Power saving needed to meet bandwidth demands

20th September 2017
Lanna Deamer


Tony Lefebvre, VP of Product Management and Marketing at optical transceiver specialist, ProLabs, here addressed why monitoring power consumption is integral to manage data centre environments.

Speaking at ECOC 2017, Lefebvre warned that operators need to be extra vigilant as data rates increase beyond 10-100G.

“On a short-range optic, we are seeing typical power consumption on the transceivers go from 1W to greater than 3.5W maximum power consumption. While this efficiency per Gbps is impressive, the data centre manager is in a constant battle as they experience a greater than three times increase per link in power consumption,” he said. “The greater heat dissipation that this power consumption directly correlates with requires an increase in the cooling of the room to maintain a reasonable operating temperature and sizing backup power.”

Lefebvre’s comments come as other major players in the industry realise the concern, as leaders such as Microsoft recently experimented with placing data centres under water to aid with the cooling.

“While silicon photonics solutions are being introduced into the market to combat this challenge, the mass scale deployment of this is years away, and we need an immediate solution,” he continued.

The 100G hybrid solution or Silicon Optical Bench (SiOB), from ProLabs offering is a free-space optical interconnect technology which utilises a silicon-based 45° micro-reflector to align the laser to the fibre medium, eliminating the need for the optical lens. This then reduces the optical path to less than 200µm, leading to a 60% reduction in the optical power and resulting in less heat dissipation, and ultimately greater than 30% reduction in power consumption.

“In order for us to keep up in an ever-changing and rapidly evolving market, we need to stay one step ahead. With the demand for data rising, it is no secret that data centres consume a vast amount of energy, but we want to show our customers that we can help ensure that this consumption does not get out of control. If you think of the number of connections in a data centre, the resulting power savings and the effect that the SiOB will have on the need for less cooling is significant,” said Lefebvre.

His comments come the same day that ProLabs unveiled its new logo and branding to the global market at ECOC.

“At ProLabs, we are constantly investing into research and development to make sure we are on top of the latest market trends and evolving with the industry. While our brand has evolved, our excellent customer service stays the same,” Lefebvre concluded.

Alongside the SiOB enabled transceivers, ProLabs offer an extensive range of optical and copper transceivers to fit the customer’s requirements. All transceivers are standards-based, compliant with the appropriate MSA (Multi-Source Agreement) and are interoperable with all major optical switching and transport platforms. Transceivers range from 100BASE-FX to 100Gb with duplex, simplex (BiDi) and WDM variants. Considering data rate, fibre utilisation and network equipment options, ProLabs is your single source with over 8,000 transceivers to meet your network needs.

ECOC exhibition visitors can visit ProLabs at Booth 175 at ECOC 2017 this week in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Image Credit: RP1Cloud

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