While there are politicians in Australia willing to argue that you can't predict the future capacity of fibre, IBM is doing just that, publishing an experiment that suggests the low-cost multimode fibres used for short-haul data centre links will support years of speed improvements. What's interesting in this announcement isn't …
"IBM says around 80 per cent of the fibre links used in data centres and supercomputer installations are less than 50 metres long"
Yes, but it's also cheap and easy to pull or blow new fiber.
Yes, but the optics for multimode fibre can be a lot cheaper. Since the core is larger it's easier to splice it and get light in or out. The extreme case are plastic fibres like the ones used for SPDIF. Those are dirt cheap, that's why they are going to be used in the car industry.
Seems like quite a short link, what kind of speed can they get over 500m or 2Km of multimode?
If you've only got 60 metres of fibre then it's not going to be a big cost to replace it with singlemode if the need arises.
What kind of MMOF?
There's pretty big difference between the crusty old OM1 a lot of us still have around, and the nice new OM3/OM4 stuff. I'm surprised the source article didn't make mention of what they used.
I agree with one of the comments, what OM fibre did they use for the test? The real cost will be the VCSEL's and will the equipment/interfaces on each end support them. I would venture to say that the VCSEL used will be IBM exclusive and not work with any other brand.
Extending the life of the infrastructure is something all IT Infrastructure groups are looking for, but at some point you have to bite the bullet and upgrade the infrastructure anyway.
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