Solarflare debuts single-chip, sub-6W 10GBASE-T transceiver

April 16, 2008 -- The 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) silicon provider has released the latest versions of its 10GBASE-T PHY and enhanced 10-GbE controller products.

April 16, 2008 -- 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) silicon provider Solarflare Communications has released the latest versions of its 10GBASE-T PHY and enhanced 10-GbE controller products.

According to the company, the 10Xpress SFT9001 PHY consumes less than 6.0 Watts at maximum 100 meter reach; the Solarstorm SFC4000E vNIC controller consumes less than 2.2 Watts at full line-rate performance. Solarflare contends that, when combined on a server adapter, the 10-GbE silicon PHY and controller deliver 10x the performance of a 1-Gbit NIC at half the power consumption of previous 10-GbE server adapters.

The 10GBASE-T PHY is fully standards compliant, supporting 100-meter reach on standard copper network cabling. With its low power and small footprint, the PHY enables creation of high-density 10-GbE switches and dual-port 10GBASE-T adapter cards, and is the first 10GBASE-T PHY to support wake on LAN (WOL), claims the company.

The PHY also supports legacy infrastructure and includes cable diagnostics to ease deployment. The controller is designed to achieve line-rate performance in both virtualized and non-virtualized environments. The company says the chip's architecture is optimized for OEM implementation within dual-port 10-Gigabit server and storage adapters, and high-density 10-GbE switches, thereby allowing IT managers for enterprise data centers to easily deploy advanced applications over their networks.

Specific features of the 10Xpress SFT9001 PHY include: IEEE Standard 802-3an-2006 compliance; 100 meter reach on UTP Category 6A cabling including the worst-case, four-connector topology in the presence of alien cross talk; support for legacy and installed copper cabling infrastructure: 55 to 100 meter support for installed Category 6 UTP/STP, and support for Category 5 and Category 5e cabling; enables high-density 10-GbE switches up to 48 ports in one rack unit (RU) form factor; enables dual-port 10GBASE-T server adapters that are compliant with the PCIe power specification; several low power modes including WOL from 100s of mW to under 6.0 watts that enable efficient power management; multi-speed, auto-negotiation support for 100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T; 10GBASE-T cable diagnostics to address line breaks and reduce network downtime

Specific features of the Solarstorm SFC4000E vNIC controller include: 2.2 Watts, 18 Gbit/sec bidirectional throughput with 1500 byte maximum transport units (MTUs); enables single-port, sub-10-watt adapters; virtualization and iSCSI protocol acceleration with line-rate performance; vNIC architecture supports up to 4096 virtual machines per interface; virtualization acceleration with line-rate performance for all leading platforms, including Xen/Citrix and VMware; iSCSI data digest offload for SAN/LAN convergence; scalable architecture for upcoming octal-core CPUs and platforms.

Solarflare says the 10Xpress SFT9001 will sample in May to Tier 1 switch and server OEMs; the Solarstorm SFC4000E vNIC is sampling now to Tier 1 server OEMs and other select customers.

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