IDG News Service - An optical interconnect introduced by Intel on Wednesday may someday slim down cabling throughout data centers if the company can get enough vendors to mass-produce it.

The interconnect, which Intel is calling MXC, is designed to offer high speed with a long reach and a relatively low cost. Intel developed MXC with Corning and showed it off at a press event in San Francisco. Its next goal is to publish the MXC specification so fiber manufacturers can start using it to develop new products, said Victor Krutul, director of business development and marketing at Intel's Silicon Photonics Operation.
MXC can carry 25Gbps (bits per second) on each fiber over a distance of 300 meters, a combination of speed and range that today's most comparable fiber technology, VCSEL (vertical cavity surface-emitting laser), can't achieve, said Ken Chong, an Intel silicon photonics product line manager. VCSEL offers 10Gbps over 300 meters now, but at 25Gbps it can only go 100 meters or less, he said.

As many as 64 fibers can be bundled into one MXC cable, bringing its total capacity to as much as 1.6Tbps, Krutul said. That means MXC can be used for the 10Gbps connections commonly used in data centers today as well as newer 40Gbps and 100Gbps versions, up to the Terabit Ethernet that Ethernet researchers envision in the future, he said. Other protocols, such as PCI Express, could also ride over MXC fiber. MXC components convert the electronic signals at each end of a connection into optical signals, then back again at the other end.
Intel pushes speed, reliability claims with its new MXC cable - Computerworld