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100G Ethernet

100G Watch: Google Complains Again

The European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) is in full swing in Turin, Italy, where Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) has been one of the companies at the podium. Think that might add up to some 100-Gbit/s news?

  • After telling the world it needs 100-Gbit/s transport right away, Google is saying it doesn't like the available options and wants component manufacturers to draft a new multisource agreement (MSA).

    Bikash Koley, Google's senior network architect and a recent Light Reading Live speaker, brought up the interface gripes during the Market Focus session on Monday, as our former colleague, Pauline Rigby, reports on her Optical Reflection blog.

    Among Koley's criticisms: There's no good fit. The 100GBase-SR10 interface is too short, but the 100GBase-LR4 option is overkill, with exacting telecom specifications that use more power than Google can tolerate.

    Google also seems unhappy with the size of the CFP module. Sources say most systems vendors share Google's view, whether they admit it or not -- this thing is a monster. More heavily integrated optics might take care of this over time.

    Other problems arise from Google, and similiar data traffic-heavy operations, outpacing the industry. It's well accepted that 25-Gbit/s electronics will be the key to mass-produced 100-Gbit/s optical interfaces, something Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) director of engineering Chris Cole pointed out a year ago. But those electronics are still in the lab. Altera Corp. (Nasdaq: ALTR) has just announced 25-Gbit/s electrical transceivers in a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA), for instance. (See The 400-Gig Vision.)

    Cole spoke at Market Focus, too, and he asked components vendors to resist creating a new MSA. It should be easy for vendors to support Cole's request. Fragmentation was a problem for 40-Gbit/s optical networking, one that vendors aren't eager to repeat at 100 Gbit/s.

  • Nokia Networks seems awfully eager to talk about 400-Gbit/s Ethernet. Maybe officials want to move before Terabit Ethernet captures too many imaginations.

    In June, the company pledged to deliver, in the first quarter of 2011, systems ready for 400-Gbit/s transport. This week, Nokia Siemens is announcing completion of a 200-Gbit/s trial, which it's painting as a concrete step towards the 400-Gbit/s goal. One key issue here -- to keep using the same fiber, rather than upgrading to something exotic. (See NSN Braces for 400G.)

  • There have been a few other 100-Gbit/s announcements at the show:

    — Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

  • Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:22:57 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    Given the state of investment and profitability in optics, it seems unlikely that anyone would go make a special Google MSA module.


    Then again, if a vendor were vertically integrated enough...

    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:22:56 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

     


    Craig,



    Another potential way to look at it is that there is a large number of 100G customers who are more like Google (Amazon, Yahoo, etc.).  Perhaps, listening to the customer for an interface instead of standing around trying to make the customer change his/her mind might be a good idea.


     


    seven


     

    Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:22:55 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    True, dat.  Listening to the customer is a perfectly valid way to run a business.


    And normally I'd agree -- and if this were software, I'd absolutely agree.  But the impression I get is that there's still some question over just how voluminous the Google/Amazon/Facebook etc. demand is going to be.  Any new product direction is going to attract a lot of uncomfortable questions.


    That said ... since 100G startups do exist, this could be a big opening for one of them.

    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:22:55 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

     


    Craig,



    Another potential way to look at it is that there is a large number of 100G customers who are more like Google (Amazon, Yahoo, etc.).  Perhaps, listening to the customer for an interface instead of standing around trying to make the customer change his/her mind might be a good idea.


     


    seven


     

    Stevery 12/5/2012 | 4:22:54 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    > Given the state of investment and profitability in optics, it seems unlikely that anyone would go make a special Google MSA module.


    It is high-time to get real and tell anyone asking for an MSA to go pound sand.


    Companies that buy MSA modules are making way too much money.  Companies that sell MSA modules are running negative margins.


    Most of the internet sucker money is gone.  If you want 100G, and you want it from a sustainable business entity, then prepare to spend some money.


    quicktime 12/5/2012 | 4:22:53 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    Yes,  R&D in high-tech really cost a lot; The more lower layer you did, the more you spend;


    but the fewer margin you will get from selling your product from today's market fact.

    quicktime 12/5/2012 | 4:22:52 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    Can't agree more with Craig. People who wrote software only will feel surpise at that


    why CFP is so big.....


    It takes time for it to become smaller, 10G transceiver has experienced similar path.


     

    lcw 12/5/2012 | 4:22:46 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    The concern about the 100M limit of 100Gbase-SR10 seems legitimate. For the last 15+ years of ethernet evolution, MMF has always reached 220+ meters using the lowest-cost optics. That distance has certainly figured into the design and layout of the largest data centers on the planet. For google, it's not just the cost; it's also the logistical nightmare of not being able to upgrade what's already in place.

    Photonomics 12/5/2012 | 4:22:38 PM
    re: 100G Watch: Google Complains Again

    Is this the same Vikash that said at OFC2010 Executive Forum "Why are you guys talking about 100G? Why would I need 100G? I have 800G right now, I'm not going to downgrade to 100G"... he was refering to 80 wavelengths at 10G each.


    What is "Google" saying this time?

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