& cplSiteName &

TE Reckons Coolbit Is Hot Stuff

Carolyn Mathas
News Analysis
Carolyn Mathas
3/3/2014
50%
50%

It's no secret that datacenters are hungry energy consumers and their appetite is insatiable. While most today operate at 10 Gbit/s level, at the next increment of 25 Gbit/s, the high-speed data rate energy drain dramatically worsens.

According to a recent TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) white paper, approximately 50% of a datacenter's energy consumption is generated by networking equipment. Air movement and cooling adds another 37%; transformers and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) 10%; and such elements as lighting, 3%.

A major challenge for datacenter operators is that while energy consumption presents something of a roadblock to upgrades, increasing demand for the next wave of services, fuelled by advances in core networking and virtualization, makes an upgrade in high-speed transmission is almost unavoidable in a highly competitive market.

What's needed, then, is a combination of higher speeds and lower power consumption. And that's exactly what TE Connectivity has been working on.

It's almost four years since TE Connectivity (then known as Tyco) acquired the Optical Products Group of Zarlink Semiconductor for $15 million. The acquisition included a laser fab facility in Sweden and IC (integrated circuit) design in Phoenix, Arizona. (See Zarlink Sells Optical Unit to Tyco)

Now, after years of development, TE has unveiled its Coolbit optical engine, designed to tackle that power/speed challenge. (See TE Connectivity Unveils Coolbit )

According to Erin Byrne, director of fiber optics engineering at TE, "The company spent the last two years developing the Coolbit optical engine as a foundational element. Coolbit accommodates the demand for 25 Gbit/s and beyond while satisfying high-density and high-bandwidth requirements," she stated.

The engine, which converts data from electric signals to optical signals, will be the driving technology behind a range of upcoming TE products, including:

  • 100G QSFP28 active optical cables (AOCs)
  • 100G QSFP28 transceivers
  • 300G Mid-board optical modules (MBOs)
  • 400G CDFP active optical cables (AOCs)

Why is this product important? At 25Gbit/s there are significant signal losses, and signal compensating electronics are necessary. However, by embedding the mid-board optics (MBOs) onto line cards and switch fabrics in computers and communications systems, Coolbit enables higher I/O port densities, systems are not constrained by copper interconnect lengths, there’s greater power efficiency, and the MBOs mitigate the signal losses.

According to TE, the 25 Gbit/s QSFP28 modules, for example, perform at less than 1.5 Watts per transceiver, so that communications systems will achieve up to 60% more power savings than is currently possible. At the component level, this translates into significant system savings. For each watt saved, equipment operators achieve infrastructure operational expenditure savings.

Byrne states that the company is emerging as a challenger in the datacenter and in telecom based on solutions that are designed to counter power and density challenges. When asked what the most difficult part of the two-year development of Coolbit was, she said, "To maintain a clear vision to achieving low power over the course of the full two years of development. That meant resisting [the addition of] other features along the way."

— Carolyn Mathas, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/3/2014 | 10:45:54 AM
Re: Renewable can help a bit
I sometimes cover data centers for different pubs. I had written about renewables a couple of years ago for Midwest Energy News (hence the ACT information). Emerson Electric in St. Louis has a complete solar energy roof on its data center, but that supplies ornly a portion of the energy that it needs.

I had written about data centers and renewable energy in Iceland several years ago.
CMathas
50%
50%
CMathas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/3/2014 | 10:39:50 AM
Re: Renewable can help a bit
That is very cool, Phil. Where's your involvement now?
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/3/2014 | 10:09:04 AM
Re: Renewable can help a bit
I wrote an article several years ago on the use of geothermal in data centers in Iceland. At the time, they were able to run entirely on it. In the U.S., ACT, providers of the well-known college entrance exam, worked with project engineers to develop a geothermal system that helps cool their 10,000-square foot facility in Iowa City.
CMathas
50%
50%
CMathas,
User Rank: Blogger
3/3/2014 | 10:03:46 AM
Re: Renewable can help a bit
Phil, You're right on. There's not doubt the needs will continue to expand.

Iceland, huh? Never been there. I think geothermal energy poses other problems there though. I read that the processing smells like rotten eggs from the release of hydrogen sulfide! I love to travel. Maybe I'll add Iceland as a placee to visit. Then I can take in the sights and smells first hand.
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/3/2014 | 9:14:54 AM
Renewable can help a bit
As the data needs of businesses, government and individuals keep growing, so will data centers, and so will the centers' energy needs.

