Broadcom (NASDAQ: BRCM) has released what it bills as the industry's first 10GbE eight-channel, front panel Ethernet physical layer transceiver (PHY). The company says its BCM84780 Octal SFI-XFI PHY establishes a new standard for higher bandwidth data center and enterprise network performance. According to the company, optimized for data centers and enterprise networks that are transitioning to 10GbE and server virtualization, the BCM84780 octal channel SFP+ PHY is approximately 25 percent smaller with lower power per port compared to other currently available solutions.
The PHY features eight fully independent channels with IEEE 1588 timestamping. It also incorporates the fourth generation of the company's all-DSP electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) technology that enables data to be transmitted on a 10GbE serial interface for applications requiring transmission over multimode fiber (MMF) at distances up to 300m (LRM) using OM3 fiber and SFP+ copper twin-axial cable (CR).
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In addition to supporting long reach over multi-mode fiber (LRM), the BCM84780 handles short range (SR), long range (LR) and newer extended range (ER and ZR) optical interfaces for a broad range of high-bandwidth applications. The PHY's multi-rate capabilities enable the user to work with either 10GbE or 1GbE systems. Integrated IEEE 1588 time syncronization operates on a per-channel basis that allows an in-band scheme of precisely timed packets to traverse across multiple systems for voice, video and cellular base stations applications. The user also can bypass or disable the 1588 functionality for each channel independently.
As the need for higher density processing and transmission of data rises, so does the need for data centers and enterprise networks to transition from 1GbE to 10GbE. According to The Linley Group, shipments of 10GbE ports are expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 40 percent from 2010 to 2015, as consumer demand and traffic volume continues to rise for high-bandwidth applications such as streaming video and cloud computing.
The BCM84780 is fully compliant with the SFF-8431 SFP+ standard for both 10GbE and 1GbE operation and is sampling now. Production release is scheduled for mid-2012.