O for high performance computing (HPC) was around US$5 million in 2022 and is expected to reach US$2.3 billion in 2033 with a 74% Compound Annual Growth Rate for 2022-2033,” explains Martin Vallo, Senior Analyst, Photonics, at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group. “Projections of rapidly growing training dataset sizes underline that data will become the main bottleneck for scaling machine learning (ML) models, resulting in a potential slowdown in Artificial Intelligence (AI) progress. Using optical I/O in ML hardware can help overcome this bottleneck and could be the main driver for its adoption in next-gen HPC systems.”

Ayar Labs works with high-volume manufacturing and supply partners including GlobalFoundries, Lumentum, Macom, Sivers Photonics and others to deliver the optical interconnects needed for data-intensive applications. In  a separate announcement, Quantifi Photonics is using Ayar’s SuperNova™ light source in its CW-WDM-compliant test platform, which is also being launched at OFC.

(Images: Ayar Labs)

For more information, visit www.ayarlabs.com


This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.