Foundry Networks this week introduced a Gigabit Ethernet switch intended for server clusters, wiring closets and high-performance data centers.The EdgeIron 48G switch has, as the name implies, 48 ports of Gigabit Ethernet. Forty-four of the ports are copper-based Gigabit, while the remaining four can use copper wires or fiber-optic lines.The focus of the new switch is speed and port density. The 48 ports are packed into a box that is just one rack-unit high. It doesn\u2019t have Layer 3 routing functionality - leaving that to other switches in Foundry\u2019s line-up, like the FastIron series - but it does have Layer 2 quality-of-service controls and support for jumbo frames, which are important for server environments.Foundry is taking orders for the EdgeIron 48G now. It costs $9,000 for a switch fully populated with 10\/100\/1000M bit\/sec copper Gigabit ports.In related news, Foundry announced that three scientific research organizations and a Japanese university have chosen Foundry\u2019s Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet equipment for supercomputing demonstrations at this week\u2019s SC2003 supercomputing conference in Phoenix, Ariz.The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the University of Tokyo are using the gear.Also, the conference\u2019s own network will use Foundry switches. This network hosts the conference\u2019s annual Bandwidth Challenge, where competitors are asked to demonstrate applications that use massive amounts of network resources. The company says its gear will probably handle terabytes of traffic per second at its peak.