Fibre channel upgrade

Intel has introduced two optical transceivers that, it claims, will double the performance of existing Fibre Channel storage systems at about the same cost.

The two 4-Gbit/sec optical transceivers are aimed at host bus adaptors (HBA), switches and redundant-array-of-independent-disks (RAID) modules that provide optical connections for 4-Gbit/sec Fibre Channel storage systems. Both products are compatible with 2- and 1-Gbit/sec in the field today and conform to multi-source agreements (MSA) – standards.

The Intel TXN31015 optical transceiver is based on the compact Small Form Factor (SFF) MSA, and is targeted at HBAs and RAID applications in storage-area networks.

The Intel TXN31115 optical transceiver is based on the Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) MSA and is designed for Fibre Channel switches. Its hot-plug capability enables flexible installation during manufacturing and in the field.

Both transceivers are designed to operate on the 850nm multimode optical fibre found in 90% of enterprise networks.

The Intel TXN31015 and TXN31115 transceivers are sampling today, and will be shipping in production quantities in the second half of 2004. They are priced at $47 in sample quantities of 1,000, and, Intel claims, will be price competitive with 2/1-Gbit/sec solutions in volume orders.

Rounding out the family are two new transceivers for entry-level 2- and 1-Gbps Fibre Channel and Ethernet storage systems. The 2/1-Gbit/sec TXN31011 SFF and TXN31111 SFP transceivers operate at 2- and 1Gbit/sec Fibre Channel and at 1-Gbit/sec Ethernet rates. They are designed for Fibre Channel HBAs and switches, and Ethernet network interface cards. Both are available now and priced at $35 in quantities of 1,000.

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