Mellanox LinkX at OFC19 – 100 and 200/400G Cables and Transceivers

Mellanox showing 100G and 200/400G Cables and Transceivers at OFC 2019  
100G, 200G, 400G, Uncategorized,

Showing off our 100G cable and transceiver line and 6-live demonstrations of 200/400G cables and transceivers

The Optical Fiber Conference was in San Diego Mar 4-7th with 16,000+ attendees and 700 booths. OFC is LinkX’s biggest show of the year as it focuses on future products and was all about 200G/400G using with 50G PAM4 modulation.

The Mellanox LinkX team showed an incredible 6 live demonstrations!

  1. 400G DR4 – 500m single-mode transceiver in QSFP-DD form-factor
  2. 400G SR8 – 100m multi-mode transceiver in OSFP
  3. 200G SR4 – 100m multi-mode in IB & EN running in 2 servers w/ConnectX-6 dual QSFP56
  4. 100G SR2 – 2m DAC cable running in 2 servers w/ConnectX-6 dual SFP-DD
  5. Keysight/Ixia chassis with 200G & 400G DACs, AOCs, transceivers in QSFP-DD/QSFP56
  6. In the Ethernet Alliance Booth running 400G SR8 in OSFP

Mellanox 100 and 200/400G Cable and Transceiver Demonstrations at OFC 2019

Six Live 100/200/400G Cable and Transceiver Demonstrations

Mellanox 100G 2x50G PAM4 SFP-DD Network adapter

100G Product Line

Also shown was our complete line of 25G/50G/100G DAC and AOC cables and optical transceivers with our 25/100G-based network adapters, and network switches (underneath in picture below). Mellanox designs and build its own InfiniBand and Ethernet switches and adapter ICs and manufactures the adapter boards and switch chassis as well. In addition, Mellanox’s LinkX team designs multi-mode and single-mode transceiver ICs and builds its own DAC, AOC and transceiver products.  Unlike many other suppliers, Mellanox designs and manufactures the entire switch-cable/transceiver-adapter link. This enables us to provide outstanding product performance by matching circuit internals to optimize the signal integrity and guarantee optimal performance. One of our key selling points is a BER rating for cables and transceivers of 1E-15 pre-FEC compared to competitors post-FEC.

Mellanox LinkX Cables and Transceivers, Spectrum Switches and ConnectX Adapters at OFC 2019

LinkX Cables and Transceivers, Spectrum Switches and ConnectX Adapters

Keysight/Ixia Demonstration

Keysight/Ixia was kind enough to lend us one of their new QSFP-DD test chassis where together we demonstrated:

  • 200G SR4 multi-mode transceivers
  • 200G AOC cable
  • 400G DAC cables
  • 200G Active DAC cable

Keysight/Ixia AresONE Demonstration with Mellanox LinkX 200/400GCables and Transceivers

Keysight/Ixia AresONE Demonstration with LinkX 200/400G Cables and Transceivers

The screen shot below shows amazing Pre-FEC Bit Error Ratio numbers that most cables and transceiver suppliers achieve Post-FEC processing in the switch! This demonstrates the high manufacturing quality of the parts – one of Mellanox’s key value-add.

This is a carry over from our cables and transceiver manufacturing for the InfiniBand market where FEC introduces way too much latency delay in the sytem to be used. InfiniBand EDR switches have an 80-ns port-to-port latency and FEC needs about 120ns to compute. We apply these high-quality manufacturing techniques to the Ethernet product line to offer the best BER ratings in the industry – important when you are computing at 100G and any errors can jamb up the system and induce retrnsmission delays.

Keysight/Ixia AresONE Demonstration of LinkX Cables and Transceivers

Key Takeaways:

100G cables and transceivers are in full swing in the market and rapidly being adopted in hyperscale, HPC, enterprise and storage.  Mellanox offers a complete line of switches, PCIe and OCP form-factor network adapters including cables and transceivers for 100G and now 200G that are shipping. Two times the bandwidth at only a slight premium in price above 100G systems and links.  In spite of all the conference and market noise, 400G complete end-to-end systems are still a way off and will see more of the pieces come together in late 2020 and 2021.

 Supporting Resources:

You can find more technical details about Mellanox DAC, AOCs cables, transceivers and ICs:

Contact your Mellanox sales representative for availability and pricing options and stay tuned to my blog more interconnect news and tips.

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About Brad Smith

Brad is the Director of Marketing at Mellanox, based in Silicon Valley for the LinkX cables and transceivers business focusing on hyperscale, Web 2.0, enterprise, storage and telco markets. Recently, Brad was Product Line Manager for Intel’s Silicon Photonics group for CWDM4/CLR4 and QSFP28 product lines and ran the 100G CLR4 Alliance. Director of Marketing & BusDev at OpSIS MPW Silicon Photonics foundry. President/COO of LuxSonar Semiconductors ( Cirrus Logic) and co-founder & Director of Product Marketing of NexGen, a X86-compatible CPU company sold to AMD - now the X86 product line. Brad also has ~15 years in technology market research as Vice president of the Computer Systems group at Dataquest/Gartner; VP/Chief Analyst at RHK and Light Counting networking research firms. Brad started his career at Digital Equipment near Boston with the VAX 11/780 and has served as CEO, president/COO and on the board-of-directors of three start-up companies. Brad has a BSEE degree from the University of Massachusetts; MBA from University of Phoenix and holds 2 optical patents

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