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Energy Efficient Photonic Networking

Economic Sector
Energy Utilization
Environmental Benefits
Climate changeClean air
Consortium members
Rockport Networks Inc.Molex Inc.Seagate TechnologyThinkOnUniversity of Ottawa
Year Approved
Year Announced
SDTC Funding
Leveraged Funding
Total Project Value

Lead organization:

Rockport Networks Inc.


Data centers are experiencing rapid growth due to increasing data storage, cloud computing, and Big Data analytics. Today’s networking equipment cannot scale to accommodate these new requirements without the addition of significant cost and complexity to the customer. Rockport’s RX1000 Direct Interconnect networking product is a high-performance photonic solution in which data center servers communicate directly with one another, eliminating the need for physical switches and reducing power consumption by 10X or more and contributing to a reduction of 23MT in GHG emissions, within 8 years of market rollout. This technology presents a strong economic value proposition for customers, representing a capital expense savings of at least 4X savings compared to existing technology from incumbent vendors. Rockport creates ongoing operational cost savings of greater than 5X compared to traditional vendors, due to lower power consumption, reduced floor space requirements and lower maintenance costs. Rockport’s product introduces three key innovations to data center networking: direct server interconnection and the elimination of physical switches; the use of emerging photonic switching technology to route network traffic and advanced software and hardware control to manage the flow of data. The new technology will provide improved performance, increased reliability and scalability, and reduced electricity consumption and cooling requirements. Consortium partner, the University of Ottawa, is working on the simulation and characterization of various aspects of the technology. Consortium partner Molex will help develop the hardware required to implement RX1000, while consortium partner Seagate Technology will provide input on system requirements and technology demonstration opportunities. Finally, ThinkOn, a Toronto-based cloud services provider, will participate as a demonstration host for the technology in a datacentre application. Validation and Development Partners: Micron Technology, University of Toronto.


SDTC Annual Statistics 2016-2017 Image