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10 Gigabit LAN-on-motherboard introduced

Mellanox goes for 10GBase-T

By , Network World
November 04, 2008 09:12 AM ET

Network World - Mellanox Technologies this week introduced what it says is the first copper-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet LAN-on-motherboard for mainstream servers and storage.

Semiconductor maker Mellanox introduced the 10GBase-T LAN-on-motherboard controller along with Teranatics, which makes the Ethernet PHY technology. The ConnectX ENt is a low-power server Ethernet chip with dual 10GBase-T ports that supports Data Center Ethernet, Fibre Channel over Ethernet and InfiniBand over Ethernet. It also supports virtualization acceleration technologies, including NetQueue and SR-IOV.

10GBase-T uses unshielded twisted pair wiring and RJ-45 connectors, which make it seem like a natural upgrade from 1000Base-T, or copper-based Gigabit Ethernet. Using unshielded twisted pair wiring instead of optical components also helps keep the costs down, and the wiring is often adequate for the short distances you would find in a data center.

Burton Group analyst Nik Simpson said in a statement that the integrated MAC and PHY of the new chip would make it possible to keep costs "reasonable" as vendors look to upgrade servers from Gigabit Ethernet to 10 Gigabit. The new chip would be used by server makers looking for a LAN connection that could be integrated onto the server motherboard to cut costs and power consumption.

Mellanox already offers other 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters, supporting such cabling options as twinax and CX4 for copper, and SR, LR and LRM options for fiber optics.

Mellanox said it would demonstrate the new 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapter technology during the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference this week in Los Angeles.

Read more about lans & wans in Network World's LANs & WANs section.

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