Microsoft, Cisco, and others create 'Consortium for On-Board Optics'

A group of big IT vendors including Cisco, Microsoft, Intel, Intel, Broadcom, Juniper Networks, and Arista Networks have created a consortium to address switch faceplate bandwidth density and airflow constraints caused by increasing networking speeds.

The Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO) develops interoperable specifications to lower power consumption and increase bandwidth for optics in the next generation enterprise and cloud datacentres.



Through COBO, technology leaders will promote collaboration in defining industry standards that permit relocating the optical module from the faceplate to inside the networking equipment. The member will work together to develop specifications and technology roadmaps for on-board optical modules.

The consortium will immediately begin collaborating on a set of industry standards that define electrical interfaces, management interfaces, thermal requirements and pinouts to permit the development of interchangeable and interoperable optical modules that can be mounted or socketed on a network switch or adapter motherboard.

COBO will enable the development of optical modules that can be placed closer to the network integrated circuits to decrease the power required to interface to the modules while also increasing faceplate bandwidth density and airflow.

“The founding companies of the Consortium for On-Board Optics are taking a major step forward in improving the efficiency of optical interconnects in datacenter networks,” said Brad Booth, COBO Chair and Principal Architect, Microsoft Azure Global Networking Services.

Other founding members include Coriant, Finisar, Inphi, JDSU, Luxtera, Mellanox Technologies, Oclaro, RANOVUS, Source Photonics and TE Connectivity.

Updated Date: Mar 24, 2015 15:27 PM

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