• United States

N-Tron aims for small and tough

Jul 08, 20042 mins

* N-Tron introduces industrial Ethernet switches that are small

N-Tron last month fleshed out its line of industrial Ethernet switches with three models that are smaller and have higher density than previous models.

As Ethernet becomes a bigger part of communications – really, all communications these days – one key area is of course industrial environments. In such hostile environments, line noise, dust, heat and other factors must all be taken into consideration.

N-Tron says its models do all that and now take up less room, as well. Interestingly, they are designed for a smaller footprint, so the switches are taller than they are wide. All three are just 2 inches wide and 3.5 inches high. They each weigh just three-quarters of a pound.

Copper-based ports range from four to eight. The ports are your standard RJ-45 autosensing 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet.

The 305FX has four of these copper ports and one fiber-optic connection for a Fast Ethernet uplink. The 306FX2 also has the four copper ports, plus two fiber ports. Both multimode and single-mode fiber models are available, the company says. The 308TX has eight copper ports.

N-Tron’s target customers are industrial companies looking to upgrade their hubs and repeaters. Up to 4,000 MAC addresses are supported.

N-Tron’s products have a steel enclosure that the company says is designed to withstand extreme temperatures (operating temperature is listed as between -20 degrees Celsius and 70 degrees Celsius), noise, shock and vibrations. The switches claim a mean time between failures of 2 million hours.

The switches are available for order now. The 305FX costs $400, the 306FX2 costs $500, and the 308TX costs $380.