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Optical Interconnects in Data Centers: What’s Next?

Stewart Wills

Visionary Presentation:
Marc Taubenblatt, IBM, USA 

Optical Interconnects in Large Scale Computing Systems...What's Next?

If there’s one motto for the current age of advanced computing and machine learning, it might be “There’s no such thing as too much data.” But the rapidly growing demand for ways to move that data around efficiently is creating some profound technical challenges—and spurring work on new optical frameworks and solutions. In a “Visionary Speakers” talk on Thursday at the Frontiers in Optics meeting in Washington, D.C., Marc Taubenblatt of IBM Corp. sketched out some of those frameworks, particularly for data centers.

An important piece of the puzzle, Taubenblatt said, lies in some specific hardware solutions, such as moving the optics closer to the electronics on the chip and increased use of next-gen optical circuit switching. But he also suggested that part of the solution could come from thinking differently about network hardware and architectures writ large. In particular, he speculated that tomorrow’s networks may move increasingly away from their current, general-purpose approach to special-purpose systems in which the network architecture is matched to the needs and workloads of the task at hand.

Continue reading on the Optics & Photonics News Website. >

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