NetXen's quad-to-10-GbE intelligent NICs boost server connectivity

Aug. 18, 2008
August 18, 2008 -- Comprising an upgradeable quad-to-10 Gigabit LAN on motherboard (LOM) architecture for volume blade and rack server platforms, the company says its patented FlexLOM technology equips the NIC silicon to be a catalyst for the volume server industry's migration to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

August 18, 2008 -- NetXen, Inc. announced the availability of its third-generation NX3031 NetXen Intelligent NICs with FlexLOM technology.

The NX3031 silicon and boards are designed to deliver superior performance for next-generation, mainstream server environments. An upgradeable quad-to-10 Gigabit LAN on motherboard (LOM) architecture for volume blade and rack server platforms, the patented FlexLOM technology equips the NIC silicon to be a catalyst for the volume server industry's migration to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE), contends the company.

"NetXen's FlexLOM solution clearly differentiates them from other 10 Gigabit Ethernet NIC vendors and should accelerate the industry transition from Gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The cost effectiveness and upgradeability of the FlexLOM technology is extremely attractive for OEMs and end users alike. And, when combined with the highest performance numbers I've seen to date, the NX3031 delivers impressive price/performance," comments Bob Wheeler, senior analyst, The Linley Group. "As 10 Gigabit server connections evolve from costly network interface cards to sophisticated LOM architectures designed for mainstream high-volume servers, the new NX3031 silicon positions NetXen as a technology leader in 10 Gigabit Ethernet."

Running Windows and operating in stateless NIC mode, NetXen's NX3031-based Intelligent NICs is designed to boost network I/O performance to 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for volume 1U/2U servers and blade server platforms. NetXen claims that, according to a Tolly Group Up to Spec Certified test, the platform achieves 22 Gbps of bi-directional throughput and greater than 14 Gbps receive throughput for 1500-byte packets. These test results represent a near doubling of previous industry benchmarks, claims netXen. The performance gain is achieved through a form of stateless offload enabled by the programmability of the intelligent NIC.

"Both with 1500-byte frames and with jumbo frames, the NX3031 delivered ultra-high throughput coupled with extremely low CPU utilization," says Kevin Tolly, president and CEO, The Tolly Group. "This underscores the effectiveness of the new stateless offload capabilities of the NetXen NX3031."

The NX3031 family of chips and boards has been specifically designed to address both current and future go-to-market needs of volume server OEMs as they transition from Gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet technologies. The platform enables server OEMs to commit 10 Gigabit Ethernet to the motherboard without worrying about a specific connectivity variant, such as SPF+, CX4 or the emerging 10GBASE-T. This "above-board" connectivity option futureproofs servers while removing risk for both the OEM and the end user, maintains the company.

"Our third-generation intelligent NIC solutions harness the power of the FlexLOM architecture to provide server OEMs and board manufacturers with an effortless, affordable and high-volume transition from Gigabit to 10 Gigabit Ethernet," remarks Govind Kizhepat, CEO and founder, NetXen. "Beginning today, volume server providers can confidently incorporate NetXen's NX3031 intelligent NIC solution, starting out with Gigabit Ethernet connectivity on their servers, and then transitioning to 10 Gigabit Ethernet when, how and as they need it, without burdening the cost of the base platform."

NetXen is now shipping its third-generation NX3031 Intelligent NIC solution, which is the foundation for the company's series of intelligent network adapters:

NX3-20GxR: Dual-port 10GbE low-profile PCI Express 2.0 cards with pluggable SFP+ optical interconnect modules

NX3-20GCU: Dual-port 10GbE low-profile PCI Express 2.0 card with direct attach twinax copper wiring for cost-effective in-rack connectivity

NX3-4GBT: Low-profile PCI Express 2.0 card with four Gigabit Ethernet ports for maximum flexibility in mixed 1G/10G environments

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