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Broadcom on 10 Gig copper bandwagon

May 01, 20031 min

* Broadcom introduces chip that supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet over copper

A sign that things are moving right along for 10 Gigabit Ethernet over copper wiring was seen this week at the NetWorld+Interop 2003 trade show, as Broadcom unveiled silicon that supports the emerging technology.

The new chip follows the initial work of the IEEE group creating a standard for running 10 Gig over coaxial cable. This effort, 10GBase-CX4, is creating a standard intended to run the high-speed LAN technology over short distances, and the chip supports distances up to 15 meters, using InfiniBand 4X cable, Broadcom says.

Such short distances mean that most applications for the technology would involve interconnecting switches in a stack or within a room. A longer-distance standard over Category 5 wiring is also in the works.

While you would never buy chips directly from Broadcom, they are used by switch vendors that you would buy from. Broadcom emphasizes that its chip can clean up the signal before data are sent over a link. The company says it is using a low-power, 0.13-micron CMOS process technology.

Broadcom has samples available today, with volume production expected in the third quarter of this year, so you can probably expect switches using the chip to emerge soon after that.