Vitesse Semiconductor (NASDAQ: VTSS), a provider of advanced IC chip technology for carrier, enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, and Aquantia, a developer of high-speed Ethernet connectivity platforms for data centers, mobile and enterprise infrastructure, have jointly announced what the companies claim is "the industry’s first and only" turnkey 2.5G Ethernet switch solution, reference design and software integration to accelerate 'Wave 2' 802.11ac network deployments over existing Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling infrastructure.
With the turnkey 2.5G Vitesse-Aquantia system, enterprises can cost-effectively and quickly provision 802.11ac Gigabit capabilities within their existing networks, say the companies. The joint solution is based on Vitesse’s latest generation SparX-IV Enterprise Ethernet switch family, SMBStaX protocol stack and Aquantia’s recently announced AQRate 2.5G and 5G Ethernet PHY devices.
“Vitesse’s SparX-IV Enterprise Ethernet switches complement our recently unveiled AQrate products, and our AQR405 high-density quad-port in particular,” said Kamal Dalmia, vice president of sales and marketing at Aquantia. “This turnkey solution is a key piece of the 802.11ac ecosystem. We anticipate a fast adoption of the 2.5G rate in Enterprise and mobile infrastructure by OEMs and ODMs.”
The companies note that Wave 2 802.11ac technology will drive wireless access point backhaul bandwidth above 1G, compelling enterprises to find ways to enable multi-Gigabit bandwidth over existing network cabling. While use of 10G uplinks is a possibility, it requires enterprises to install a new cabling infrastructure.
According to industry analysts cited by the companies, 802.11ac shows a much faster industry uptake versus the prior generation of WLAN access technologies. ABI Research predicts that by the end of 2014, worldwide access points will exceed 176 million, with 802.11ac comprising 18%. 802.11ac upgrades, especially Wave 2, will require additional Ethernet switch bandwidth beyond what Gigabit Ethernet technology can support.
“The industry needs a turnkey 2.5G solution like this to catalyze massive and fairly immediate enterprise bandwidth network upgrades over legacy cabling,” concludes Larry O’Connell, product marketing director at Vitesse. “The joint Vitesse-Aquantia solution addresses a significant market gap between today’s Gigabit and 10G options, delivering major capex and opex advantages to enterprises coping with burgeoning wireless traffic network demands.”