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Gen Z – The Next Gen Computing Architecture
The world is demanding higher levels of computing performances. It is the need of the day to develop a system that meets the massive data requirements without compromising on the security. Gen Z is an answer to that question.
Gen Z is a new open-system interconnect consortium aiming at providing advanced memory access to data and device. Gen Z physical layer leverages IEEE-802.3 and PCIe specification. Gen Z fabric could utilize internal interconnections like TA1002 connector and Gen Z cable, external interconnects like SFP and QSFP connectors, optical or copper cables, and modules.
The Gen Z Consortium is constituted by leading computer companies for creating and commercializing advanced memory, storage, and accelerator architectures. There were 12 founding members which have expanded to over 69 companies today. Amphenol joined Gen Z in 2016.
The consortium looks forward to developing new solution architectures along with enhancing the existing systems by providing software efficiency, high-bandwidth, power optimization, and low-latency. As this architecture focuses on open source, they aim at working together to deliver high-quality specifications that can be inserted to any solution without any change in software. The consortium will also be developing new high performance, high speed and high-density connectors and modular form-factors.
The Gen Z architecture supports 1-256 lanes and targets up to 112GT/s, while currently released PHY specification defines 25GT/S NRZ, 50GT/S PAM4 and up to 32G on PCIe physical. Gen Z interconnects solutions come in 1C, 2C, 4C, 8C pin, and 4C-HP high power configuration, and vertical, right angle, straddle mount and orthogonal orientation. The 4C-HP version could replace Card Edge Module connector and power supplier cable for PCIe card application. Based on Gen 5 specification, the card can handle power up to 600W either on 12V or 48V while Gen Z 4C-HP further extend it to 1000W on 48V power. Low‐latency communication is also a key benefit of Gen Z applications. Amphenol ICC’s Mini Cool Edge product family supports all the connector variations proposed by Gen Z system architecture.
Mini Cool Edge connector specification is defined in SNIA SFF TA1002 while EDSFF and OCP committees adopt it for SSD application and NIC 3.0 application. Mini Cool Edge is a 0.60mm high density, high-speed card edge connector for new generation small form factor system. These fine pitch solutions offer multiple BTB applications like right angle, mezzanine and coplanar and support cable interconnect options. With a discrete pin design, these connectors support high-speed differential pairs up to 32G NRZ, 56G PAM4, 112G PAM4. These connectors are generally used in differential DIMM, SCM, Solid State Drive, Network Interface Card, and Add-In Card applications.