How Silicon Photonics Are Helping Data Centers Keep Up with the IoT, Big Data, and Cloud Computing

How Silicon Photonics Are Helping Data Centers Keep Up with the IoT, Big Data, and Cloud Computing

Many top computing companies have been researching possible solutions, with silicon photonics rising to become a major focus. Here, All About Circuits looks at some of the photonics hardware and projects being implemented in the industry, with Rockley leading the way. 

Innovation to Counter the Need for Internet Speed Limits

Innovation to Counter the Need for Internet Speed Limits

So far, data centres have managed to keep pace with the vast quantities of generated and stored data. However, they do so at enormous cost, which will continue to grow as bandwidth demands show no signs of levelling in the foreseeable future. Gregory Finn, VP of Business Development talks to US Tech and explains how Rockley Photonics aims to improve data centers through a combination of photonics and CMOS technology. 

Rockley reveals plan for faster data centers

Rockley reveals plan for faster data centers

Described as a leader in the commercialisation of photonics based research, Dr Andrew Rickman delivers a keynote speech, entitled 'Scaling cloud data centers with packet switching' at the University of Southampton's Future Photonics Hub’s inaugural industry day. 

Optic.org reports on Rockley’s mission to develop a massively-scalable optical packet switching solution, initially designed to target the booming hyper-scale cloud data center market. 

Next generation data centre networking

Next generation data centre networking

Scalability is becoming an increasingly problematic and complex issue and network equipment needs to play a more central role in enabling continued economical and ecological expansion of the Internet’s nerve centre – the megascale data centres. Driven by Moore’s Law, the microelectronics industry has continually pushed down the cost of compute, but data centre operators face a technically challenging and costly future as they try to keep pace with evolving data centre network infrastructure requirements. 

Tackling system design on a data centre scale

Tackling system design on a data centre scale

Silicon photonics luminaries series

Interview with Dr. Andrew Rickman

Silicon photonics has been a recurring theme in the career of Andrew Rickman. First, as a researcher looking at the feasibility of silicon-based optical waveguides, then as founder of Bookham Technologies, and after that as a board member of silicon photonics start-up, Kotura.

Now as CEO of start-up Rockley Photonics, his company is using silicon photonics alongside its custom ASIC and software to tackle a core problem in the data centre: how to connect more and more servers in a cost effective and scaleable way.

Silicon photonics pioneer looks to ease the datacentre networking problem

Silicon photonics pioneer looks to ease the datacentre networking problem

Dr. Andrew Rickman, CEO of Rockley Photonics, believes the use of photonics will bring lower cost, more compact datacentres that consume less power.

“Operators are increasing the number of servers in their datacentres,” he noted, “and these can benefit from Moore’s Law, with more compute capacity for less cost. But the network equipment has two problems. When you double the number of servers you want to connect, the amount of network equipment needed increases by a factor of six. And Moore’s Law doesn’t help this I/O problem; the more transistors you put on a chip, the more it becomes a bottleneck in terms of the number of connections you can make.”