Intel announces two optical transceivers for Fibre Channel storage applications

February 9, 2004 Santa Clara, CA--Intel Corporation today introduced two optical transceivers that will double the performance of Fibre Channel storage systems at about the same cost.

February 9, 2004 Santa Clara, CA--Intel Corporation today introduced two optical transceivers that will double the performance of Fibre Channel storage systems at about the same cost.

The new transceivers support the 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel specification, which is emerging as a solution to bottlenecks occurring in today's 2-Gbit/sec storage-area networks, but where 10-Gbit/sec systems would not be required.

"Video- and graphics-rich applications, plus new requirements for increased document retention and security, are driving the need for faster storage networks," said Bob Zona, marketing director of Intel's Optical Products Division. "The new 4-Gbit/sec transceivers are aimed at systems that can meet those needs, and at roughly the same price as 2-Gbit/sec transceivers when purchased in volume."

"Emulex is working with Intel and other key industry players to ensure broad deployment of reliable and robust 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel solutions," said Mike Smith, Emulex executive vice president of worldwide marketing. "As the first company to deliver 4-Gbit/sec embedded storage switches, Emulex is fully committed to deploying a broad family of building-block solutions for 4-Gbit/sec technology. We are working closely with Intel to ensure complete compatibility and interoperability of our planned 4-Gbit/sec products with Intel's new optical transceivers."

The two new 4-Gbit/sec optical transceivers are aimed at host bus adaptors (HBA), switches and redundant-array-of-independent-disks (RAID) modules that provide
high-speed optical connections for the emerging generation of 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel storage systems. Both products are compatible with 2- and 1 Gbits/sec in the field today, providing an easy, cost-effective upgrade path. The new transceivers conform to multi-source agreements (MSAs) -- standards that define electrical, physical and other characteristics, providing storage equipment makers with compatible building blocks that reduce design time and cost.

The TXN31015 optical transceiver is based on the small-form-factor (SFF) MSA, and is targeted at HBAs and RAID applications in storage-area networks. The TXN31115 optical transceiver is based on the SFF pluggable (SFP) MSA and is designed for 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel switches. Its hot-plug capability enables flexible installation during manufacturing and in the field. Both transceivers are designed to operate on the 850-nm multimode optical fiber found in 90% of enterprise networks.

"The new transceivers complement our broad line of 10-Gbit/sec transceivers, offering storage system vendors a range of optical options for all levels of storage systems," Zona said.

The TXN31015 and TXN31115 transceivers are sampling today, and will be shipping in production quantities in the second half of 2004. They are priced at $47 in sample quantities of 1,000, and will be price competitive with 2/1-Gbit/sec solutions in volume orders.

Rounding out the optical transceiver family are two new transceivers for entry-level 2- and 1-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel and Ethernet storage systems. The 2/1-Gbit/sec TXN31011 SFF and TXN31111 SFP transceivers operate at 2- and 1-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel and at 1-Gbit/sec Ethernet rates. They are designed for Fibre Channel HBAs and switches, and Ethernet network interface cards. Both are available now and priced at $35 in quantities of 1,000.

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