OFC 2024: New 51.2T CPO switch delivers 70% power reduction

Created March 14, 2024
Technologies and Products

Coming on the back of news that Broadcom Inc. has extended AI optical component portfolio, the company has announced it has delivered Bailly (pictured), the industry’s first 51.2 terabits per sec (Tbps) co-packaged optics (CPO) Ethernet switch, to its customers. The product integrates eight silicon photonics based 6.4-Tbps optical engines with Broadcom’s best-in-class StrataXGS® Tomahawk®5 switch chip. Broadcom says Bailly enables the optical interconnect to operate at 70% lower power consumption and delivers an 8x improvement in silicon area efficiency as compared to pluggable transceiver solutions. Details of the Bailly chip, were first announced at OFC 2023.

Bailly integrates hundreds of optical components and hundreds of millions of transistors in a single optical engine. The high degree of integration enables the placement of the optical engines on a common substrate with complex logic ASICs minimising the need for signal conditioning circuitry. This allows the optical interconnect to operate at 70% lower power consumption as compared to pluggable transceivers. Bailly’s high-volume production is made possible by Broadcom’s manufacturing approach that utilises proven CMOS foundry processes, advanced packaging technologies and a highly automated high-density, edge-coupled fibre attach capability. Broadcom is co-designing platforms with cloud service providers (CSPs) and system integrators to accelerate adoption of CPO platforms.

The company says optical interconnect is critical for both front-end and back-end networks in large scale generative AI clusters. Today, pluggable optical transceivers consume approximately 50% of system power and constitute more than 50% of the cost of a traditional switch system. The growing bandwidth requirement for the newer generation of GPUs, coupled with the ever-increasing sizes of AI clusters, requires disruptively power-efficient and cost-efficient optical interconnects that extend beyond discrete solutions. Broadcom’s CPO and silicon photonics technology platform, with its high degree of integration, provides the lowest latency, highest bandwidth density, lowest power, and lowest cost solution to meet this need and can help build large-scale, power-efficient AI clusters.

“As AI clusters demand higher bandwidth density, lower power consumption and lower latency, we are pleased to announce delivery of the industry’s first 51.2-Tbps CPO switch,” said Near Margalit, Ph. D., vice president and general manager of the Optical Systems Division at Broadcom. “Bailly will enable hyperscalers to deploy lower-power, cost-efficient, large-scale AI and compute clusters. Broadcom’s technology leadership and manufacturing innovations help Bailly deliver 70% better power efficiency and ensure an optical I/O roadmap that can walk in tandem with the future bandwidth and power needs of AI infrastructure.”

“Pluggable optics are expected to account for an increasingly significant portion of power consumption at a system level, exceeding 50% of the switch system power at 51.2 Tbps and beyond. This issue will be further exacerbated as Cloud Service Providers build their next-generation AI networks and continue to push for higher speeds,” said Sameh Boujelbene, vice president at Dell’Oro Group. “Substantial investments in AI infrastructure are accelerating the development of innovative optical connectivity solutions such as Broadcom’s Bailly co-packaged optics platform, aiming to meet the demands of AI clusters while solving cost and power consumption hurdles.”

Broadcom’s expanded portfolio and the Bailly switch can be found on booth 5325 at OFC.

For more information, visit www.broadcomc.com

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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.