Intel Demonstrates Rack Scale Architecture Servers with Optical Interconnections

Intel Shows Off Rack Scale Servers with ClearCurve Optical Fiber Tech

by Anton Shilov
09/04/2013 | 11:15 PM

Intel Corp. on Wednesday for the first time demonstrated a Rack Scale Architecture-based system with high-speed Intel Silicon Photonics components including a new MXC connector and ClearCurve optical fiber developed in collaboration with Corning, enabling data transfers speeds up to 1.6Tb/s at distances up to 300 meters for greater rack density.


Maximum datacenter efficiency requires innovation at the silicon, system and rack level. Intel's RSA design helps industry partners to re-architect datacenters for modularity of components (storage, CPU, memory, network) at the rack level. It provides the ability to provision or logically compose resources based on application specific workload requirements. Intel RSA also will allow for the easier replacement and configuration of components when deploying cloud computing, storage and networking resources.

Intel demonstrated the first operational RSA-based rack equipped with the newly announced Intel Atom C2000 processors, Intel Xeon processors, a top-of-rack Intel SDN-enabled switch and Intel Silicon Photonics technology. As part of the demonstration, Intel also disclosed the new MXC connector and ClearCurve fiber technology developed by Corning with requirements from Intel. The fiber connections are specifically designed to work with Intel Silicon Photonics components.

The collaboration underscores the tremendous need for high-speed bandwidth within datacenters. By sending photons over a thin optical fiber instead of electrical signals over a copper cable, the new technologies are capable of transferring massive amounts of data at unprecedented speeds over greater distances. The transfers can be as fast as 1.6Tb/s per second at lengths up to 300 meters throughout the datacenter.

To highlight the growing range of Intel RSA implementations, Microsoft and Intel announced a collaboration to innovate on Microsoft's next-generation RSA rack design. The goal is to bring even better utilization, economics and flexibility to Microsoft's datacenters.