Broadcom, Microsoft join active cable consortium

May 13, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Broadcom, MIcrosoft join active cable consortium
Broadcom and Microsoft join the HiWire Consortium developing active cable standards for 400 and 800Gbit/s copper links in data centres

Broadcom and Microsoft have joined the HiWire Consortium developing active cable standards for 400 and 800Gbit/s links over copper in data centres.

The consortium now has 35 members, anchored by Intel, Dell EMC and Juniper, working with the HiWire Active Electrical Cable (AEC) specification. Test members include Keysight Technolgies and Spirent.

The active cable technology enable high speed connections over copper rather than optical cables up to 5m in length for disaggregated servers and storage in data centre and cloud systems. 

“HiWire AECs are a key enabling interconnect technology for the most demanding cloud and service provider environments. This is especially true for systems that use the industry's highest-bandwidth switches such as Broadcom's 10Tbps Jericho2 and 26Tbps Tomahawk4,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Core Switching Group at Broadcom. “We look forward to working with the HiWire Consortium members to drive development and adoption of HiWire AECs."

Gerald Degrace, Head PM for Networking Hardware and Networking OS for Microsoft Azure Networking said, “High speed, low power interconnect is a critical technology in our next generation data centers. We support the HiWire Consortium’s objective of creating a true plug-&-play low-power interconnect standard and upstreaming qualification work to reduce friction in adoption of Active Electrical Cables.”

The AEC active cable systems were used for the first demonstration of a Distributed, Disaggregated Chassis (DDC). This was a 96Tb cluster proposed by AT&T and the Telecom Infra Project and implemented by HiWire Consortium members Credo, Keysight, DriveNets and UfiSpace. 

www.hiwire.org/

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