With predictions that traffic in cloud data centres will require 1,000 times more bandwith over the next ten years, Rockley Photonics has unveiled new technology that will enable operators to create a new generation of ‘mega data centres’.
Using optical switching within the heart of the network, the scalable data centres will support higher data rates at significantly lower costs and power.
Many believe that current network technologies within existing data centers have reached their economical scaling limits and are incapable of supporting the future needs of the data centre market – a sector valued in excess of $10 billion.
"Major operators tell us that they are on ‘red alert’ when it comes to scaling the network to support their future data centre requirements," said Andrew Rickman, CEO of Rockley Photonics.
"They will need an extraordinary expansion in bandwidth to keep up with demands on the internet and they need to do it economically and power efficiently. Today, they don’t have a solution for that.
“We have now demonstrated the ability to combine photonics and electronics in a unique architecture, which will enable us to simplify switch design, create vastly more scalable networks using much larger switches, and drive down the cost per bit while substantially reducing power consumption."
Rockley Photonics is now prototyping its architecture using programmable chips (FPGAs) and custom photonic devices to prove the concept of scalable optical packet switching in a realistic system environment.
Once it has fully evaluated the scalable system architecture, the company plans to move the design from its prototyping platform to system chips for production purposes.
Rockley’s data centres products are expected to be commercially available in 2017.