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Fujitsu Intros 20-Port, 10 GbE Switch IC for Blade Servers

Fujitsu Microelectronics America Inc. (FMA) and Fujitsu Laboratories of America Inc. (FLA) introduced a 20-port, 10 Gbps Ethernet (10 GbE) switch IC, the MB8AA3020, designed to meet the performance demands of high-density backplane switching for advanced TCA (ATCA) and micro TCA, blade server and data center applications.

The new 20-port 10 GbE switch chip delivers 400+Gbps, non-blocking, aggregate switching bandwidth through 3Mbytes of proprietary, multi-stream shared buffer memory, with on-chip 10 Gbps serial SerDes.

"With the introduction of 10 Gbps connectivity for blade servers, the increasing need for high-speed aggregation in the enterprise core, and the proliferation of Ethernet into service provider networks, 10 Gbps Ethernet is now becoming an important market. It will account for a significant share of Ethernet switching equipment revenues by 2010," said Peter Middleton, principal research analyst with Gartner Inc.

The chip has been designed to provide high quality of service for data center and carrier networks through state-of-art virtualization, backward congestion management notification (BCN) and priority PAUSE features. An on-chip micro-engine drives the simple-to-use management interface. The IC, which has the smallest footprint in its class, also supports the CX4 interface and adaptive equalization with on-chip SerDes. The new switch complements Fujitsu's family of 12-port, 10 GbE devices, which have been widely deployed in high-performance servers worldwide.

"The bladed equipment market's sharp turn toward ASSPs to develop standards-based blade server and ATCA architectures in the past two years translates into solid demand for a chip with these features," stated Jag Bolaria, senior analyst with the Linley Group. "Fujitsu's 20-port 10 Gbps Ethernet switch chip brings powerful congestion management and scalability to the makers of blade servers and access switches."

Fujitsu's new switch chip embeds 20 high-bandwidth, full-duplex 10 Gbps ports in a single, integrated 1,156-pin FCBGA package. The 10 Gbps serial ports provide a twofold, industry-leading advantage. First, they eliminate the need for expensive off-chip XAUI to XFI SerDes, allowing direct connections to optical XFP modules on any port and helping to significantly reduce cost, latency, power consumption, and board space. Second, the ports reduce the routing overhead inherent in running 4 x 3.125G lanes.

"The high-density MB8AA3020 chip is in a class by itself," stated FMA's senior manager Asif Hazarika, who is heading FMA's Networking Solutions Business Group. "This next-generation switch chip sets new standards of delivery for enterprise, data-center and carrier-switching-systems suppliers. It provides optimal switching capacity, low latency, a wide range of switching priorities, superior security, and previously unavailable congestion-management capabilities. With the 10 Gbps serial interface, the new chip will cost-effectively meet the requirements for backplane switching in the ATCA, micro-TCA and blade-server environments."

"With current trends in traffic growth and complex multimedia services, network and data-center operators must have a quantum leap in layer-2 switching system performance," added Akira Hattori, FLA's senior vice president of Advanced Interconnect Technology. "These networks demand 400+ Gbps of non-blocking switching capacity and double or triple the memory capacity of the best available alternative. They need very low latency and the flexibility of 10G serial, XAUI or CX4 interface capability on all ports. The MB8AA3020 chip fulfills all of these key switching requirements at the lowest power consumption, highest density and smallest footprint in the industry."

The new chip offers 400 Gbps of non-blocking, aggregate switching capacity in both cut-through and store-and-forward modes of operation. With a 300ns, pin-to-pin switching latency including SerDes in cut-through mode, the chip is ideal for high-density, latency-sensitive applications. Some competing devices claim lower latencies but do not count the latency (an additional 300ns delay in round-trip) that would be encountered through the off-chip SerDes between the XAUI and XFP module.

An on-chip micro-engine embedded in the MB8AA3020 and the 2 x 10/100/1GbE management interface provide the high-level API for switch software, reducing the amount of software development required on the board.

Key to advanced service-level delivery, the 20-port chip provides eight priority classifications per port, enabling priority switching based on DiffServ, MAC address, VLANs, extended VLANs and ports. In addition, the MB8AA3020 provides data center and carrier-grade Ethernet features like priority PAUSE, backward congestion notification and early-packet-drop capabilities for congestion management. These features, in combination with the industry's largest buffer memory, allow the MB8AA3020 to handle both best-effort and guaranteed-high-availability customer traffic in a single chip.

In addition to the standard 4K VLAN and QinQ capabilities, the new chip provides 64 extended VLAN addresses, which can be used to logically partition operator networks without QinQ. The layer-2 capabilities are further enriched by IGMP and MLD snooping, as well as by DiffServ for both IPv4 and IPv6.

As noted, the Fujitsu MB8AA3020 also includes an integrated on-chip micro-engine. The micro-engine executes commands sent by the Ethernet management interface, thus simplifying software development, increasing flexibility and reducing time to market.

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