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Our OFC Experience: All-Optics in the Face of the AI Challenge


This year’s OFC once again earned its reputation as the biggest optical and fiber communications industry gathering. And this year the big news in San Diego didn’t surprise us or any of the industry players big and small in attendance: AI is driving an urgent demand for data transmission and compute innovation. And this is good news for the future of photonics. It’s great news for us too because the technology and solutions we showed this year hit the right notes, even surprising some that our small and focused team of experts produced breakthroughs in performance. From our sponsorship this year at key events with Optica and EPIC to three days of back to-back and doubled up meetings in our demo space at the corporate village, our discussions were met with excitement, awe and interest in our momentum toward an all-optics future with optical signal processing (OSP).

EPIC VIP Networking OFC24
NewPhotonics Leadership Team: CTO Yosef Ben-Ezra, CEO Yaniv Ben Haim and SVP/GM Doron Tal

If you missed us, or the show, here’s a summary of our experience and takeaways. We hope you’ll share your thoughts, questions and insights in the comments.


Photonics Future is Now for Artificial intelligence Workloads


There was a clear imperative embraced throughout the convention center: the exponential data of our AI reality is driving an urgent need for improvements in interconnect technology. Innovation must come faster and challenge the status quo to help infrastructure keep pace with data growth. And beyond the call for integration that serves density is the drive to ensure technology built for interoperability. Though the applications and use cases for optical connectivity in integrated solutions remain a wide-open field, the core challenges of low latency, lower power and high reliability must be addressed.


In a strong kick off to OFC, Optica hosted a robust and engaging Executive Forum where AI, interop and the debate over photonics as the next interconnect solution were on full display. A challenge laid down based on recent comments from NVIDIA: is there a better way forward than CMOS? NVIDIA described new clues and the reward on the treasure map we’ve been following to build the optical signal process and all-optics approach that bring data movement at the speed of light without the drawbacks of electrical on design, processing and monitoring. Hint: it’s not exclusively in optical-led interconnect itself. The NVIDIA challenged to the optical community to break the bandwidth and power benchmarks of copper provided our team sound validation that our show announcements and demos had us on the right track to bring commercially viable technologies and products to the ecosystem. Our unique approach hit on all the elements critical to all-optics adoption for AI in data center and network infrastructure.


OFC24 OPTICA CTO NewPhotonics CEO
NewPhotonics CEO Yaniv Ben Haim with OPTICA CTO Jose Pozo

The Optica Executive Forum set the tone for conversations all week on the urgency and call to action at the core of progress now and as 2024 plays out across the industry. Here’s video recap of the Optica Executive Forum and key takeaways for the OFC conference.







PIC news: Introducing the NPG102 with integrated equalizer Anchoring our participation this year at OFC was the introduction of our second-generation photonic integrated circuit (PIC) NPG2012 with integrated optical equalizer. More than a photonic connectivity solution for pluggable transceivers, the NPG102 is the first of its kind PIC with all optical equalization enabling enhanced LPO link performance and facilitating multi-vendor interoperability. The most exciting advance with this generation over our first gen solution is the differentiated utility of the integrated optical equalization technology. The market clamors for port interop and its latency and power advantages.

The monolithic silicon photonic integration design of lasers, high bandwidth PAM4 modulators and optical equalization also simplifies system assembly and improves OEM manufacturing yield and transceiver reliability. 

 

Andy Bechtolsheim of Arista stopped by our demo of the NPG102 transmitter-on-chip to witness the giant stride towards link interop in a LPO module. The team was more than pleased to show him that it’s not only possible, but it’s here. News of our new PIC transmitter on chip also captured the attention of Light Reading for Sean Buckley’s Wednesday roundup of OFC product news. Our second-generation transmitter-on-chip sampling program will be available in the fourth quarter of 2024. First-generation photonic IC samples are available now.

OFC24 NewPhotonics all-optics demonstrations
Andy Bechtolsheim of Arista Networks, Ashok Krishnamoorthy, CEO, Axalume, Yanive Ben Haim, CEO, NewPhotonics, Yosef Ben-Ezra, CTO, NewPhotonics, Doron Tal, SVP/GM, NewPhotonics, Alexey Kovsh,CEO, Alfalume

2024 Optical Communications: The Year of 200G/lane Optics

The rumors are true: we demonstrated 200G/lane performance for >20Km range at OFC. Partnering with Intel, we’ve shown our Photonics Engine integrated with Intel’s new 224Gbps SerDes with end-to-end direct modulation electrical-to-optical link utilizing PAM4 modulation achieving exceptional pre-FEC performance without the need for a DSP. Our collaboration with Credo is crucial to push the boundaries of optical photonic chips and scale solutions that improve infrastructure to meet AI demands. And we continue to reach new milestones aligned to developing applications where latency and power reduction at greater density will replace the complexity of integrated DSP and photonics.We showed the first 448Gbps 0ptical link utilizing an optical gear box multiplexing 4x112Gbps PAM4 links onto a 448Gbps optical link using a single laser. This achieves high density, low latency and low power optical connectivity without need for a DSP.

Returning to our All-Optics Innovation Lab

This year’s OFC experience brought a new level of energy to our engineering team and the next-level break though targets on the roadmap to new solutions planned for later this year. This will be a year of growth for our technical and business teams with impact on both our partners and customers alike. We’re already looking ahead to new discussions at Open Compute Conference and preparing our next technology announcements for ECOC in the Fall. And in less than a year we will all report back in San Francisco – oh the strides we shall see on the optical interconnect and innovation front.








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