PRESS RELEASE: Computing power has become the new engine of the digital economy, which requests high-performance network infrastructure to support its explosive growth.

Throughout the history of human civilization, productivity innovation has pushed every step forward in social economy. Entering the era of digital economy, computing power has become the crucial force that promotes social and economic development, as well as the No.1 productive force in the intelligent society. According to the latest “GLOBAL COMPUTING INDEX”, every 1% investment in computing power will bring about 3.3‰ and 1.‰ growth in the digital economy and GDP respectively.

According to IDC statistics, the total amount of global data is growing dramatically. Being 103.66ZB in 2022, it is predicted to reach 284.3ZB in 2027, with a CAGR of 22.36%. To meet the demands for massive data traffic, the DCI(Data Center Interconnect) network needs to provide new technologies such as long-distance and ultra-broadband transmission, deterministic low latency to serve the interconnection of hubs, regions, and edge computing centers. Meanwhile, the data center network(DCN) needs to provide intelligent lossless network technologies supporting high throughput, low latency and zero packet loss, and apply them in the scenarios such as large model training, HPC, and high-performance storage to maximize the computing resources. Facing the emerging demands, the DCI network will speed up to 800G~Tbit, and the DCN will develop towards a lossless one.

DCI NetworkBuilding an ultra-broad and green Tbit highways

According to Omdia’s forecast, 800G+ optical module shipments will increase rapidly since 2025, with a CAGR of 49.9% from 2022 to 2028. To build the interconnected highways between data centers, technological innovations in optical and IP networks are in full swing, accelerating the evolution towards Tbit DCI network with ultimate performance.

Since optical network is serving as the transmission foundation, backbone optical will witness the large-scale deployment of ultra-long-distance 400G in 2024, laying the foundation for the application of ultra-long-distance, flexibly adaptable and ultra-large-capacity single-wavelength Tbit optical networks. ZTE provides its leading single-wavelength 400G~Tbit optical transmission solution. In terms of ultra-long distance transmission, as one of the vendors selected in China Mobile’s 400G national backbone network, ZTE assists China Mobile in initiating the world’s largest and most widely covered inter-provincial backbone 400G OTN project, in which the single fiber capacity has been increased by 4 times to 32Tbps compared with 100G, providing strong support for the national “east-data-west-computing” strategy. At the same time, ZTE’s 400G QPSK long-distance transmission technology has been deployed on a large scale in India. Even under strict resource constraints, long-distance transmission with no electrical regeneration is still achieved, minimizing customer investment. In terms of flexible adaptation, ZTE released the industry’s first 800G OTN pluggable solution in September 2023. Compared with 800G fixed modules, the port density is doubled, Gbit power consumption is reduced by 68%, and the single-fiber transmission is up to 96T. So it can can be flexibly applied to backbone, metro, and DCI scenarios. In December 2023, it joined hands with Beijing Branch of China Telecom to complete the world’s first 800G OTN pluggable module in live verification, which greatly improved network transmission capabilities. In February this year, ZTE together with Turkcell has completed the longest terrestrial transmission distance of 2,000km based on the 800G pluggable solution, laying the foundation for the commercial use of 800G in medium and long-distance transmission scenarios. In terms of ultra-large capacity, ZTE has carried out research on Tbit cutting-edge technologies such as single-wavelength 1T+, ultra-wide spectrum S+C+L-band, and precise compensation algorithms to provide solutions with single-fiber capacity up to 136T.

With computing power as the core, to meet the development trend of cloud backbone networks in the SDN era, and to achieve flexible and efficient cross-region deployment of massive computing power and data, IP networks are developing to ultra-broadband, deterministic, agile, autonomous and green ones. ZTE has launched a new generation of high-capacity core routers. In terms of ultra-wide capacity and eco-friendliness, it supports the most flexible high-density boards and 400GE/800GE interfaces that can be flexibly configured. The network can have a live upgrade from 400GE to 800GE by one touch without replacing boards. With the most integrated 6-in-1 forwarding chip, the Gbit power consumption of the device is reduced by 50%. In terms of deterministic services, the routers are equipped with unique chip with built-in EDN(Enhanced Deterministic Networking) to support multi-level time slot queues and deterministic scheduling mechanisms for diverse deterministic services. It can achieve ultra-low μs-level jitter and ensure efficient and deterministic transmission of high-value services. ZTE has cooperated with the CAICT(China Academy of Information and Communications Technology) to complete the test of the EDN prototype system over 3,000km from Beijing to Nanjing in July 2023, verifying the hybrid transmission of multiple services with the heavy load of over 80% high-value deterministic service. The jitter less than 20μs proves that EDN can effectively support the lossless transmission requirements of wide area computing power. In addition, with differentiated slicing solution, ZTE helped an operator in Malaysia to build national infrastructure to implement the unified transmission of 5G, fixed-line home broadband access, enterprise private lines and wholesale services, helping it achieve cost reduction and efficiency improvement. In terms of agility and elasticity, based on SDN/SRv6/flow detection, ZTE uses network programmability and resource scheduling to improve network service. ZTE worked with Gansu branch of China Telecom, China Telecom Wanwei and China Telecom Research Institute to complete the deployment of end-to-end cloud-based network services across multiple domains from the west to the east. With the cloud-network integrated scheduling solution, the resource utilization of the computing network was improved by over 30%, further leveraging the advantages of cloud-network convergence. ZTE has also deployed the first SRv6 commercial network in Latin America in which ZTE’s SRv6 solution provides unified transmission of 5G/home broadband/private lines, and supports quick service provisioning in minutes and automated network optimization based on SDN, greatly improving network O&M efficiency. In terms of autonomous network, with interactive chatting, the O&M assistant ChatZ can improve the level of network intelligence and automation by increasing O&M efficiency by more than 10 times.

DCN: Creating lossless intelligent computing center networks with high throughput, low latency and zero packet loss

DCNs are shifting from general computing to intelligent computing. The intelligent computing large model requires the network to have larger-scale networking, lossless transmission performance with high throughput/low latency/zero packet loss, and super network stability. Thus more open and disaggregated new intelligent computing center network has become the focus of the industry.

ZTE launches a new generation of switches for this new intelligent computing DCNs, supporting transmission in all scenarios of general computing, intelligent computing and storage. Based on the 112G SerDes, they can be smoothly evolved to the next generation of 800GE Fabric. The device supports 288*800GE/576*400GE interfaces. With high-performance programmable chips, innovative RoCE integrated with lossless Ethernet technologies, and AI featured network O&M solutions, ZTE creates innovative single-layer multi-trail solution to support 10,000 GPU networking and save CapEx by 60%. Recently, ZTE has employed high-performance lossless switches to build its “Nebula R&D Big Model” lossless network, achieving a 400GE port lossless throughput of over 98%. What’s more, the switches have been selected in large-scale 5G telecom cloud and public cloud DCNs by three major operators in China.

Looking to the future, to meet the computing power connection needs in the digital economy, technology and product innovations in both DCI networks and DCNs will inevitably accelerate further. ZTE will join hands with global operators to build a solid network foundation for the Tbit era, provide strong technical support for the development of the digital world, and contribute to the soaring digital economy.