Mellanox unveils multi-protocol 10-GbE PHY, targeting data center networking, storage, server systems

May 14, 2009
May 14, 2009 -- The 6-port Mellanox PhyX device supports XAUI, XFI, SFI and 10GBASE-KR protocols, with integrated Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support.

May 14, 2009 -- Mellanox Technologies announced the immediate availability of its PhyX, a high-density, multi-protocol physical layer silicon device designed for 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) switches and pass-through modules. The company says the chip provides for the highest levels of integration by supporting six channels in a single device, giving Ethernet switches a high-density, low power, flexible design.

For server blades, the company maintains that the PhyX provides an economical solution for pass through modules. The company contends that the PhyX is the first device that supports all 10 Gigabit Ethernet physical layer functionality in a single device with an ability to be field upgraded to support Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to 2/4/8G Fibre Channel gateway functionality with no change in hardware.

Mellanox maintains that the market need for high density 10 Gigabit Ethernet is rapidly increasing in the network and data center to feed today's more powerful multi-core server processing platforms and expanding enterprise applications. Switches are expected to migrate from relatively low 10-GbE port counts to a higher density solution for the next generation of data center networking systems. Those solutions need to be able to support multiple copper and fiber form factors like SFP+, while also supporting the new emerging protocols for converged network like FCoE.

"Mellanox's six-port devices enable OEMs to develop high port density data center switches and blades, with a field upgradeable option to deliver FCoE for future investment protection," offers Jag Bolaria, senior analyst at The Linley Group. "Low power, multiport PHYs are a key ingredient for driving 10-GbE adoption to service the high bandwidth needs of data center and carrier networks."

According to Mellanox, the PhyX supports the following capabilities: six 10GigE ports that provide the highest port density for 10-GbE switches and pass-through modules; support for GbE and 10-GbE for maximum flexibility and backwards compatibility; all 10-GbE protocols in a single device: XAUI to XFI / SFI; 10GBASE-KR to XAUI / XFI / SFI and XAUI / XFI / SFI / KR to Fibre Channel 2/4/8G; field upgradeable to FCoE functionality enabling faster time to market; low power of 1.45W / port, enabling power-efficient 10GigE switches and pass-through modules; SR and LR optical module and twinax copper support.

"Mellanox is committed to providing efficient and innovative solutions for a cost-effective upgrade path to 10 Gigabit Ethernet in the data center and to enable IT managers to support the increasing demands for server and storage networking throughput," says John Monson, vice president of marketing of Mellanox Technologies. "PhyX provides Ethernet vendors with industry-leading density and I/O flexibility, as well as the ability to rapidly deploy support for FCoE-based converged fabric initiatives."

The PhyX solutions are available now with pricing available upon request.

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