QLogic, Broadcom demo 25 Gigabit Ethernet, 100 Gigabit Ethernet chip interoperability

Data center network equipment provider QLogic Corp. (NASDAQ:QLGC) says it has successfully demonstrated what it asserts is the first end-to-end 25 Gigabit Ethernet to 100 Gigabit Ethernet silicon platform. The platform leverages partner Broadcom Corp.'s (NASDAQ:BRCM) StrataXGS Tomahawk Switch Series and QLogic's cLOM8514 Ethernet controller. The demonstration signals the first cross-vendor interoperability of 25 Gigabit Ethernet and100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and controllers.

Data center network equipment provider QLogic Corp. (NASDAQ:QLGC) says it has successfully demonstrated what it asserts is the first end-to-end 25 Gigabit Ethernet to 100 Gigabit Ethernet silicon platform. The platform leverages partner Broadcom Corp.'s (NASDAQ:BRCM) StrataXGS Tomahawk Switch Series and QLogic's cLOM8514 Ethernet controller. The demonstration signals the first cross-vendor interoperability of 25 Gigabit Ethernet and100 Gigabit Ethernet switches and controllers.

QLogic says the silicon combination should address all next-generation server and storage to top-of-rack connectivity requirements in data center networks through its support of 10/25/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet port speeds.

Work on an official 25 Gigabit Ethernet specification (802.3by) is just getting underway within the IEEE. However, with a 25-Gbps lane already part of the 100 Gigabit Ethernet standard in a 4x25-Gbps configuration, the base technology is already established, many believe. Therefore, data center managers have already expressed a desire for 25 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and, as this demonstration illustrates, developers appear unlikely to wait for the IEEE to finish its 25 Gigabit Ethernet work before introducing technology to the market. In fact, Infonetics Research recently pointed to 25 Gigabit Ethernet and the even more nascent 50 Gigabit Ethernet as drivers for data center network equipment growth (see "25 Gigabit Ethernet, 50 Gigabit Ethernet to reshape data center switching market says Infonetics").

Representatives from the two companies share Infonetics' opinion. "Whether you're talking about hyperscale, private cloud, or on-premise enterprise computing, data centers are still at the heart of business IT, and I/O is the lifeblood of high-performance business applications," said Vikram Karvat, vice president of products, marketing and planning, QLogic. "25GbE represents a radical improvement in value for the IT manager, enabling higher connectivity densities, a 2.5X increase in performance per link over 10GbE, and improvement in TCO [total cost of ownership] via lower infrastructure costs compared to 40GbE. Because of these factors, we expect 25GbE to change the networking landscape over the next two to three years."

"Broadcom's collaboration with QLogic to demonstrate the first working end-to-end 25 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet solution attests to our shared vision of driving rapid innovation in data center networking," said Rochan Sankar, Broadcom director of product marketing, Network Switch. "QLogic's network controller leverages a common 25-Gbps transceiver technology with our StrataXGS Tomahawk Switch Series, and we've proven out the protocol interoperability over 25 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet links. Together we're paving the way for substantially greater capacity, scalability, and cost-efficiency of next-generation server and storage interconnect."

The two companies did not reveal when adapters and other systems using the silicon platform will be commercially available.

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