Gartner Research

Silicon Photonics Can Connect Disaggregated Networking Server Components at Speeds Up to 100 Gbps

Published: 10 December 2014

ID: G00265006

Analyst(s): Werner Goertz, Sergis Mushell, Carl Claunch


Server disaggregation and increased data volume create I/O bottlenecks in the backplane. With silicon photonics availability, now is the time for equipment vendor product managers to select among competing serial optical lane architectures and proprietary supplier solutions.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts


Impacts and Recommendations

  • Silicon photonics interfaces can aggregate serial optical lanes to create speeds of up to 100 Gbps, enabling equipment vendors to remove I/O bottlenecks by aggregating serial optical lanes into 100 Gbps interfaces
  • Silicon photonics modules can be manufactured reliably and cost-efficiently, allowing equipment vendors to benefit from lower per-port and per-Gbps prices than those of VCSEL technology
  • Silicon photonics has a small form factor that allows higher port density and the I/O module to be moved closer to the processor IC, improving EMI/ESD and heat dissipation on the PCB of networking equipment for equipment vendors

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