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H3C and Spirent complete 800G test

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Digital solutions provider H3C and Spirent Communications, an Ethernet test and measurement company, have announced that they have completed what they say is the industry's first large-scale 800GE test with a high density of up to 64 800G ports. The companies say that the results demonstrate that H3C's 800G co-packaged optics (CPO) silicon photonic switch series, H3C S9827, has excellent reliability and stability in key performance indicators, such as overall switch capacity, full-port 100 percent-line speed forwarding, and transmission latency.

With AI-generated content (AIGC) driving a new wave of industrial intelligent transformation, AI large-scale models require data exchange among tens of thousands of servers and billions of parallel computations for massive data training. The growing demand for computing power puts forward stricter requirements for high-quality network connection technology. In the future, high-speed bandwidths such as 800G and 1.6T may become the main demand for large-scale training, and the performance of the switch is key to the overall network efficiency and response speed.

The test leveraged the Spirent TestCenter 800G B2 Appliance. According to Spirent, this is the industry's first 800G test platform, and provides strong L1-L2 feature set combined with broad L3 protocol support over multi-rate 800G/400G/200G/100G/50G speeds, as well as enabling testing of network switches and routers for benchmark performance and scale standards required by today's AI/ML datacentre operators.

The test data reportedly shows that the H3C S9827 series has a total switching capacity of up to 51.2T, and all 64 ports achieve 100 percent-line speed forwarding under different traffic, with each port transmission rate capable of reaching 800Gbps. H3C says that the product integrates CPO silicon photonics technology, fully meets the high throughput demand of intelligent computing networks, and is suitable for AIGC cluster or data centre high-performance core switching and other business scenarios, helping to unleash optimal computing power in the AIGC era.

The performance, stability, and latency of the network are crucial for intelligent applications, such as cloud computing and remote desktops, and high-frequency financial transactions, which have extremely high requirements for network latency. In actual operation, a 1 percent packet loss rate in Ethernet will lead to a 50 percent performance loss in the computing cluster, so the design of a low-latency, high-throughput networking solution and improvements in GPU computing efficiency are crucial.

According to H3C, after testing, the single-port transmission average delay of its 800G CPO silicon photonic switch is 1.085 microseconds, 20 percent lower than its previous-generation product, reaching the industry-leading level. The product uses CPO opto-electronic encapsulation technology to shorten the high-frequency electrical signal interconnection distance from the switch chip to the optical module, helping to increase GPU computing efficiency by 25 percent within a single AIGC cluster.

"We were pleased to support H3C in verifying multiple breakthrough technology solutions for 800G Ethernet," said Andrew Liu, vice president of sales for Spirent in Greater China. "We have developed a comprehensive, end-to-end 800G testing suite that leverages decades of experience in Ethernet testing. This latest positive 800G test validating the reliability and high performance of H3C S9827, H3C's 800G CPO silicon photonic switch series, will help ensure successful deployments of this complex new technology and reliable high-speed networks to meet future demand."

Yutao Li, H3C’s vice president of network product line and general manager of switch product line, added: "The 800G high-performance switch, bolstered by CPO technology, will provide higher network capacity for cutting-edge applications such as AIGC and large-scale model training, paving the way for further improvement in the scale and computing power of computing clusters. This joint test fully reflects H3C's leading technical strength in the field of digital infrastructure. In the future, H3C will also help customers from various industries to comprehensively boost Ethernet performance, fully unleashing the value of computing power."

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