Data Center Evolution: From Pluggable To Co-Packaged Optics

New architectures can enable the desired performance with desired power consumption.


A torrent of data traffic is growing at an exponential rate driven by applications including 5G, AI/ML, video streaming, online gaming, ADAS and more. Handling this data traffic are hyperscale data centers that have grown to over 500 in number worldwide with a third as many in the pipeline. To scale computing resources to the growing data demands, hyperscale data centers deploy fiber optics throughout to provide the needed bandwidth and manage the power. Pluggable small form-factor optical modules have scaled the optical connections from 50G to 400G over the past two decades. With the evolution to 800G Ethernet and beyond, new architectures including co-packaged optics can enable the desired performance while keeping power consumption within the desired envelope.

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