Skip to main content
Published on

Taking data centers to 800G with Credo Semiconductor and EXFO

As data centers require higher bandwidth to support today’s data-intensive applications, the demand for faster and more reliable network speeds continues to increase. In the ongoing search for bandwidth, data centers are re-evaluating their power usage and seeking the latest technologies that support faster data rates while consuming less energy. As they strive to improve their cost-per-bit ratio and carbon footprint, they also must address concerns of enhancing reliability and the need for seamless data transfer for AI workloads. These demands are leading data center operators to search for ways to design and implement energy-efficient solutions that maximize the efficiency of data transmissions.

Confidently moving to 800G

A variety of technology options are available to address both higher bandwidth and energy efficiency. These include Linear Pluggable Optics (LPO), Linear Receive Optics (LRO), traditional optical transceivers and Credo’s high-performance HiWireTM Active Electrical Cables (AEC).  Many factors such as link length, cable density, system power, interoperability and cost must be considered when selecting the optimal connectivity option for a given application.  The different constraints faced by cloud users means that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to meeting these bandwidth demands. Migrating to new fast and flexible solutions takes careful planning, testing and implementation. The breadth of available solutions gives cloud datacenter operators all the tools they need to ensure next generation deployments can be optimized for performance, power, and cost.

Reliable, predictable performance between and within data centers is critical. Consequently, cloud data center operators must have reliable test solutions that accurately simulate real-world conditions for these emerging 800G technologies. Breakout-signal testing is especially important within high-density, datacenter environments. Finding a faulty signal breakout after rolling out millions of connections can be like finding a needle in a haystack. EXFO’s FTBx-88800 Series of 800G test solutions validate compliance with the latest IEEE 800G standards (i.e., IEEE P802.3df) and support the testing of LRO and LPO optics as well as AECs.  EXFO’s 800G test solution fits in both rackmount and portable platforms—making it the industry’s first portable, compact 800G test solution. The FTBx-88800 Series is scalable and upgradable, making it the industry’s first dual-port 800G test solution for up to 1.6TB capacity and first quad-port test solution with four test ports of 800G for up to 3.2TB of test capacity. EXFO’s 800G test solution also features breakout testing and support for various transceiver form factors (i.e., QSFP-DD, OSFP and QSFP112) all in same test solution. 

Meeting 800G’s interoperability and power requirements

“2023 and 2024 have brought new levels of global focus on AI.  Keeping pace with the exploding demand means unprecedented expansion of AI compute with a corresponding demand for network connectivity,” explains Chris Collins, VP of Sales and Optical Product Marketing at Credo. “Credo provides high-speed connectivity solutions for traditional 400G and 800G optical transceivers and recently we were first to market with an optimized, transmit-only, DSP for 800G Linear Receive Optics (LRO). Energy and cost efficiency is at the forefront of the entire optical DSP product line at Credo. Working with EXFO, our joint customers can accelerate time-to-market with targeted test solutions to enhance confidence in 400G to 800G transition.”

Credo’s 8 x 112Gb/s and 4 x 112Gb/s devices incorporate Silicon Photonics, EML and VCSEL drivers and fourth generation DSP technology that increase density and elevate system performance, all while reducing power and design complexity. Coupled with EXFO's FTBx-88800 Series which supports both 800G testing as well as 400G (including QSFP112), developers can now easily validate interoperability, compliance needs, and power requirements with the latest 800G and 400G standards.

“Data center (DC) buildouts can include millions of transceivers within a single site. DC operators need to feel confident that they can safely integrate all those pluggables throughout their network,” says Jean Marie Vilain, Solution Product Line Manager at EXFO. “Validating transceivers to ensure they meet today’s higher bandwidth and lower power consumption needs before deployment offers a huge cost savings by avoiding future problems that come with introducing a faulty optic into the data center’s architecture.”

Learn more about Credo Semiconductor’s Linear-Receive Pluggable Optics (LRO) and high-performance HiWireTM Active Electrical Cables (AEC) and get the details about EXFO’s FTBx-88800 Series 800G test solutions. Plus, watch our joint webinar, ‘Optimizing power usage as data centers shift to 800G'

Watch our on-demand webinar

Watch now

Discover our 800G test solutions

Learn more