SC19 has come and gone. Anticipation for SC20 in Atlanta is already building. Before we look ahead, what were some highlights from SC19?
AI is Everywhere
AI is affecting all aspects of life. At SC19, technical presentations showed how AI and HPC are helping researchers cure heart disease, predict weather patterns more accurately and make the best stock trades on Wall Street.
From Samtec’s perspective, the high-speed physical layer connectivity must perform as expected for AI algorithms to do their thing. What solutions are available to help here?
Samtec and its partners have developed a configurable, next-generation GPU-based system combining a cable mesh backplane (AcceleRate® Slim Body Cable Assemblies) and next-generation High-Speed Edge Card Connector topologies. This was featured at SC19.
The demonstration incorporates an Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning style interconnect based on the Gen-Z PECFF form factor. The topology incorporates up to eight risers that include PCIe Gen 5 AI usage models, and the Samtec Flyover® concept.
The system provides scalability of the PCB and cable interconnect via moving add-in cards and swapping cables, all operating within PCIe Gen 3, Gen 4, and Gen 5 performance requirements.
The Benefits of Twinax Cables in Gen-Z Applications
The Gen-Z Consortium, of which Samtec is a member, highlighted the latest Gen-Z technology developments at SC19 this year.
The whole concept of Gen-Z is to simplify and enhance the access to every device in a system. This requires a Gen-Z Switch to direct traffic between MCUs, GPUs, SSDs, DRAM, and other system elements.
At SC19, Gen-Z featured an updated Media Box demo. The new design was still based on FPGA-based High-Speed Communications Hub as the Gen-Z Switch. In the demo, Samtec Flyover® technology route high-density, high-speed Gen-Z data from the switch to Gen-Z Memory Modules.
Samtec Flyover® systems can help extend signal reach and density to achieve next gen speeds by routing signals via ultra-low skew twinax cable versus through lossy PCB. The Gen-Z demo featured custom FireFly to SFF-TA-1002 1C cable assemblies.
Optical Data Interface (ODI) Makes a Splash
The new Optical Data Interface (ODI) is a new high-speed interface standard for advanced instrumentation and embedded systems. ODI enables higher data rates over longer distances and increases interoperability in an open system of connecting a fiber-optic data link between two devices regardless of functionality.
At SC19, ODI was featured on new data-loggers, signal generators and other test and measurement equipment. ODI is standard on many Keysight test equipment, but new players are starting to emerge.
As an example, Conduant Corporation featured their next-gen digital recording and playback systems for ultra high-speed data applications. The optical link between add-in cards leverages Samtec’s FireFly™ Micro Flyover System™.
Samtec’s FireFly™ optical engines fit the bill for ODI. The FireFly™ optical engine is designed for flexibility and is interchangeable with the FireFly™ copper assembly using the same connector system.
For more information about FireFly™, please visit our landing page at www.samtec.com/firefly or download our FireFly™ Application Design Guide. For technical support and design assistance, please contact our optical specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.