Collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES to extend copper interconnects to 100G bandwidth lowering the cost of high-performance data centre connectivity
Aquantia Corp., pioneer and market leader in high-speed Ethernet connectivity solutions for data centres, mobile, and enterprise infrastructure, has unveiled QuantumStream technology, a new class of high-performance connectivity architecture that has the potential to revolutionise next-generation hyperscale data centres. QuantumStream technology, developed by Aquantia through a strategic collaboration with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, is creating the world’s first 100Gbit/s all-electrical technology delivering low latency to networking applications. Aquantia’s technology delivers a quantum leap in data rate 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 centre 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 a few metres complementing longer reach optical connectivity solutions used in hyperscale data centres.
“To date, industry watchers have projected that only optical connectivity will serve the needs of 100Gbit/s and beyond. This presents a huge barrier since optical technologies are intrinsically higher cost,” said Faraj Aalaei, CEO of Aquantia. “Our expertise in complex high-speed copper transceivers, coupled with the legacy of robust SerDes leadership with GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ 14nm technology will enable a continuous roadmap to the required 100G connectivity and provide our customers with the best combination to differentiate and stay ahead of evolving marketplace demands.”
GLOBALFOUNDRIES has over 20 years of deep technical expertise in high-speed Serialiser-Deserialiser (SerDes) design. A SerDes integrated circuit is a fundamental building block responsible for the transport of data between switches, servers, routers and storage equipment in data centers and IT environments, over a variety of channels such as optical fibers, electrical copper cables, and backplanes. GLOBALFOUNDRIES’ FX-14 Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) platform, designed on the company’s most advanced 14nm Power Plus (LPP) process technology, delivers an optimised IP portfolio, including the latest generation of SerDes, which is capable of transporting data at speeds of up to 56Gbit/s.
Strategic collaboration, results in breakthrough 100Gbit/s interconnect technology
Under the agreement, GLOBALFOUNDRIES provides access to its 56Gbit/s IP core to Aquantia’s team of experts. Aquantia combines the 56Gbit/s IP core with 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 unique 100G interconnect high-performance SerDes solution. In addition, Aquantia will provide access to its QuantumStream technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES for incorporation into its customers’ ASICs, therefore expanding the ecosystem of solutions supporting this revolutionary interface.
The collaboration seeks to break through the perceived technical barriers in continuing the current electrical connectivity roadmap to 100Gbit/s. In addition, Aquantia’s QuantumStream technology is easily leveraged to deliver up to 400Gbit/s of bandwidth on conventional DAC cables, resolving one of the most significant challenges facing the networking and data centre industries today.
An analysis of the deployment of switch and server connectivity in hyperscale data centres shows a large concentration of them are within a few metres. According to Crehan Research, the majority of direct server and storage Ethernet network connections in hyperscale data centres are currently within three metres. Since interconnect solutions that are optimised 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.
Responding to a sweeping industry trend toward higher density switch and server configurations, a number of optical solutions have already been proposed for 100G. Aquantia’s QuantumStream technology, a complementary 100G solution for mass server and switch connectivity at shorter reaches over copper lane implementations is now possible for the first time.
‘To meet the tremendous growth in bandwidth and data demands, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is continuing its commitment to investing in network and technology enhancements including a best-in-class high-speed SerDes solution that will bring tremendous benefits to our customers,’ said Mike Cadigan, senior vice president of global sales and business development at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “Aquantia’s innovative design expertise in high-speed copper interconnect technologies, combined with our world-class SerDes IP portfolio, will enable the continuation of electrical interconnect paradigms for hyperscale data centres.”