Accelerating support for next-gen data centres and generative AI applications

26-05-2023 | Molex | Industrial

Molex has launched the industry's first chip-to-chip 224G product portfolio, containing next-gen cables, backplanes, board-to-board connectors and near-ASIC connector-to-cable solutions running at speeds up to 224Gbps-PAM4. Consequently, the company is uniquely positioned to fulfil heightened demands for the fastest obtainable data rates powering advanced technology, incorporating generative AI, ML, 1.6T networking and other high-speed applications.

"Molex is collaborating closely with major technology innovators, as well as key data centre and enterprise customers, to set an aggressive pace for 224G product introductions," said Jairo Guerrero, VP and GM of Copper Solutions, at Molex. "Our transparent, co-development approach facilitates early engagement with stakeholders across the 224G ecosystem to identify and resolve potential performance bottlenecks and design challenges, ranging from signal integrity and EMI reduction to the need for more efficient thermal management."

Completely new system architectures with multiple chip-to-chip connection schemes will be needed to accomplish data rates up to 224Gbps-PAM4, denoting an important yet complex technology inflection point. To that end, a cross-functional, global team of its engineers worked closely with customers, technology leaders and suppliers, utilising the latest predictive analytics and advanced software simulations to speed the design and development of a full portfolio of best-in-class solutions.

These include Mirror Mezz Enhanced – an addition to the Mirror Mezz family of genderless mezzanine board-to-board connectors. This product supports 224Gbps-PAM4 speeds while meeting varying height needs, PCB space constraints, and manufacturing and assembly challenges to lower application costs and time to market.

The solution extends the capabilities of Mirror Mezz and Mirror Mezz Pro, chosen as the Open Control Module standard by the Open Accelerator Infrastructure Group, a subgroup of the Open Compute Project. This designation reinforces the company's overarching commitment to work with industry leaders in supporting the explosive development of AI and other accelerator infrastructure systems.

Inception is the first company genderless backplane system conceived from a cable-first perspective, providing greater application flexibility from the outset and featuring variable pitch densities, and optimal signal integrity, together with simplified integration with multiple system architectures. The simplified SMT launch decreases the demand for complicated board drills and through processing at the PCB interface. The numerous wire gauge options can be partnered with custom lengths, internal and external to the application, for optimised channel performance.

CX2 Dual Speed is the company's 224Gbps-PAM4 near-ASIC connector-to-cable system that offers robust, reliable performance with the benefits of screw engagement after mating, an integrated strain-relief feature, a reliable mechanical wipe and a fully protected 'thumb-proof' mating interface to provide long-term reliability. High-performance twinax and an inventive shielding structure deliver superior Tx/Rx isolation.

OSFP 1600 solutions are I/O products that include SMT connector and cage, BiPass, along with Direct Attach and Active Electrical Cable solutions produced for 224Gbps-PAM4 per lane or aggregate speed of 1.6T per connector. Improved shielding reduces crosstalk while improving signal integrity at a higher Nyquist frequency. These latest connector and cable solutions have been created to elevate mechanical robustness and durability.

QSFP 800 and QSFP-DD 1600 solutions are a product line that also has been upgraded to provide SMT connector and cage, BiPass, along with DAC and AEC solutions built for 224Gbps-PAM4 per lane or aggregate speed of 1.6T per connector. The company's QSFP and QSFP-DD solutions provide mechanical robustness, enhanced signal integrity, decreased thermal load, design flexibility and reduced rack costs.

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By Seb Springall