Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a hierarchical optical switch architecture that is low latency and energy efficient.
While the energy consumption of data centers worldwide is currently estimated at 26 GW, the amount of data processed is growing at approximately 2 dB per year. Unless energy efficiency in data centers is drastically improved, their energy consumption worldwide will increase to approximately 2600 GW in the next decade. Current architectures heavily rely on point-to-point optical interconnects for high bandwidth communication, but their switching operations rely on many power-hungry electronic packet switches interconnected in hierarchical tree-based communication architectures. Reducing congestion and latency to speed up the execution time of different application threads is a key aspect for energy saving, since a significant amount of power is consumed in the servers and not just in the communication network.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed an all-to-all switching architecture that is low latency, energy efficient, and scalable reconfigurable. This architecture is based on a combination of optical wavelength and spatial routing to achieve dynamic topology and bandwidth reconfiguration between network end-points. Significant energy savings are achieved by exploiting all-to-all communication offered by compact silicon photonic arrayed waveguide grating routers.