Intel Corp. has partnered with specialty glass company Corning Inc., optical interconnect maker US Conec and other partners to develop a new connector that can move data to and from data centre at an aggregate speed of 1.6 terabits per second.

The new connectors, called MXC, are based on the Silicon Photonics technology developed by Intel. The new cable holds up to 64 fibres (32 for transmitting and 32 for receiving) and is cables of transmitting data at 800 Gbps and receiving data at 800 Gbps.

The aggregate speed of 1.6 Tbps outpaces copper and 10Gbps cables typically used to connect switches and other equipment. Intel envisions MXC to provide faster connections between top-of-rack switches and core switches as well as connecting servers to extra storage or graphic processing units.

Intel also said that the MXC can maintain its maximum speed over greater distances than copper. The new cable can transport data at 800 Gbps at up to 300 metres.

This could bump up per-line rate from 25Gbps to 50 Gbps without having to add fibre, according to Mario Paniccia, general manager of silicon photonic operations at Intel.

MXC will be in production by the third quarter of 2014 but Microsoft Corp. and the Open Compute Project led by Facebook are already testing the product.

Typical connector designs go up to 12 or 24 fibres, but MXC will be able to order the connectors with eight, 16, 32 or 64 fibres.

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