Broadcom Debuts 10 Gb Ethernet Switch

Broadcom Wednesday introduced a new addition to its StataXGS switch family it says helps the transition from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) in servers.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company said its new Broadcom BCM5673 is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) multi-layer switch with a HiGig uplink port that delivers wire-speed Layer 2 through Layer 7 switching and routing capabilities over copper already found in most data centers — 10GBASE-CX4 specifically.

The single-chip device is compatible with other StrataXGS products and lets system manufacturers build stackable 24- and 48-port GbE switches with multiple 10GbE interfaces in a 1U form factor.

Designed to compete with products from Intel, Agere and Texas Instruments, the device features a CX4-compatible XAUI transceiver, Xenpak, XPAK and X2 modules. Broadcom said the BCM5673 works with previously developed customer software with the help of its API .

Broadcom said it also supplies software development kits (SDK) and reference designs for the BCM5673, including software, schematics, layout files and related documentation.

The device supports line rate switching and routing for all packet sizes, including jumbo frames. Offered in a 400-pin PBGA package, the device utilizes 0.13-micron CMOS process technology and yields a power consumption of less than 4W.

The communications chipmaker said it has also priced the device lower to help make faster Internet connections more affordable. Samples are currently available to customers with production quantities expected by the end of September 2003. Pricing depends much on your configuration.

“The BCM5673 makes the deployment of affordable 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the enterprise a reality,” said Broadcom Senior Director Martin Lund.

Lund also pointed out that the BCM5673 also supports XFP modules and its BCM8703 transceiver as its interface chooser.

Broadcom says the industry’s transition from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet for desktop and notebook computers has accelerated the need for GbE stacking switches in the wiring closet. Recent stats from the Dell’Oro Group points to GbE revenues growing at a breakneck pace.

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