Intel and Facebook team up to create the largest data centers in the world

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Intel Corporation has announced a partnership with Facebook to set standards for the next generation of technologies that will be used to racks to create the largest data centers in the world. As part of their collaboration, the two companies have unveiled a prototype assembled by Quanta Computer equipment, including racks new architecture for Intel’s photonics.  


   “Intel and Facebook are collaborating on the creation of a new architecture for decentralized servers in rack which will update the subsystems of computing, networking and storage independently and designs that will redefine the future mega data for the next decade , “said head of technological development of Intel, Justin Rattner, in the speech he made ​​on the occasion of the Open Computer summit Summit held in Santa Clara, California (USA.).

   This includes racks decentralized architecture for the new Intel architecture photonics based on Intel Silicon Photonics Technology Company 100 Gbps. Faced with copper interconnects that are used today, this technology ” to operate with fewer cables, have a higher bandwidth , offer more scope and enjoy a much higher energy efficiency. “

   As explained Rattner, the new architecture “comes after more than a decade of research” , invested in developing a family of photonic devices with silicon base, including lasers, modulators and detectors employing silicon modules that enable low cost and integrate full speed photonic devices and unprecedented energy efficiency.

   Silicon photonics is a new approach of photonics, in whichphotons of light used as a means to transmit large volumes of data at “extreme” through thin fiber optic cables and power consumption is “minimal” used in place of conventional electrical signals over copper wires. Intel has spent the last two years testing and developing silicon photonics technologies apply to mass production, and just produced the first engineering samples.


   Silicon photonics technology, to be produced from silicon, very low cost material , instead of high cost materials, provides a “great advantage in terms of profitability compared to older optical technologies”, and offers ” greater speed, reliability and scalability. ” Thus, companies with “farms” of servers or huge data centers “will eliminate major bottlenecks that limit their performance and ensure a greater chance of updating the long term, while significantly reducing operating costs, both in terms of space and energy. “

   Companies with large data centers “can significantly reduce their capital expenditures” to decentralize or separate storage resources and computing in a single rack of servers. servers Decentralization refers to the separation of resources that Today there are united in a single rack, including units of computing, storage, the distribution network and the energy to be spent on dedicated modules.

   Traditionally, each server rack has its own set of resources. “By decentralizing this format can be grouped the different types of resources and distributed by the whole rack, resulting in agreater ease of expansion and greater flexibility and reliability , while reducing costs, “stated Intel.

   “We have watched with great excitement the flexibility that these technologies can provide the hardware and how silicon photonics interconnect these resources can afford no see as limited by their physical location,” said the president of the Foundation Open Compute Foundation and vice president of design Hardware and distribution chain to Facebook, Frank Frankovsky. “We believe that in developing these technologies in an open environment and the project aportándolas Open Compute Project, will witness unprecedented innovation that will lead the entire industry to increase the share of use of these technologies compared to existing systems. “

   Separating each critical components, “each computing resource can be upgraded or expanded independently, without entailing changes in the other components.” This results in a duty cycle “longer” for each resource and will provide system administrators“the possibility of replacing a single resource without having to replace entire systems” , explained Intel.

   This will result in a “greater flexibility” and “ease of repair and maintenance,” which in turn 2reducirá investments in infrastructure and total costs and offer greater levels of robustness and reliability. “Additionally, this technology “provides improvements added on thermal efficiency “ , allowing relocate a rack components “in a more optimal”.


   Intel will provide a design for a photonic receptacle for the project Open Compute Project (OCP) and work closely with Facebook, Corning and other parts in the future, get to a standardized design. The mechanical prototype solution presented includes input / output (I / O) distributed by the Ethernet switching silicon from Intel, which will be compatible with Intel Xeon processors and the next generation of integrated systems on chip (SoC or system- on-chip) Intel Atom in production of 22 nanometer, developed under the code name “Avoton” and will be marketed throughout the year.

   The mechanical prototype shown is the latest evolution of the racks decentralized distributed switching functions.

   For years, Intel and Facebook maintain a partnership technological around hardware and software optimizations , seeking greater efficiency and scalability for data center Facebook.Along with Facebook, Intel is also co-founder and board member of the OCP.

   Today, Intel shares several alliances with the OCP, including collaboration with industry to design motherboards based on Intel Xeon processors and Intel Atom for OCP, access storage systems based on Intel Atom uncommon , common systems management hardware and future standards for racks, including photonic receptacle now presented.

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