More 10 Gigabit Ethernet components unveiled

* Products from Fujitsu, Aquantia

More companies are readying the building blocks for 10 Gigabit Ethernet gear this week, as startup Aquantia introduced low-power 10GBase-T silicon for data center applications and Fujitsu Microelectronics America unveiled a new 10 Gigabit switch chip.

Last week I wrote about Solarflare introducing a physical interface for 10GBase-T that uses less than 6 watts of power. Aquantia's PHY is in the same ballpark, at 5.5 watts for a maximum distance of 100 meters of Category-6A cable. Analysts say the new generation of low-power interfaces could energize the market for 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

Aquantia, a startup based in Milpitas, Calif., pitches the PHY as appropriate for dual-port network interface cards in servers, or 16-port line cards in chassis-based switches, or 24-port aggregation switches.

The first iteration of Aquantia's PHY is sampling now for switch and NIC vendors. It offers just 10 Gigabit Ethernet operation. The second version is expected in the third quarter of this year, and that one will add Wake on LAN capabilities and the ability to support 100Mbps and Gigabit Ethernet in addition to 10 Gigabit.

Fujitsu's new switch chip supports 26 ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet - and Fujitsu is also touting the low power consumption of its product, at 22 watts under a full load. The switch has QoS and Layer 3 switching capabilities. In addition to the 26 ports of 10G, there are also two 10/100/1000Mbps management ports supported. Overall system switching latency is 300 nanoseconds.

The switch supports the 802.3ap Ethernet backplane standard, as well as the SFP+ specification - that is, the chip can directly connect to SFP+ modules or chassis backplanes without requiring a separate chip.


Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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