Steffen Koehler, Senior Director, Product Line ManagementAstructural transformation is taking place within the High Performance Computing (HPC) environment. Traditional low-volume, proprietary systems are being replaced with clusters of computers, storage, and networking systems for running advanced applications efficiently, reliably and quickly. Similar to the data-center environment, high-speed interconnects play a vital role in HPC to provide inter-process communication among various individual servers—thereby allowing compute nodes to behave as a single large system. However, with increases in data rates and distance, traditional passive copper cables are beginning to suffer from signal integrity problems. Addressing these issues is Finisar, a global leader in optical communications and the world’s largest provider of fiber optic components and interconnects for HPC. Finisar’s market leading products also enable high-speed voice, video and data communications for networking, storage, and wireless applications, among others. “For nearly three decades, Finisar has created critical breakthroughs in optics technology to meet the exploding demand for network bandwidth in the HPC arena,” says Steffen Koehler, Senior Director of Product Line Management, Finisar.
To deliver unsurpassed connectivity performance, Finsar’s Active Optical Cables (AOC) leverage fiber optic technology for transmitting data, while reducing weight, density and power consumption compared to traditional copper solutions. The entire suite of AOCs is based on Finisar’s proven VCSEL array technology. Finisar's Quadwire® product line is comprised of a family of 4-channel parallel AOCs based on the popular QSFP+ form factor and is ideally suited for high-density interconnectivity and quick network deployment, eliminating the time and cost associated with field testing. “Utilizing reliable Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) technology, Quad wirecables transmit data rates of 40, 56, and 100Gb/s over ribbon cables to drive reliable and quality optical communication,” states Koehler. The Quadwire AOCs are ideally suited for distributed computing nodes that are spread over distances of up to 100 meters.
For nearly three decades, Finisar has created critical breakthroughs in optics technology to meet the exploding demand for network bandwidth with data rates exceeding 100 Gb/s
The company’s innovative C.wire® AOC is based on the CXP form factor. It transmits 12 parallel, bi-directional data channels at rates from 10 to 14Gb/s per channel. It is well suited for chassis-to-chassis interconnections in data centers, core-routing, and HPC. The C.wire cable is also ideal for proprietary high speed protocols since it can achieve aggregate speeds up to 150 Gb/s in a variety of applications.
Finisar also offers the SFPwire® AOC, based on the tried-and-tested SFP+ form factor. The SFPwire cable delivers high signal integrity and reliable performance for 10G and 25G Ethernet connectivity for low-latency connections, and improved high density benefits.
Besides simply providing optical technology, the company extensively educates its customers and partners through videos, technical papers and tutorials, as well as being a central contributor to and driver of optical standards that benefit the entire industry.
The standards driven by Finisar lead the definition and development of optical technology in Ethernet, InfiniBand, and Fibre Channel applications. These standards are now being extended to 50 G, 100G, 200G and 400G interconnects, as HPC is an important market for Finisar. Looking ahead, Finisar is focused on enhanced product lines with even higher data rates. “As HPC further increases its relevance across big data, weather-forecasting, biotech simulations, seismic data analysis and more, we are leading the way towards next generation HPC for our customers and their critical missions,” concludes Koehler.