LUND, Sweden -- SwitchCore AB, a developer of Gigabit Ethernet chips, has unveiled a family of wire-speed-performance products, including a 16-port Gigabit Ethernet switch delivering 24 million packets per second.
The single-chip CXE architecture combines full wire-speed Gigabit packet routing with hardware traffic differentiation, enabling broadband applications that require both Gigabit speeds and quality of service (QoS). In addition to L2 and L3 unicast support, CXE-based routers and switches administer full wire speed L2 and IP multicast support, eliminating the limitations that have historically held back consumer broadcast and streaming media applications.
"These network engines will deliver the performance and quality of service required by the market to remove the network bottlenecks at a system cost that will allow the rapid deployment of Gigabit Ethernet," said Per Andersson, president and CEO of SwitchCore.
The fastest growing revenue segment of the LAN marketplace is Gigabit Ethernet, which in large part is being driven by the advances in silicon design and availability in 2000," said IdaRose Sylvester of Dataquest Inc. in San Jose. "The 90% increase in port shipments we expect between 2000 and 2001 is being accelerated by concurrent demand for greater bandwidth and the availability of advanced merchant silicon solutions."
The first three products in the CXE family are the CXE-16, a 16-port GE switch/router; the CXE-1000, a 4-port Gigabit and 24-port Fast Ethernet switch/router; and the CXE-5000, a multi-protocol high performance content-addressable memory (CAM). The devices are suitable for server farms, campus backbones, and enterprise networks.
The CXE-16 is claimed by SwitchCore to be the industry's first single-chip solution for Layer 2, 3 and 4 Gigabit Ethernet switching, with 16 Gigabit Ethernet ports. At a throughput of 24 million packets per second, the CXE-16 offers wire-speed QoS including classification, prioritization and guaranteed bandwidth. The CXE-16 is suited for stand-alone switches and routers as well as modular solutions and backplane applications.
The CXE-1000 is a Layer 2, 3 and 4 switch with 24 Fast Ethernet ports and 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports. It has a throughput of 9.6 million packets per second offering the same wire-speed features as the CXE-16. The CXE-1000 is designed for stand-alone switching as well as high performance non-blocking scalable network solutions.
The CXE-5000 is a multi-protocol CAM designed to execute ultra-high-speed address lookups. It can sustain a rate of 75 million lookups per second with a pipelined latency of three clock cycles. It interfaces gluelessly to the CXE switches and, with them, is scalable to 224,000 entries. The CXE-5000 can also scale up to 992,000 entries in other applications.
Wire-speed quality of service (QoS) is becoming a requirement from network applications, users, and providers. They require the sharing of resources and bandwidth in a deterministic, controlled manner, with limits on traffic latency and jitter. Despite different types of traffic being integrated over the same media, wire-speed QoS guarantees that critical network services are maintained while the available bandwidth is used to its full potential.
"What sets the CXE product family apart from other networking solutions available today is the ability to provide these solutions at wire-speed, without the need for slow processor intervention," said Kurt Busch, president of SwitchCore Corp., the Swedish company's U.S. subsidiary in San Jose. "With the advanced bandwidth management features of the CXE-16 and CXE-1000. it is possible to reserve, limit and distribute bandwidth to users or specific applications using L2, L3 and L4 information."
The CXE-16 and CXE-1,000 are sampling this quarter, with production starting in the fourth quarter of this year. Both chips come in an 836-pin EBGA package. The CXE-16 is priced at $950 each and the CXE-1000 at $450 each in quantities of 1,000. The CXE-5000 CAM is sampling in the third quarter of this year, with production slated for the fourth quarter. Pricing is $100 each in quantities of 1,000.