Monday, January 18, 2021

Cisco and Inphi seek open ecosystem for Co-packaged Optics (CPO)

Cisco and Inphi have agreed to cooperate on the definition of a Co-packaged switch/optics (CPO) solution to drive the industry forward and ensuring interoperability between silicon and optical engines from multiple different companies.

In a blog posting, Rakesh Chopra, Cisco Fellow, makes the case that a CPO-based switch design is significantly more power-efficient than a traditional 51.2 Tbps design with pluggable optics, and that the future switch generation will face even steeper power efficiency challenges if CPO technology is not adopted. He argues that the 51.2 Tbps switch silicon generation is the correct time to introduce CPO. An open ecosystem for CPO would help ensure interoperable best-of-breed technologies from a variety of suppliers.

In his own blog post, Hugh Durdan, VP Marketing, Networking Interconnect, writes "While pluggable optics solutions will be possible for 51.2T switches, we believe the industry needs to initiate a parallel development of CPO with the goal of first deployment in the 51.2T switch generation around 2024. CPO will complement pluggable optics in the quest of providing ever higher bandwidth while continuing to achieve lower power per bit."