Vitesse unveils EtherCAT chipset family and new 10-Gbit/sec MAC

8 December 2003 Camarillo, CA Lightwave -- Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. today introduced a chipset family called EtherCAT that provides what it claims is the broadest solution on the market today for solving the rapidly evolving applications of Ethernet-over-SONET/SDH. The company has also introduced a high density, multi-protocol MAC, Campbell-I.

Dec 8th, 2003

8 December 2003 Camarillo, CA Lightwave -- Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. today introduced a chipset family called EtherCAT that provides what it claims is the broadest solution on the market today for solving the rapidly evolving applications of Ethernet-over-SONET/SDH. The company has also introduced a high density, multi-protocol MAC, Campbell-I.

EtherCAT combines the Vitesse MAC product portfolio and its SONET/SDH virtual concatenation mapper family, renamed HOVCAT, to deliver a verified solution to system OEMs. It targets SONET/SDH equipment suppliers who deliver solutions to carriers faced with burgeoning network demands to transport data services over the legacy infrastructure.

The growing demand of 3G wireless, DSL, cable, and voice-over-IP is forcing carriers to rework their networks to supply low cost data transport. Transporting this data must be done without error or downtime while avoiding costly overlay networks or hardware upgrades. EtherCAT addresses these challenges by providing a simple and easy-to-deploy chipset for point-to-point connections with minimal impact on the end user or carrier infrastructure, explain company representatives.

EtherCAT enables the existing SONET/SDH network to cost effectively transport high volumes of Ethernet, storage, and video client traffic, independent of protocols by using Generic Framing Procedure (GFP). Vitesse offers this functionality in its OC-48 and OC-192 channelized mappers, as well as in Campbell-I, its client-side 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10-GbE) MAC.

The modular architecture of EtherCAT provides equipment manufacturers with the flexibility to choose the best client protocol and virtual concatenation mapper solution for a given application. It is an immediate solution that quickly adapts to the evolving requirements in data service deployments, allowing OEMs to customize applications through its flexible interface partitioning. To further support OEMs'architectural partitioning requirements, EtherCAT products also implement the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) SPI-4.2 system interface.

Vitesse continues its rollout of high-performance, multi-purpose MACs with the Campbell-I (VSC7331), designed to bridge the gap between existing Enterprise network protocols and installed infrastructure in Data Service-over-SONET/SDH applications.

When combined with the HOVCAT mappers, Campbell-I permits the transport of the Ethernet protocol suite (GbE and 10-GbE) as well as Fibre Channel, Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON), Fiber Connectivity (FICON), and Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) across existing networks. The "any protocol on any port" architecture of Campbell-I allows system OEMs to develop universal line cards capable of supporting any combination of Ethernet, storage, or video protocols on a per port basis. When used in conjunction with HOVCAT192 (VSC9118), Campbell-I provides five times the port density of competing products, says the company, substantially reducing deployment costs of data services in metro networks.

"EtherCAT moves Vitesse ahead of the competition in providing the industry's only 'any protocol on any port' architecture for the development of universal line cards, which means increased design reuse, reduced development costs, and accelerated time-to-market," reports Mark Fauber, MAC product marketing director for Vitesse. "Carriers and end users can now be assured of seamless transmission of high bandwidth data when the EtherCAT chip solution is part of their network."

Campbell-I operates over an extended temperature range (0 ° C to +85 ° C), is available in a 728-pin TBGA package, and is priced at $280 in volume. Samples are available now with production quantities available in April 2004.

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