By Kristin Hehir, Senior Manager, PR and Marketing, Marvell
The sheer volume of data traffic moving across networks daily is mind-boggling almost any way you look at it. During the past decade, global internet traffic grew by approximately 20x, according to the International Energy Agency. One contributing factor to this growth is the popularity of mobile devices and applications: Smartphone users spend an average of 5 hours a day, or nearly 1/3 of their time awake, on their devices, up from three hours just a few years ago. The result is incredible amounts of data in the cloud that need to be processed and moved. Around 70% of data traffic is east-west traffic, or the data traffic inside data centers. Generative AI, and the exponential growth in the size of data sets needed to feed AI, will invariably continue to push the curb upward.
Yet, for more than a decade, total power consumption has stayed relatively flat thanks to innovations in storage, processing, networking and optical technology for data infrastructure. The debut of PAM4 digital signal processors (DSPs) for accelerating traffic inside data centers and coherent DSPs for pluggable modules have played a large, but often quiet, role in paving the way for growth while reducing cost and power per bit.
Marvell at ECOC 2023
At Marvell, we’ve been gratified to see these technologies get more attention. At the recent European Conference on Optical Communication, Dr. Loi Nguyen, EVP and GM of Optical at Marvell, talked with Lightwave editor in chief, Sean Buckley, on how Marvell 800 Gbps and 1.6 Tbps technologies will enable AI to scale.
By Dr. Radha Nagarajan, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Optical and Cloud Connectivity Group, Marvell
This article was originally published in Data Center Knowledge
People or servers?
Communities around the world are debating this question as they try to balance the plans of service providers and the concerns of residents.
Last year, the Greater London Authority told real estate developers that new housing projects in West London may not be able to go forward until 2035 because data centers have taken all of the excess grid capacity1. EirGrid2 said it won’t accept new data center applications until 2028. Beijing3 and Amsterdam have placed strict limits on new facilities. Cities in the southwest and elsewhere4, meanwhile, are increasingly worried about water consumption as mega-sized data centers can use over 1 million gallons a day5.
When you add in the additional computing cycles needed for AI and applications like ChatGPT, the outline of the conflict becomes more heated.
On the other hand, we know we can’t live without them. Modern society, with remote work, digital streaming and modern communications all depend on data centers. Data centers are also one of sustainability’s biggest success stories. Although workloads grew by approximately 10x in the last decade with the rise of SaaS and streaming, total power consumption stayed almost flat at around 1% to 1.5%6 of worldwide electricity thanks to technology advances, workload consolidation, and new facility designs. Try and name another industry that increased output by 10x with a relatively fixed energy diet?
By Suhas Nayak, Senior Director of Solutions Marketing, Marvell
In the world of artificial intelligence (AI), where compute performance often steals the spotlight, there's an unsung hero working tirelessly behind the scenes. It's something that connects the dots and propels AI platforms to new frontiers. Welcome to the realm of optical connectivity, where data transfer becomes lightning-fast and AI's true potential is unleashed. But wait, before you dismiss the idea of optical connectivity as just another technical detail, let's pause and reflect. Think about it: every breakthrough in AI, every mind-bending innovation, is built on the shoulders of data—massive amounts of it. And to keep up with the insatiable appetite of AI workloads, we need more than just raw compute power. We need a seamless, high-speed highway that allows data to flow freely, powering AI platforms to conquer new challenges.
In this post, I’ll explain the importance of optical connectivity, particularly the role of DSP-based optical connectivity, in driving scalable AI platforms in the cloud. So, buckle up, get ready to embark on a journey where we unlock the true power of AI together.