Targeting green data centers, Marvell unveils 40-GbE switch silicon

May 19, 2009
May 19, 2009 -- Marvell Semiconductor announced the first commercial availability of its Prestera 98CX8234 packet processor for data center switching. The chip offers multiple 40-GbE and 10-GbE ports and line rate switching capability of 720 Mpps. In addition, it supports features that enable convergence of storage and data traffic in next generation data centers.

May 19, 2009 -- Marvell Semiconductor, a provider of storage, communications, and consumer silicon devices, announced the first commercial availability of the Marvell Prestera 98CX8234 packet processor for data center switching. This new member of the company's Prestera CX family of packet processors offers multiple 40-GbE and 10-GbE ports and line rate switching capability of 720 Million packets per second (Mpps). In addition, the switching solution supports a new set of features that enable convergence of storage and data traffic in next generation data centers, says Marvell.

According to the company, support for Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) in the Prestera 98CX8234 enables the design and deployment of systems that facilitate the convergence of data and storage networks. New standards compliant congestion management capabilities in the device, including (but not limited to) per-priority flow control and enhanced transmission selection, allow finer grained responses to network congestion and assist in improving service delivery with deterministic network behavior.

"New service delivery and power requirements are the driving forces of evolution in data center infrastructures. With the Prestera 98CX8234, Marvell is delivering a number of industry firsts, each feature purpose built to facilitate the overall reduction in power, network complexity and operational overhead," remarks Dr. Simon Milner, vice president and general manager of the enterprise business unit, consumer and communications business group at Marvell.

The dynamic power management capabilities of the Prestera 98CX8234 provide an infrastructure for on-demand power draw reduction, maintains Marvell. With one of the lowest power footprints per gigabit of throughput for a device in its class, the Prestera 98CX8234 is designed to enable the design of green data centers.

"Using Ixia's converged enhanced Ethernet, layer 2-7 testing solution, we were able to validate, for the first time, data center bridging exchange (DCBX), along with other FCoE features, including FIP control protocol snooping and FCoE packets classification with Marvell's Prestera CX," explains Victor Alston, senior vice president of Ixia. "Ixia's high-density 10-GbE load modules were also used to demonstrate full, wire-speed packet switching using 48 ports of 10-GbE in full mesh test with Marvell's new device."

"With enterprises beginning to deploy 10-GbE uplinks on client side switches in the wiring closet, and 10-GbE direct server connections, the aggregation of these links may become a bottleneck in the network until higher speeds are widely available," offers Alan Weckel, Ethernet switch enterprise telephony market research director of Dell'Oro Group. "Solutions from silicon vendors with converged enhanced Ethernet capabilities and 40-GbE ports can help accelerate the reduction in complexity of enterprise and service provider network topologies."

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