February 1, 2006 Calabasas, CA -- Fulcrum Microsystems is sampling its FM2224, the first device in its FocalPoint family of low-latency 10-Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switch semiconductors. The company says that testing of the first silicon has shown that the device delivers on the company's claims of 200 nanoseconds (ns) of total latency, and sustained full-rate throughput up to 10 Gbit/sec on all 24 ports.
"Initially, many customers were cautiously optimistic about our performance and latency claims based on the fact that no Ethernet switch chip vendor has ever come close to meeting the targets that we set out to achieve," explains Bob Nunn, Fulcrum's president and CEO. "Now that we have successfully demonstrated both the performance and latency specifications, and have begun sampling silicon and evaluation platforms, we are gratified by the customer excitement surrounding our FocalPoint family."
Since first announcing the FocalPoint family in November, the company says it has received first silicon, brought up the chips and evaluation platforms in the lab, conducted extensive performance and conformance tests, and has begun sampling the Ethernet switch chip, all within two months.
According to the company, the FocalPoint switches can be used to build a standard, low-cost 10-GbE-based data center interconnect infrastructure with latency and performance comparable to specialty interconnects such as Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, and Myrinet. The company says the device complements emerging low-latency Ethernet endpoints, which incorporate technologies such as TCP offload engines and remote direct memory access (RDMA) to improve the performance of, and minimize the burden on, the hosts in the system.
The U.S. list price for the 24-port FM2224 is $450 in 5K unit quantities. The price for the FM2112 (which contains eight 10-Gbit ports and sixteen 1-Gbit ports) is $265 in 10K unit quantities. A fully-integrated 1RU evaluation platform containing twenty-four 10-GbE CX4 interfaces is also available.