By Scott Durrant, Strategic Marketing Manager, Synopsys
EETimes (November 2, 2020)
Streaming media, monitoring and surveillance data, connected sensors, social media, online collaboration, remote learning, augmented and virtual reality, online gaming… the never-ending list of online applications has led to an explosion of online data. Annual data traffic is expected to increase by over 400x over the next 10 years. This rapid increase in data traffic will require significant improvements in speed and latency of data interface IP, especially in the cloud infrastructure. This article examines technology developments that will help accelerate and manage data movement within and between data centers, within servers, and within system-on-chip (SoC) packages.
Long-reach Data Movement Within and Between Data Centers
Most of today’s large data centers use 100Gbps Ethernet infrastructure to move data over long distances (e.g., between racks and data centers). Long-reach infrastructures typically rely on 4 channels of 25 or 28 Gbps NRZ SerDes electrical connectivity. However, as data volume grows, higher speed infrastructure is needed to sustain data movement. Using 56 and 112 Gbps SerDes IP that supports PAM-4 encoding enables 400Gbps Ethernet connectivity in hyperscale data centers being deployed today, as well as speeds up to 800Gbps in the future (Figure 2). Leading Ethernet switch vendors are already developing 800Gbps switches based on 112G SerDes IP, with plans to introduce 1.6Tbps Ethernet (using a faster, next-generation SerDes) within the next few years to meet the demands of increasing data volumes.
Data communication between servers within a rack is managed by the Top-of-Rack (ToR) switch and network interface cards (NICs) within each server. The most common interface speed in cloud data centers at this level has been 25Gbps for the past few years. However, as infrastructure speeds increase to 400Gbps, Ethernet speed within the rack is increasing to 100Gbps.
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