Coherent announces optical circuit switch for data centers

Coherent, a global leader in optical communications materials, components, and subsystems, introduced a new optical circuit switch (OCS) based on the company’s field-proven and ultrareliable Datacenter Lightwave Cross-Connect (DLX™).

Deploying an OCS-based architecture enables operators of artificial intelligence (AI) clusters to dramatically reduce the number of electrical switches required in data center networks, and, more importantly, reduces the costly optical-to-electrical-to-optical (OEO) conversions that such electrical switches require. 

In an OCS, data signals remain in the optical domain as they transit the switch; eliminating OEO conversion can provide dramatic cost and power consumption savings. Furthermore, unlike traditional switches, the OCS does not need to be upgraded when the AI clusters are equipped with higher-speed connections in subsequent generations. For data centers, this significantly improves the return on capital expenditure.

“This OCS adds to our already vibrant data center optics business,” said Chair and CEO Dr. Vincent D. (“Chuck”) Mattera, Jr. “Coherent made a very strong investment in supporting AI through our highly successful optical transceivers, and this OCS product provides further value and differentiation for that same AI ecosystem.”

OCS-based architectures are being adopted in AI networks because of their cost-effectiveness and efficiency. “AI networks demand a heightened level of reliability compared to traditional hyperscale data center applications. It is critical that the switches utilized in these AI networks do not cause any interruptions during the training or operation of large AI workloads,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Vice President at Dell’Oro Group. “OCS switches help address the scalability, reliability, and cost challenges in AI networks.”

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