COPENHAGEN -- Denmark's i-data international AS here claimed a breakthrough in Gigabit Ethernet chip technology with the introduction of a 16-port switch-on-a-chip capable of handling 24 million packets per second. The chip's internal switching engine can process 32 Gbits-per-second, according to i-data.
The Danish company said the chip, code-named Heathrow, includes an a high-speed switching engine with filtering/forwarding functions and packet buffering as well as queuing capability. These features eliminate the need for external memory devices in a system, according to i-data, which went public on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange last December.
The new 16-port Gigabit Ethernet switch chip is being offered by Exbit Technology, a year-old start-up that develops property cores and chips for high-speed networking. Exbit is an affiliated company of i-data, which has announced plans to invest up to DKK 22 million ($2.7 million) for 40-70% ownership in the start-up company.
The "Heathrow" chip has been designed for triple-speed connectivity (10/100/1,000 Mbits/sec.) on every port for Ethernet networks, said i-data. Each port can be configured to operate at triple-speed for copper transceivers or a TBI (Ten Bit Interface) port for optical fiber transceiver.
First samples of the chip are expected be to available late in the fourth quarter of 2000, said the Copenhagen company.
"We expect to see a rapid adoption of Gigabit Ethernet connectivity in the LAN," said Ole C. Andersen, chief executive officer of Exbit. "As one of the absolute first companies to deliver triple-speed switching silicon, our chips will help drive a transition from 10/100 Mbit/s desktop connectivity to10/100/1000 Mbit/s."
Officials at i-data said they expect Exbit revenues to grow rapidly, citing market data from International Data Corp. (IDC), which believes the Ethernet-based equipment business will quickly increase last year's $1.6 billion in revenues worldwide.