Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2020-06-29

Quantum computing

Atos takes the most powerful quantum simulator in the world to the next level with Atos QLM E ...

New model helps to describe defects and errors in quantum computers ...

Research and Markets to issue 2020 Revenue Assessment for Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) report ...

Focus on Europe

Iceland joined the LUMI consortium ...

LRZ to deploy HPE's Cray CS500 system to bring innovative architecture to the science of its users ...

Outcome of the e-IRG Webinar Series organized in the framework of the Croatian EU Presidency on 25-26 May 2020: Grand challenges of e-infrastructures within the new ERA ...

Spring 2020 edition of the e-IRG Magazine available ...

MareNostrum will generate a language model in Spanish based on millions of digital contents from the National Library of Spain ...

A team of bioengineering and computing experts outlines how the creation of text mining and Artificial Intelligence tools could advance biomaterials research and development ...

Barcelona Supercomputing Center releases OmpSs-2 version 2020.06 ...

Barcelona Supercomputing Center releases COMPSs version 2.7 ...

Ghent University engages Atos to build third Tier1 VSC supercomputer supporting research in Flanders ...

Dell Technologies high performance computing customers drive breakthroughs for global impact ...

Hardware

NCSA and Southern Methodist University announce new strategic partnership ...

TYAN brings the latest server advancements at its 2020 Server Solutions Online Exhibition ...

WekaIO awarded a patent for Flash Registry with Write Leveling ...

Western Digital's New NVMe SSDs and NVMe-oF solutions provide the foundation for next-generation, agile data infrastructures ...

CW-WDM MSA Group forms to drive new industry standard for optical laser sources ...

Battelle awarded contract to enable Arctic research ...

Applications

Project to calculate emissions reductions across Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic ...

Supercomputer simulations show how DNA prepares itself for repair ...

Georgia Tech engineers simulate solar cell work using supercomputers ...

A new way of designing global satellite missions ...

Process for 'two-faced' nanomaterials may aid energy, information tech ...

New transatlantic lab decodes the brain with AI ...

Ion conducting polymer crucial to improving neuromorphic devices ...

Scientists develop new tool to design better fusion devices ...

C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute announces COVID-19 awards ...

UCF Consortium announces OpenSNAPI project to develop an open, standard application programming interface for smart networking adapters ...

The Cloud

SDSC's Sherlock Cloud announces Skylab ...

Dell Technologies brings IT infrastructure and Cloud capabilities to Edge environments ...

New technique may enable all-optical data-centre networks ...

Schrödinger expands discovery efforts for COVID-19 Alliance with advanced molecular simulation leveraging high-powered parallel computing on Google Cloud ...

Nebulon emerges from stealth and announces Cloud-Defined Storage ...

Repertoire Immune Medicines receives funding from COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium ...

W3BCLOUD raises $20,5 million to roll out a network of data centres dedicated for the blockchain economy ...

New technique may enable all-optical data-centre networks


An image representing subnanosecond optical switching. Credit: Kevin Price / Detail Design Consultants / UCL.
22 Jun 2020 London - A new technique that synchronises the clocks of computers in under a billionth of a second can eliminate one of the hurdles for the deployment of all-optical networks, potentially leading to more efficient data centres, according to a new study led by UCL and Microsoft.

Data centres, comprising tens or hundreds of thousands connected servers, are the underlying technology empowering everything we do online, from storing films and photos to serving up webpages and online services. However, they face rapidly rising demand, with server-to-server traffic increasing by 70% each year, which is increasingly hard to meet with existing technologies. All-optical networks that use light to both transmit and route data represent a promising alternative. However, their viability has been limited due to the need for each server to continuously adjust its clock time according to incoming data, which resulted in lower overall performance.

The study, published in Nature Electronics , shows that by synchronising clocks of all connected servers via optical fibre, and programming hardware to memorise clock phase values so clock time does not have to be re-checked, the time to "recover" the clock could be practically eliminated.

PhD candidate Kari Clark - Optical Networks Group, UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering, winner of the EPSRC Connected Nation Pioneers competition, lead author of the study, stated: "Our research makes optical switching viable for the data centre for the first time by providing a solution to the clock synchronisation problem. It has the potential to transform communication between computers in the Cloud, making key future technologies like the internet of things and artificial intelligence cheaper, faster and consume less power."

Until now, Cloud providers have been able to accommodate rapid growth in demand by relying on Moore's Law for networking, whereby, about every two years, electronic switch integrated circuits double their data transmission speed at the same cost and power. However, the sustainability of this trend is increasingly being questioned due to the difficulty of continuing to be able to make silicon transistors smaller and faster.

