Science Technology

Future trend of optical communication industry? CPO technology is favored by hitchhiking in ChatGPT

Just two months after its launch, ChatGPT, a chat robot, has become popular around the world with its excellent chat ability and amazing accuracy, and has achieved more than 100 million monthly live users by the end of January 2023.
With the popularity of the ChatGPT concept, the “cost reduction and efficiency increase” solutions under high computing power scenarios such as CPO and silicon optical technology have also begun to attract attention. It is generally believed in the industry that with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), big data, cloud computing, etc., CPO will be expected to develop into a hot technological innovation direction of AI clusters and large data center computing clusters to improve transmission rate and reduce overall power consumption.
Co-Packaged Optics (CPO), also known as optoelectronic co-packaging technology and chip-level optical interconnection technology, is a new ultra-small high-density optical module technology that can replace the traditional front panel pluggable optical module. It integrates the silicon optical module and the electrical chip package, and can convert the high-speed electrical signals from the electrical chip into optical signals at a lower cost and power consumption, and transmit them to the distance.
This technology is mainly applied in the data center as a component technology in the data center products such as switches/routers, servers, storage, etc., to solve the problem that the electric interconnection is difficult to significantly improve the data transmission capacity due to the limitation of energy consumption in the high-speed and high-density interconnection transmission scenario.
At present, there have been cloud computing giants including AWS, Microsoft, Meta, Google, and other network equipment leaders and chip leaders such as Cisco, Broadcom, Intel, Nvidia, and AMD, who have begun to forward-looking layout of CPO-related technologies and products, and promote the standardization of CPO. Among them, CPO and silicon optical related equipment reserved or purchased by NVIDIA, Cisco and Intel have been partially used in supercomputing and other markets.
In China, traditional optical communication manufacturers such as Hengtong Optoelectronics, Zhongji Xuchuang, Xinyisheng, Guangxun Technology, Huagong Zhengyuan, Cambridge Technology, Bochuang Technology, Tianfu Communications also have CPO technology layout.
Among them, through years of independent research and development and investment, Zhongji Xuchuang has accumulated rich and solid patented technologies and new products in the fields of high-speed optical modules, silicon optical chips, coherence and CPO. At present, the company is carrying out research related to CPO, and continues to develop and innovate new devices, optoelectronic collaborative design, and 2.5D/3D optoelectronic fusion packaging based on the SiP+platform.
Bochuang Technology said on the investor interaction platform that CPO technology is based on silicon photon technology to integrate silicon-based and non-silicon-based materials into a single packaging structure. CPO packaging is more integrated than the existing packaging methods, which can meet higher transmission rates and reduce power consumption, and will occupy a large share in data center applications that continuously improve internal transmission rates in the future. The company is conducting research and development and product preparation in the field of CPO technology.
In addition, Liante Technology is also carrying out research and development projects such as high-speed optical connection technology, laser technology and chip-level optoelectronic hybrid packaging technology required for the next generation of products NPO/CPO.
LightCounting, a market research agency, said in 2022 that the size of the CPO market will grow steadily in the next five years. They believe that most of the CPO ports shipped in the next five years will be deployed in HPC and AI clusters rather than in the computing nodes of large data centers. Although pluggable optical modules will continue to dominate the market in the next five years, the utilization rate of CPO devices will increase steadily, and by 2027, CPO ports will account for nearly 30% of the total number of 800G and 1.6T ports.
It can be seen that CPO technology has become the industry technology trend. It is expected that by 2027, CPO will become an essential technology in the optical communication industry and promote the evolution of traditional pluggable optical modules to the form of optical engines.