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Thursday, August 15, 2013
Intel Proposes MXC As New Optical Interconnect

Intel is proposing an optical interconnect for servers called MXC, using silicon photonics and a new fiber technology.

MXC can carry up to 1.6 Terabits per second and is smaller than the connectors used today. The new fiber technology is called Corning ClearCurve LW. It will allow optical signals to go more than 300m meters at 25 Gigabits per sec.

The chip maker says that MXC is a "next-generation optical connector" that could be a big step in standardizing optical technology and ultimately help bring it to servers faster.

The optical interconnect will be presented in an upcoming session at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, slated for Sept. 10 to 12.

Intel has already developed the Thunderbolt optical technology, designed to shuffle data between host PCs and external peripherals at speeds of up to 10G bps. Intel also announced Thunderbolt 2, which will double that transfer rate and is due for release in the coming months.

Intel has also researched silicon photonics and in January said optical modules would be implemented at the motherboard and rack levels for faster data movement among storage, networking and computing resources.

Optical interconnects like MXC could first make it at the rack level and is not considered as an ethernet replacement, at least for now, due to the higher costs.

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