A research team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and Terasquare, a spin-off company of the university, developed an extremely low-powered integrated circuit for Ethernet that consumes less than 0.75W of electricity but is able to send and receive data at 100 gigabits per second (Gbps).
The research team claims the new microchip uses only one-third of the electricity consumed by the currently installed chips at data centers.
Integrated circuits are embedded on communication modules that are inserted into a line card. Data centers have numerous line cards to build a network including routers and switches. Currently, 8W ICs are the most common in the market, and they consume a lot of energy and require the largest modules (112 cm2 of CFP), decreasing the port density of line cards and, thus, limiting the amount of data transmission.
The new IC can be loaded to the smallest communication modules (20 cm2 of CFP4 or 16 cm2 of QSFP28), the next-generation chips for data centers.
Photo credit: KAIST