SAN JOSE, Calif. – 10GBase-T, the version of 10 Gbit/second Ethernet geared for standard copper cables, plugged into the recent Interop event, a sign the technology may be taking hold-- finally.
Cisco Systems demonstrated a version of its Nexus 2000 switch using 10GBase-T at the Ethernet Alliance booth. Hewlett-Packard showed 10GBase-T switch module using chips from Solarflare, and Emulex showed boards using the 40nm chips from Teranetics, now part of PLX Technologies.
"It looks like the 10GBase-T market is finally getting off the ground," said Bob Wheeler, a senior analyst with market watcher The Linley Group (Mountain View, Calif.) who attended the event.
The adoption comes none too soon for a handful of companies that banked their existence on the technology. Earlier this month, Marvell reportedly bought the 10GBase-T PHY assets of Solarflare, one of a handful of startups that pioneered the technology.
In September, PCI chip designer PLX Technology acquired Teranetics, another 10GBase-T startup, for just $36 million. Earlier, NetLogic reportedly bought the assets of another 10GBase-T startup, Plato Labs.
Aquantia remains the last of the 10GBase-T startups still surviving. It launched a quad-port 10GBase-T chip earlier this month and is said to have snagged a major design win on Intel's Romley server boards using Intel's Sandy Bridge server chips shipping later this year.
One analyst estimated 10GBase-T chips will earn a little more than $350 million in 2014, but will take off rapidly after that. The IEEE 802.3an standard was ratified way back in 2006, nearly four years after work on the standard started amid great optimism.