Compass Networks: Redefining the Networking Space with the World’s First SDN Forwarding Plane

Mathew Bross, Chairman & CEO
The world runs on data today. As the traffic floods networks, it requires more interconnected servers, switches and high router capacities to handle ultra-fast data transfer between micro chips—the basic constituent of networks. However, the electronics-based interconnects in chips compromise data speeds that act as a bottleneck within any router, requiring a costly and power-hungry switching fabric and midplane which further increase router footprint, management and maintenance requirements. Many researchers and big name companies in the networking industry have tried to overcome the chip- interconnect problem by using direct optical connections. But where all of them failed, Compass Networks, a Netanya Israel based company mastered this revolutionary approach through its icPhotonics™ technology that converts electrical data to an optical signal which is routed optically, using laser and photoreceiver matrices that are directly assembled on top of a CMOS chip.

The Compass approach and icPhotonics™ technology has enabled a breakthrough change in internet routing and switching. Compass systems have been installed in service within large Telecom networks since 2012, and the technology has proven to be stable and reliable. “icPhotonics™ is the World’s first commercially available technology using optical chip-to-chip communication,” remarks Matthew Bross, Chairman and CEO, Compass Networks.

How it works

icPhotonics™ marries photonics to silicon, creating a whole new generation of chips that communicate at terabyte speeds. Also, icPhotonics™ is the world’s densest chip I/O, powering Compass Networks networking elements — routing capable SDN Forwarding Planes. “Today, the total capacity of icPhotonics™ is 1.34 TBPS and we can grow to higher than 10TBPS,” says Bross. We provide the world’s highest density IO into any Processor currently shipping in any system in the world. Since the optical connections using icPhotonics™ are ultra-fast, they enable line cards to be interconnected using a 100 percent passive high bandwidth optical mesh eliminating the need for a midplane and switching fabric elements–the optical backplane. “The result is a network element that requires a smaller footprint, less power and cooling, and that runs much faster,” he adds.
The interconnect benefits extend outside the SDN Forwarding Plane offering simple and more scalable alternative to today’s multi-chassis solutions, enabling a distributed switching architecture of modular building blocks. “This is similar to the path that data center evolution has taken in the past, where fast interconnect and small building blocks enabled a move from large mainframes to today’s server-based web scale datacenter. With icPhotonics™ we are leading a technology shift where wires and electrons cannot easily follow. We are enabling a new level of scalability and efficiency across multiple segments including virtualized networking, high end servers, and storage,” declares Bross.

icPhotonics™ marries photonics to silicon, creating a whole new generation of chips that communicate at tera byte speed

Additionally, the company’s SDN Forwarding Plane is virtually impervious to DDoS attacks and provides guaranteed packet forwarding. “One of our service providers performed benchmark testing to prove our technology advantages in preventing DDoS attacks and have started deploying our solution as the foundation of a managed security service they offerto their finance sector customers,” says Bross. The Compass Networks optical interconnect creates an infinite speed-up within our system, assuring that no bottleneck of traffic exists internally, and under any circumstances guarantees to forward the packet to its output interface. “As a result no customer is impacted by the fact that another customer is under heavy attack and they observe no degradation of service,” he adds.

Furthermore, Compass Networks is a strong believer and innovator in cloud based networking infrastructure. With its icPhotonics™ enabled SDN capable solutions Compass will continue to push the envelope in terms of incremental scale and capacity growing in 5TB increments to the World’s largest 1.6PB single stage switching fabric. “We are continuing to refine our solution ecosystem whereas partners with SDN controllers integrate with us as part of their own ecosystem strategy,” concludes Bross.

Compass Networks

Netanya, Israel

Mathew Bross, Chairman & CEO

Through its chip-to-chip icPhotonics™ technology, Compass Networks utilizes the power of light to create a new breed of modular carrier-class routing capable SDN Forwarding Planes for distributed scalable networking.