Over the last decade, datacenter networks have leveraged CMOS scaling alongside extensible architectures to provide steady gains in performance. Now, the end of CMOS scaling threatens to dramatically increase energy in next-generation datacenters. A scalable, efficient photonic switching platform that enables fast network reconfiguration may shatter conventional electronic switch power-versus-performance scaling trends and decouple the ties between bandwidth and lithography node. The key metric is the nanosecond-scale switching time. However, the rapid reconfiguration also introduces challenges into the switch and network design. Nevertheless, several key technical innovations may help fast photonic switching technologies make a substantial impact on future datacenters.
Benjamin G. Lee, "Photonic switching platform for datacenters enabling rapid network reconfiguration," Proc. SPIE 10560, Metro and Data Center Optical Networks and Short-Reach Links, 105600C (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2018; Published: 30 January 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2292149.
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