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Industry News

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Ethernet Switch Chips Smash Latency, Cost Barrier

Business Wire
via NewsEdge Corporation

Overcomes Ethernet's Data Center Limitations

FocalPoint is the first Ethernet switch to implement support for advanced data center topologies, such as fat trees -- a multi-tier network design that links switches at each tier to maintain high bandwidth between the endpoints. Fat tree networks are increasingly used for storage and clustered computing applications. With low latency and a rich set of data center features, FocalPoint enables the build-out of multi-tier fat tree systems of thousands of non-blocking ports, while maintaining sub-microsecond latency from any port in the network to any other port.

"The use of multiple fabric technologies within industry-standard platforms extends the range of applications that can be addressed, but this will tend to fragment the market, reducing the number of vendors supplying particular configurations," said Simon Stanley, principal consultant, Earlswood Marketing and research analyst for Light Reading's Comm Chip Insider. "Fulcrum is betting that by eliminating the latency issues with Ethernet switching, the vast ecosystem that surrounds Ethernet will drive much-needed consolidation."

High Performance, Flexible Interfaces and Extended Features

Initially, Fulcrum is offering two members of the FocalPoint product family:

-- FM2224: Contains 24 quad-SerDes 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, each of which can be configured to operate in 10 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps and 10/100/1000 modes.

-- FM2112: Contains eight quad-SerDes 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, along with 16 single-SerDes interfaces that can support 2.5 Gbps and 10/100/1000 operating modes. The device is intended to provide an economical solution for dense 2.5 Gbps and 1 Gbps applications.

Both devices offer a robust set of standards-compliant layer-two Ethernet switch features, including rich VLAN support, link aggregation, port- and MAC-based security, and Spanning Tree link management. The switches feature shared and protected packet storage memory, and support 16K MAC address entries.

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