Targeting data centers, Luxtera unveils 4-km active optical cable

March 23, 2009 -- Luxtera has launched a version of its Blazar active optical cable (AOC) that extends up to four kilometers; the company says the 40 Gigabit InfiniBand and Ethernet-ready cable meets the growing demand from data centers for long range connectivity.

March 23, 2009 -- Luxtera has launched a version of its Blazar active optical cable (AOC) that extends up to four kilometers; the company says the 40 Gigabit InfiniBand and Ethernet-ready cable meets the growing demand from data centers for long range connectivity. By providing virtually unlimited reach, Luxtera says its Blazar maximizes layout options and simplifies installation, including the ability to easily set up larger clusters and deploy across multiple floors, rooms and buildings.

Blazar utilizes Luxtera's proprietary Silicon CMOS Photonics technology and singlemode fiber to break through the reach restrictions associated with existing vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) and multimode fiber technologies that are currently on the market. Multimode fiber solutions are limited up to 100-meter reach with conventional OM-2 fiber at more than twice the cost of singlemode fiber, contends the company.

Unlike traditional optics that utilize VCSELs and multimode fiber for short connections, and edge-emitting lasers and singlemode fiber for long reach, Luxtera says its Silicon CMOS Photonics-based single chip transceivers support any distance from one meter to four kilometers utilizing the same low cost transceiver.

"As the demand for longer reach and high performance interconnect increases, Luxtera is leading the industry by meeting these evolving needs of data centers. With its Silicon CMOS Photonics technology-based Blazar, Luxtera is delivering active optical cable connectivity which extends the reach well beyond that of traditional VCSEL and multimode fiber technologies at lower cost points," comments Marek Tlalka, vice president of marketing for Luxtera. "We're excited to deliver solutions that can service any reach in the data center."

"There is an increasing need in data centers for low cost, longer reach cables that provide layout design flexibility and yet maintain the multi-lane, multi-gigabit capability of today's fastest interconnect fabrics," adds Bob Ciotti, chief architect of NASA's Advanced Supercomputing center. "We have an immediate need for optical active cables that economically deliver the reach required to interconnect systems in large computing rooms, between different floors and multiple buildings in a campus environment."

A recent report by Information Gatekeepers, Inc. (IGI) forecasts that the active optical cable market will exceed $8.5 billion from 2009 through 2013. Another recent market forecast by LightCounting states that, "the active optical cable is a rare market that will grow throughout the forecasting period as AOCs increasingly replace copper links." With its low cost Silicon CMOS Photonic transceivers and long reach capability, Luxtera sees itself as well positioned to claim a large share of this market.

"Active optical cable has made significant inroads in the datacenter in the last 18 months, being lighter, cheaper and often more reliable than copper links connecting equipment," offers Brad Smith, senior vice president and analyst at LightCounting, LLC. "Luxtera's extended-reach Blazar shows how the optical industry is meeting the IT industry's growing requirements for active optical cable."

Luxtera is now shipping the Blazar active optical cables in multiple lengths from two meters to four kilometers. The company will demonstrate the extended reach of the Blazar at the OFC/ NFOEC conference in San Diego, March 22-26, 2009.

On the Web:
www.luxtera.com

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