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Broadcom to demonstrate expanded portfolio at OFC 2024

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The company will be demonstrating several technologies at the event, including 200G silicon photonics modulation with continuous-wave lasers, and 200G-per-lane VCSEL, which it says is the industry's first

Broadcom has recently announced an expanded portfolio of optical interconnect solutions for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications, which it says extend its market leadership. The company says its state-of-the-art optics technologies facilitate high-speed interconnects for front-end and back-end networks of large-scale generative AI compute clusters.

Broadcom’s announcement highlighted: production release of 200G-per-lane electro-absorption modulated laser (EML) to pair with next-generation GPUs; demonstration of 200G-per-lane vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), which it says is an industry first; demonstration of continuous-wave laser with high efficiency and high linearity for silicon photonics modulation at 200G; and shipment of more than 20 million channels of 100G-per-lane high-speed optical components used in AI/ML systems.

VCSEL and EML technologies play a crucial role in enabling high-speed interconnects for AI and ML systems. Broadcom says its 200G VCSEL and EML products follow on from successful deployment of 100G-per-lane VCSEL and EML chips into first-generation generative AI networks, and will provide unrivalled bandwidth and interconnect density for next-generation interconnects. The company says that both product families represent trusted and reliable technologies that will enable integration partners to use existing capacity as end users progress to 1.6T optical transceivers and usher in the era of terabit connectivity.

“Generative AI has unleashed a network transformation necessitating an order of magnitude increase in high-speed optical links compared to standard network requirements,” said Near Margalit, vice president and general manager of the Optical Systems Division at Broadcom. “We will continue to invest in VCSEL, EML and CW laser technologies to deliver disruptive innovation in bandwidth, power and latency for optical interconnects in next-generation AI links.”

Vladimir Kozlov, founder and CEO of LightCounting Market Research, said: “We expect shipments of 8x100G optical transceivers to exceed 5 million units in 2024 and first 8x200G modules delivered to customers by the end of the year. Google and Nvidia will be the first adopters of 200G-per-lane optics for interconnecting GPUs and TPUs in AI clusters – the hottest area of the market now. Broadcom is once again among the first suppliers of components enabling the next generation of optical transceivers.”

Craig Thompson, vice president of LinkX products at NVIDIA, commented: “Enterprises continue to demand larger AI clusters, elevating the importance of cutting-edge optical interconnects. NVIDIA is at the forefront of photonics innovation, and Broadcom has been an important optical-component partner, matching the pace and scale required as we advance our HPC and AI optical-interconnect technology.”

Osa Mok, chief marketing officer (CMO) at Innolight Technology, said: “At Innolight, we have been deploying leading-edge optical interconnect solutions for AI, ML and HPC applications. We are excited to continue our partnership with Broadcom to develop advanced terabit optical modules for generative AI, enabling AI clusters to scale and support the next generation of LLMs.”

Sean Davies, vice president of sales at Eoptolink Technology, commented: “Eoptolink is deeply invested in AI/ML optical transceiver technologies with a broad portfolio of advanced high-speed module offerings. We are excited to partner with Broadcom to bring to market state-of-the-art solutions to enable terabit connectivity and drive new generative AI architectures.”

At OFC 2024, Broadcom will be showcasing its 200G VCSEL technology, 200G EML product, 200G silicon photonics modulation with continuous-wave lasers, and 100G VCSELs for emerging applications including server interconnect, PCIe interconnect and next generation Fibre Channel.

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