Microsoft's hot new idea for the server room; IR lasers
Subject: General Tech | February 1, 2017 - 12:51 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: wireless, servers, firefly
Forget LiFi, Firefly uses infrared lasers to transmit data and torture acronyms. Researchers out of Penn State, backed by Microsoft, are working on a way to get rid of the wiring in your server room and replace it with IR lasers and mirrors; hold the smoke. By using multiplexed beams, they have created a proof of concept test which allows bi-directional data streams at 10 gigabits per second though there is some work to be done before it is ready for a full test.
The mirrors would be MEMs controlled, ensuring that the signal should theoretically be able to reach any receiver, even ones obscured by other equipment. Anyone sick of cable management or looking for new ways to keep people out of the server room can take a peek at the link to the research that The Register posted. On the other hand, the simple act of walking into your server room, setting down a box or even a leaf on the wind would be likely to cause downtime. Could protective goggles might be the newest sysadmin fashion faux pas?
"Shown off at Photonics West 2017 in San Francisco, Firefly (acronymically tortured out of Free-space optical Inter-Rack nEtwork with high FLexibilitY, we kid you not) proposes FSO to provide multiple 10 Gbps inter-rack links."
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