7 February 2015 Next-generation optical wireless communications for data centers
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Data centers collect and process information with a capacity that has been increasing from year to year at an almost exponential pace. Traditional fiber/cable data center network interconnections suffer from bandwidth overload, as well as flexibility and scalability issues. Therefore, a technology-shift from the fiber and cable to wireless has already been initiated in order to meet the required data-rate, flexibility and scalability demands for next-generation data center network interconnects. In addition, the shift to wireless reduces the volume allocated to the cabling/fiber and increases the cooling efficiency. Optical wireless communication (OWC), or free space optics (FSO), is one of the most effective wireless technologies that could be used in future data centers and could provide ultra-high capacity, very high cyber security and minimum latency, due to the low index of refraction of air in comparison to fiber technologies. In this paper we review the main concepts and configurations for next generation OWC for data centers. Two families of technologies are reviewed: the first technology regards interconnects between rack units in the same rack and the second technology regards the data center network that connects the server top of rack (TOR) to the switch. A comparison between different network technologies is presented.
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Shlomi Arnon, Shlomi Arnon, "Next-generation optical wireless communications for data centers", Proc. SPIE 9387, Broadband Access Communication Technologies IX, 938703 (7 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2075269; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2075269

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