& 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
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Digital Transformation Forum 2017

2|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Here's a preview of the upcoming Huawei Digital Transformation Forum taking place in Barcelona with trending telecom topics like cloud, IoT, 5G and much more!
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Dan Sahar of Qwilt on Open Edge Cloud Platform

2|8|17   |   08:38   |   (0) comments


Dan Sahar, Qwilt's co-founder, sits down with Steve Saunders of Light Reading for a conversation about Qwilt's Open Edge Cloud platform and the new role of service providers in application and content delivery.
LRTV Documentaries
ZeroStack's 'Self-Driving Cloud'

2|7|17   |   01:09   |   (0) comments


Its Z-Brain tech automates day-to-day management and long-term planning for hybrid clouds.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum's Craig Sprosts on DNS & Cybersecurity Trends

2|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


Nominum's Craig Sprosts talks about the fast-changing landscape of cybersecurity with Steve Saunders of Light Reading. Sprosts touches on the trend of the rise of ransomwares, rivals of IoT base attacks, and mobile network security. He also discusses the realization of the importance of IoT security after a recent cyber attack that paralyzed several major ...
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
RSAC 2017 in 4 Words
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 2/17/2017
Charter Launches 5G Field Trials
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/16/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.