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Calient brings optical switching to the data centre

Calient Technologies has redesigned its 3D MEMS optical switch technology to address emerging data centre and cloud computing requirements.

The Californian-based start-up has as been selling its FC 320, a 320-port 3D MEMS-based switch, since 200 ! The optical switch is used b" #eri$on and %T&T at sub'arine cable landing sites, and b" (o)ern'ent agencies! *ow Calient has raised +S ,-.!/ 'illion 01-3!22M3 in its latest funding round to co'plete the de)elop'ent and 'anufacturing of a 'ore co'pact, power efficient )ersion of its optical switch! The co'pan" has upgraded the electronics and software of its MEMS-based optical switch 'odule! This, sa"s (regor" 4oss, Calient5s senior )ice president for products and partners, reduces the power consu'ption to 206, a .07 reduction co'pared to its e8isting design! The new switch 'odule is also 'ore co'pact! +sing the 'odule in a new 320-port switch platfor' 'ore than hal)es the si$e9 fro' -2 to 2 rac: units!

The 3D MEMS optics has not been changed! The MEMS design uses 'irrors to for' a freespace connection between an fibre input port and an" of the 320 output ports! % control s"ste' then ad;usts the 'irrors to 'a8i'ise the output signal! <n all the "ears Calient has been selling its s"ste's, there has not been a single MEMS failure, sa"s the co'pan"! Calient is also changing its strateg" b" selling the switch as a 'odule to s"ste' )endors! The switch 'odule can be incorporated on a line card, while Calient will wor: with s"ste' )endor partners that want to integrate the 'odule within their own platfor' designs! Data centre and cloud Calient5s MEMS-based switch will be used to connect large ser)er clusters in content ser)ice pro)iders5 5'ega5 data centres! %ccording to 4oss, content ser)ice pro)iders are interested in using an optical switch to lin: their ser)er clusters! <n a t"pical configuration, /= ser)ers are connected to a top-of-rac: switch! This top-of-rac: switch, )ia a -0 (igabit Ethernet lin:, would be one input to the 320-port optical switch! >?Data centre@ operators want a future-proofed networ:,> sa"s 4oss! >The" don5t want to rebuild when lin:s are upgraded fro' -0 to /0 and then -00 (ig!> Co''on cabling used in the data centre include copper and 'ulti-'ode fibre while Calient5s design uses single-'ode fibre! %ccording to 4oss, data centre 'anagers are installing 'ore single-'ode fibre9 ><t is it not so 'uch for reach but for bandwidth and for scaling!A The switch can also be used for what Calient calls cloud networ:ing, to 'onitor and 'anage an enterprise5s fibres as it enters the data centre!

ROADMs The switch will also address agile optical networ:ing, to enable colourless, directionless and contentionless BC%DMs! The optical 'odule will be used for the addD drop, alongside rather than replacing -8. or -820 6SSs which are used for the pass-through la'bdas! 4oss sa"s that the co'pan"5s 'ain focus in 20-2 is addressing the data centre 'ar:et opportunit" but that the switch is of interest to BC%DM s"ste' )endors! Such a 3D MEMSbased BC%DM design will ta:e longer to bring to 'ar:et!