Dr. Hitesh Ballani and Dr. Paolo Costa, researchers with Microsoft Research Cambridge and co-authors of the study, added: "With the expected slowdown of Moore's Law and ever-increasing Cloud traffic, all-optical networks represent an attractive technology that has remained elusive so far. We are very excited by this collaboration with the UCL Optical Networks Group, which started from Kari's internship in our lab back in 2016 and evolved into a multi-year journey as part of the Optics for the Cloud Research Alliance. While there is still a long way to go, this technique brings us a step closer to the vision of an all-optical data centre."

Dr. Zhixin Liu, Optical Networks Group, UCL Electronic & Electrical Engineering, senior author of the study, stated: "We started this work by investigating how to support future Cloud services beyond the end of Moore's law. By bringing the top minds from Cloud operators and optical communication research, we propose a future-proof alternative using optics, helping data centres to cope with demand in the long term."

The team, working with researchers at Microsoft Research Cambridge, developed a prototype and found that their technique, called "clock phase caching", could synchronise the clocks of thousands of computers in under a billionth of a second, or the time it takes for light to travel 30 cm in air.

The authors demonstrated that reducing the clock recovery time to under a nanosecond resulted in a significant increase in performance of optical switching compared to state-of-the-art solutions, making it practical for data centres and unlocking its full potential.

This work is funded by the Optics for the Cloud Research Alliance, EPSRC programme grant TRANSNET (EP/R035342/1) and EPSRC New Investigator Award (EP/R041792/1).

Source: University College London

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2020-06-29

Quantum computing

Atos takes the most powerful quantum simulator in the world to the next level with Atos QLM E ...

New model helps to describe defects and errors in quantum computers ...

Research and Markets to issue 2020 Revenue Assessment for Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC) report ...

Focus on Europe

Iceland joined the LUMI consortium ...

LRZ to deploy HPE's Cray CS500 system to bring innovative architecture to the science of its users ...

Outcome of the e-IRG Webinar Series organized in the framework of the Croatian EU Presidency on 25-26 May 2020: Grand challenges of e-infrastructures within the new ERA ...

Spring 2020 edition of the e-IRG Magazine available ...

MareNostrum will generate a language model in Spanish based on millions of digital contents from the National Library of Spain ...

A team of bioengineering and computing experts outlines how the creation of text mining and Artificial Intelligence tools could advance biomaterials research and development ...

Barcelona Supercomputing Center releases OmpSs-2 version 2020.06 ...

Barcelona Supercomputing Center releases COMPSs version 2.7 ...

Ghent University engages Atos to build third Tier1 VSC supercomputer supporting research in Flanders ...

Dell Technologies high performance computing customers drive breakthroughs for global impact ...

Hardware

NCSA and Southern Methodist University announce new strategic partnership ...

TYAN brings the latest server advancements at its 2020 Server Solutions Online Exhibition ...

WekaIO awarded a patent for Flash Registry with Write Leveling ...

Western Digital's New NVMe SSDs and NVMe-oF solutions provide the foundation for next-generation, agile data infrastructures ...

CW-WDM MSA Group forms to drive new industry standard for optical laser sources ...

Battelle awarded contract to enable Arctic research ...

Applications

Project to calculate emissions reductions across Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic ...

Supercomputer simulations show how DNA prepares itself for repair ...

Georgia Tech engineers simulate solar cell work using supercomputers ...

A new way of designing global satellite missions ...

Process for 'two-faced' nanomaterials may aid energy, information tech ...

New transatlantic lab decodes the brain with AI ...

Ion conducting polymer crucial to improving neuromorphic devices ...

Scientists develop new tool to design better fusion devices ...

C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute announces COVID-19 awards ...

UCF Consortium announces OpenSNAPI project to develop an open, standard application programming interface for smart networking adapters ...

The Cloud

SDSC's Sherlock Cloud announces Skylab ...

Dell Technologies brings IT infrastructure and Cloud capabilities to Edge environments ...

New technique may enable all-optical data-centre networks ...

Schrödinger expands discovery efforts for COVID-19 Alliance with advanced molecular simulation leveraging high-powered parallel computing on Google Cloud ...

Nebulon emerges from stealth and announces Cloud-Defined Storage ...

Repertoire Immune Medicines receives funding from COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium ...

W3BCLOUD raises $20,5 million to roll out a network of data centres dedicated for the blockchain economy ...