Hyperscale Data Center Disruption

100G copper interconnects: lowering the cost of connectivity

100G Technology for Hyperscale Data Centers

QuantumStream technology is a new class of high-performance connectivity architecture which has the potential to revolutionize next-generation hyperscale data centers. Developed by Aquantia, QuantumStream delivers 100Gbit/s bandwidth all-electrical technology achieving low latency in networking applications. Aquantia’s technology delivers a significant increase in bandwidth performance over a single lane of copper previously believed to be solely the realm of optical techniques. The availability of this technology will enable system vendors and data center operators to push towards higher performance and newer topologies in hyperscale architectures while keeping the reliability, low-cost and ease-of-use of electrical-based interconnects. QuantumStream technology is aimed at inter and intra rack connectivity up to 3 meters complementing longer reach optical connectivity solutions used in hyperscale data centers.

“As a principal engineer in global infrastructure architecture and strategy at LinkedIn, my focus is on designing next generation data centers. I have long believed that 100G connectivity would be widely deployed when it reaches a price point of one dollar per gigabit per second for optical interconnects,” said Yuval Bachar. “Aquantia has come up with a very innovative 100G technology to deliver on lower cost per gigabit utilizing copper connectivity. Lower prices will transform the economics of in rack connectivity in hyper scale data centers, which obviously is of great interest to everyone looking to achieve below one dollar per 1Gbit/s on an accelerated path within the rack.”

To accelerate time to market, Aquantia entered into a strategic collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, under which GLOBALFOUNDRIES provided access of its 56Gbit/s IP core to Aquantia’s team of experts. Aquantia then augmented the 56Gbit/s IP core with its unique architecture called QuantumStream, which incorporates elements of its patented Mixed-Mode Signal Processing (MMSP) and Multi-Core Signal Processing (MCSP) architectural innovations of high-speed interconnect over copper, which it has developed over the past decade, to deliver a breakthrough 100G interconnect solution. In addition, Aquantia will provide access to its QuantumStream IP to GLOBALFOUNDRIES for incorporation into its customers’ ASICs, therefore expanding the ecosystem of solutions supporting this revolutionary interface.

enterprise-introThe collaboration seeks to break through the perceived technical barriers in continuing the current electrical connectivity roadmap to 100Gbit/s bandwidth. In addition, Aquantia’s QuantumStream technology can be easily leveraged to deliver multiples of 100Gbit/s of bandwidth on conventional DAC cables, resolving one of the most significant challenges facing the networking and data center industries today.

QuantumStream is Ideal for Short Distance

  • 100G over 3m Direct Attach Cable SFP
  • 400G over 3m Direct Attach Cable QSFP
  • 800G over 3m Direct Attach Cable OSFP

An analysis of the deployment of switch and server connectivity in hyperscale data centers shows that a large concentration of them are within a few meters. According to Crehan Research, the majority of direct server and storage Ethernet network connections in hyperscale data centers are currently within 3 meters. Since interconnect solutions that are optimized for hundreds of meters or even a couple of kilometers would not be adequate for a few meters, this leads to the need for complementary solutions for connectivity over short-reach applications and long-reach connections. Traditionally, electrical interconnects have delivered the lowest-cost and -power options for the short reach space whereas optical solutions have been deployed in longer reach applications thanks to low-loss of optical fibers.