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Intel Doubles Down on 10 Gig Ethernet with X540 Controller

Intel's latest server processor isn't just about servers, it's about networking, too. Intel officially launched the Xeon E5 CPU this week, providing performance gains of us much as 80 percent over Intel's previous generation server chips.

The E5 includes a new Intel Data Direct I/O system which will help to accelerate networking. The other networking component is a new 10 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) LAN On Motherboard (LOM) capability with the Intel X540 controller that provides an integrated 10Gbase-T solution. All together, Intel is aiming to lower the cost of 10 gigabit networking while accelerating overall networking performance.

"As we scale networks, we really need more bandwidth, driving down the cost of 10 gig Ethernet, so the transition from one gigabit to 10 gigabit can be accomplished," Sunil Ahluwalia, Intel's director of Product Marketing in the LAN Access Division, told InternetNews.com.

For Intel, the first step is about performance. The Intel E5's new Data Direct I/O technology enables a network interface card (NIC) to communicate directly with the processor cache. Additionally, the E5 supports PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 which delivers double the bandwidth of the previous PCI Express standard. According to Intel, an E5 chip can now pump out over 200 Gbps of throughput for LAN bandwidth, up from 50 Gbps in Intel's last generation of server chips.

Intel isn't just enabling more network bandwidth with the E5, they're also building a new NIC technology as well. The Intel X540 is a LOM technology that enables 10GbE traffic using 10GBase-T.

Read the full story at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet:
Intel Shakes Up 10 Gigabit Ethernet Economics

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.