Renewable energy, such as solar and, where it is available, geothermal, can help with some of the energy drain, though primarily in conjunction with fossil energy. In Iceland, where geothermal is abundant, even the higher energy requirements as data centers expand, might be handled with litte or no fossil fuel energy.
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Energy 2020: Growing Services, Not Consumption

6|24|16   |   07:18   |   (0) comments


Management of power requirements needs to be a key consideration as cable operators deploy new services, says Dan Cooper, vice president of critical infrastructure for Charter Communications and chair of the SCTE/ISBE Standards Program's Energy Management Subcommittee. In this video, Cooper discusses the importance of cable operators and technology partners ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei & TDC First to Launch DOCSIS 3.1 Trial in Europe

6|24|16   |     |   (0) comments


To meet the rising demands for high-speed broadband and to tackle fierce competition for 1.5 million household, TDC wanted to upgrade its network to use the latest technology. Using Huawei's DOCSIS 3.1 solution, TDC is now able to offer gigabit speeds to its customers.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Summit: Key Takeaways

6|22|16   |   03:28   |   (0) comments


MANO shortfalls, an increasingly bloated open source ecosystem and the cultural challenges for network operators were among the key takeaways from the OPNFV Summit in Berlin.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bringing Ultra Broadband to the South Pacific

6|22|16   |   7:55   |   (0) comments


At Singapore's UBBS 2016 summit, Light Reading speaks to Lim Chee Siong, Huawei's CMO in the South Pacific Region.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper's NFV Platform

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


A telco cloud is a key enabler for service providers to deliver virtualized services to their customers. Juniper has a differentiated approach with an open and comprehensive NFV platform to build the cloud of the future for multiple use cases.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Infinera: The Glass Ceiling's Been Broken

6|22|16   |   4:34   |   (0) comments


Shannon Williams, an engineer by trade and now the director of sales for Infinera's major accounts, draws confidence from being a female in a male-dominated industry and hopes other women will too as industry dynamics swing in our favor.
LRTV Custom TV
RAD Demonstrates SD-WAN Functionality at BCE 2016

6|22|16   |     |   (0) comments


In conjunction with Versa Networks, RAD demos a joint solution for SD-WAN implementation. The solution uses RAD's ETX-2i, a vCPE platform integrating a powerful IP and Carrier Ethernet NID/NTU with a field-pluggable x86 NFV module that runs Versa's FlexVNF for SD-WAN functionality. The demo implements SD-WAN over a simulated service provider footprint by deploying ...
LRTV Custom TV
Radware on Virtualizing Network Security

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


Radware's Michael O'Malley highlights the benefits for service providers of virtualizing network security.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei 2016 UBBS World Tour: Singapore

6|21|16   |   02:39   |   (0) comments


Highlights from Huawei's UBBS World Tour event in Singapore.
LRTV Custom TV
The FlowBROKER Solution

6|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


During a demo at the Big Communications Event 2016, Accedian director of product line solutions Greg Spear demonstrates how the FlowBROKER distributed packet capture solution (part of Accedian's SkyLIGHT platform) can be used to troubleshoot and resolve QoE issues.

FlowBROKER is the industry's first lossless remote packet capture solution, which uses ...

LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: Dell & the New World Order

6|21|16   |   22:48   |   (0) comments


Dell's Jim Ganthier on how the very essence of enterprise is being affected by digital disruption – and how the cloud can help companies find a path forward.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2016: The CSP of the Future

6|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Traditional telecom operators have been adopting new ways of doing business from the IT sector and emulating web-scale companies in their technology adoption. Are these strategies succeeding? A panel of experts at BCE considered the evidence...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
FCC to Vote on 5G Spectrum on July 14
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/20/2016
'Brexit' Vote Hits BT, Vodafone
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/24/2016
Twitter Buys Magic Pony... Not That Kind
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/20/2016
AT&T Settles on LTE for Cellular IoT
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 6/22/2016
Google Fiber Buys Webpass in Wireless Play
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/23/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
At the BCE 2016 show in Austin, ECI Telecom CEO Darryl Edwards tells Light Reading founder and CEO about the Elastic Network concept and the company's NFV and cybersecurity developments.
Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE/ISBE, sits down with Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York office to discuss the society's Energy 2020 campaign, including its mission to benefit the environment, enable economic benefits and the key challenges facing cable operators wanting to reduce energy consumption.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.