June 3, 2008 -- Force10 Networks has received a patent for design developments that reduce the complexity and cost of high performance backplanes for switches and routers targeting the mid-sized data center and enterprise markets. The patent brings the backplane designs developed for the company's TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers to its C-Series family of resilient switches.
Force10's previous E1200 switch/router design incorporates a passive copper backplane with capacity of up to five Terabits per second. The company notes that this series' support for a large number of line card connection slots, multiple signaling layers, and high capacity traces ensures backplane throughput at high densities; however, the design often delivers more capacity than most switches and routers require.
By increasing signaling efficiency between the backplane layers, Force10 says it's newly patented design reduces the complexity of the backplane and associated costs, thereby bringing the same high reliability and fabrication techniques patented for the TeraScale E-Series to systems with lower total throughput, such as the C-Series.
The patented passive copper backplanes of the Force10 E-Series and C-Series both increase reliability by eliminating a single point of failure and reduce power consumption at the system-level. With advancements in signaling, design and fabrication, the company says backplane provides a scalable foundation that can support high throughput on its chassis-based switch/routers.
"As the need for greater reliability extends from the data center to the enterprise LAN, system-level innovations are required to ensure that reliable high performance technology can cost effectively be introduced to smaller environments," comments Joel Goergen, chief scientist and vice president of technology at Force10 Networks. "With this patent, Force10 is extending the backplane advances developed for the TeraScale E-Series to the C-Series, enabling a diverse group of organizations to utilize their networks as a strategic asset."