Millimeter Wave innovation for the data center
One of the most exciting areas of Vubiq Network’s innovative millimeter wave technology is in the application of ultra high-speed, short-range communications as applied to solving the scaling constraints and costs for internal data center connectivity and switching. Today’s limits of cabled and centralized switching architectures are eliminated by leveraging the wide bandwidths of the millimeter wave spectrum for the high-density communications requirements inside the modern data center.
Our patented technology has the ability to provide more than one terabit per second of wireless uplink capacity from a single server rack through an innovative approach to create a millimeter wave massive mesh network. The elimination of all inter-rack cabling – as well as the elimination of all aggregation and core switches – is combined with higher throughput, lower latency, lower power, higher reliability, and lower cost by using millimeter wave wireless connectivity.
Vubiq Networks has been awarded four US patents and one European patent that cover chip-to-chip, blade-to-blade, and ultimately server-to-server communications without cables and switches:
US Patent Number 7929474, issued April 19, 2011. System and Method for Wireless Communication in a Backplane Fabric Architecture.
US Patent Number 8422414, issued April 16, 2013. System and Method for Wireless Communication in a Backplane Fabric Architecture.
US Patent Number 8897184, issued November 25, 2014. System and Method for Wireless Communication in a Backplane Fabric Architecture.
US Patent Number 9537794, issued January 3, 2017. System and Method for Wireless Communication in a Backplane Fabric Architecture.
European Patent EP2737718B1, issued April 9, 2019, System and Method for Wireless Communication in a Backplane Fabric Architecture.
Data center cabling challenges
As the world has become more dependent on cloud computing manifested in the big search engines, social networking, online shopping, and enterprise cloud-based IT systems, the growth of large data centers is exponential. The heart of the data center is the server, with large centers supporting more than 100,000 servers under one roof.
Server-to-server communications requires huge interconnected bandwidth to enable the surge in applications now running in the cloud. Any server to any server high-speed communications must be supported by the switching architecture within the center. The traditional approach is to interconnect the servers with a localized “top of rack” (TOR) switch located in each server rack cabinet. The TOR switch is in turn connected to aggregation switches at the next tiered level, called the fabric.
With larger numbers of servers, additional tiers are added at what’s called the core or spine. The switches are all interconnected with cable or fiber, and the amount of data center resources dedicated just to solving the cabling problem is staggering. A large data center can have more than 25,000 miles of fiber to provide the connectivity needed. The costs associated with tiered level switching and interconnecting cabling have become a major portion of the total data center cost.
Solution: the wireless data center
Vubiq Networks’ high-bandwidth millimeter wave technology can enable short-range inter-server communications without the need for cabling or external switches, providing a huge potential improvement in the ability to scale and support growth for the data center and cloud computing.
The approach is to have a wireless turret on top of the sever rack, with the servers interconnected through the turret for connectivity to any other sever in the center. Using the company’s patented waveguide module as a component in the turret, multiple channels of high-speed millimeter wave connectivity can be established with other rack turrets in the center.
The turret is divided into 16 sectors, with each sector module capable of up to 100 Gbps. This provides a total rack uplink capacity to the center of more than 1 Tbps. This is an order of magnitude greater than the planned 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps TOR uplink capacities using traditional tiered switches and fiber.
Our approach completely eliminates all inter-rack and inter-switch cabling, as well as all aggregation and core tiered switches. The savings in power, cabling infrastructure, and switch costs more than justify moving to a wireless approach for the data center.