Cross River Fiber completes ultra-low latency route in New Jersey
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Data center switch market to approach $16 billion, says Crehan Research
In its recently published Data Center Switch Long-Range Forecast Report, Crehan Research Inc. predicts that the data center switch market will approach $16 billion by 2017. The report shows that Ethernet, including Fibre Channel-over-Ethernet, will become an ever-increasing portion of the overall market. Furthermore, within the Ethernet segment, Crehan also anticipates very strong growth for both 10GBase-T switches and 40 Gigabit Ethernet-capable switches (40GbE)."Given the mid-2012 step-function increase in 10GBase-T server adapter and LAN-on-motherboard shipments and subsequent introduction of numerous attractively-priced 10GBase-T data center switches, we expect exponential growth in 10GBase-T switch port shipments," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research.Crehan believes the strong ramp in 40GbE will be driven by the following factors. First, the upgrade to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) switches in the server access layer should drive 40GbE deployments in the uplink, aggregation, and core sectors of data center networks. Second, 40GbE, with its QSFP interface, also can be used as four individual 10GbE links, which not only provides very high 10GbE switch port density but also gives uplink/downlink and oversubscription/wire-speed flexibility.The report predicts robust increases for 100 Gigabit Ethernet switches (100GbE), but indicates that while 100GbE will likely be an important long-term data center switch technology, prices and port densities have a way to go before it achieves a meaningful market impact.
Cross River Fiber completes ultra-low latency route in New Jersey
Cross River Fiber, a New Jersey-based, boutique dark fiber services and telecommunications provider, says it has completed construction on a direct end-to-end dark fiber route between Weehawken and Secaucus, NJ. The ultra-low latency route interconnects two key data center hubs servicing the New York metro financial services community. The 5.94 km distance ensures the lowest fiber latency between these two key data center hubs, Cross River Fiber says.The Weehawken site, at 300 Boulevard East, is a multi-tenant data center with direct connectivity to all of the major facilities throughout the New York metro market, including key financial market exchanges. Cross River Fiber’s newly constructed route connects the facility to 755 Secaucus, where more key financial market exchanges reside."The completion of this new route in an exclusive partnership with Hudson Fiber Network provides companies greater accessibility to lit, passive, and dark fiber services in the much sought-after Northern New Jersey marketplace," said Vincenzo Clemente, president and CEO of Cross River Fiber. "With a distance of only 5.94 km end-to-end, this new, low-latency fiber route offers a major improvement, shaving kilometers from the next best commercially available routes."This network extension also provides access to Cross River Fiber’s fiber-optic network, connecting nearly a dozen markets throughout New Jersey. The Secaucus-to-Weehawken route is currently available, and customers can be turned-up within 10 days. The committed service level agreements (SLAs) are based on the actual measured optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR) distance stated above.
Self-assembling silica microwires offer new platform for integrated optical devices
Silica microwires are the tiny and as-yet underutilized cousins of optical fibers. If they could be precisely manufactured, these slivers of silica could enable applications and technology not currently possible with the relatively larger optical fiber, says a team of researchers from Australia and France who recently reported their efforts to meet this goal.By carefully controlling the shape of water droplets with an ultraviolet laser, the researchers have now found a way to coax silica nanoparticles to self-assemble into much more highly uniform silica wires. The international team describes their novel manufacturing technique and its potential applications in a paper published in the Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Optics Materials Express.This self-assembly technique could be important, according to the researchers, because it could, for the first time, enable silica to be combined with other materials to form integrated devices.“We’re currently living in the ‘Glass Age,’ based upon silica, which enables the Internet,” said John Canning, team member and a professor in the school of chemistry at The University of Sydney in Australia. “Silica’s high thermal processing, ruggedness, and unbeatable optical transparency over long distances equate to unprecedented capacity to transmit data and information all over the world.”Silica, however, is normally incompatible with most other materials, so giving it the capability to do more than just carry light has been a challenge. Further, bridging the gap between photonic components – such as optical switches, optical circuits, photon sources, and even sensors – requires some form of interconnect. But this transition is highly inefficient and interconnection losses remain one of the largest unresolved issues in optical communications.Silica microwires, if they could be manufactured or self-assembled in place, have the potential to operate as tiny optical interconnects. Unlike optical fiber, silica microwires have no cladding, which means greater confinement of light in a smaller structure better suited for device interconnection, further minimizing losses and physical space. “So we were motivated to solve the great silica incompatibility problem,” explained Canning.To this end, the researchers came up with the idea of using evaporative self-assembly of silica nanoparticles at room temperature. They recently reported this breakthrough in the journal Nature Communications, demonstrating single-photon-emitting nanodiamonds embedded in silica, which is a first step toward a practical photon source for future quantum computing.The key to carrying this innovation further, as described in the new research, is perfecting the manufacturing process so that highly uniform wires can self-assemble from nanoparticles suspended in a solution. The challenge has been that, as naturally forming round droplets evaporate, they produce very uneven silica microwires. This is due to the microfluidic currents inside the droplet, which corral the nanoparticles into specific patterns aided and held together by intermolecular attractive forces. The nanoparticles then crystalize when the solvent (water) evaporates. Canning and his team realized that, by changing the shape of the droplet and elongating it ever so slightly, they could change the flow patterns inside the drop, controlling how the nanoparticles assemble.The researchers did this by changing the “wettability” properties of the glass the drops were resting upon. The team used an ultraviolet laser to alter and pattern a glass made of borosilicate. This patterning made the surface more wettable in a very controlled way, allowing the droplet to assume a slightly more oblong shape. This subtle shape change was enough to alter the microscopic flows and eddies so as the water evaporated, the silica formed into straighter, more uniform microwires.The researchers anticipate that their processing technology will allow complete control of nanoparticle self-assembly for various technologies, including microwire devices and sensors, photon sources, and possibly silica-based integrated circuits.It also could enable the production of selective devices such as chemical and biological sensors, photovoltaic structures, and novel switches in both optical fiber form and on waveguides – all of which could lead to technologies that seamlessly integrate microfluidic, electronic, quantum, and photonic functionality.The research has been published as “Laser tailoring surface interactions, contact angles, drop topologies, and the self-assembly of optical microwires,” J. Canning et al., Optical Materials Express, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 284-294 (2013)
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