Berkeley Lab Collaboration with Ciena Enhances Optical Chip Design Process


A unique collaboration between a U.S. telecommunications equipment provider and a Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science national laboratory has helped dramatically improve design cycle times for future high-speed optical networking components.

wl3-extreme-chipComputer scientists and mathematicians from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Computing Sciences organization worked with engineers at Ciena, a leading networking company, to speed up the process by which Ciena validates the design of its ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) chips. The collaboration grew out of the existing relationship between Ciena, a pioneer in high-bandwidth optical transport technology, and the DOE’s Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), which uses Ciena products to support its high-speed network.

“Modern science requires fast global networks like ESnet, and almost all DOE network traffic happens to run over optical gear from Ciena,” said ESnet Director Inder Monga. “ESnet doesn’t transport quite as much traffic as, say, Google, but we have the unique challenge of coping with massive single data streams from detectors and instruments like the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. This means we need to exploit leading-edge networking components, and we’re often early adopters of those components.”

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