10 Gigabit Ethernet multi-layer switch

Broadcom’s BCM5673 is claimed to be the first 10 Gigabit Ethernet multi-layer switch to deliver wire-speed Layer 2 through Layer 7 switching and routing capabilities over a 10GBASE-CX4 copper medium.

Broadcom’s BCM5673 is claimed to be the first 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) multi-layer switch to deliver wire-speed Layer 2 through Layer 7 switching and routing capabilities over a 10GBASE-CX4 copper medium (CX4).

As the latest addition to Broadcom’s StrataXGS product family, the single chip enables system manufacturers to build stackable 24- and 48-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches with multiple 10GbE interfaces in a compact 1U form factor (standard unit height of approximately 1.75 inches).

The rapid transition from Fast Ethernet to Gigabit Ethernet for desktop and notebook computers has accelerated the need for GbE stacking switches in the wiring closet. In addition, network administrators continue to deploy servers with GbE in data centres.

To meet the demand for this increase in cumulative bandwidth, today’s enterprise networks require 10GbE uplinks for data aggregation and routing at the core of the network. With the new IEEE 802.3ae-compliant BCM5673 device, network administrators can now deploy 10GbE systems into the enterprise.

The BCM5673 integrates a CX4-compatible 10GbE Attachment Unit Interface (XAUI) SerDes (serializer/deserializer) making it suitable for compact 10GbE stackable systems. Solutions prior to the BCM5673 required optical components and complex subsystems, resulting in significantly higher costs with less reliability. The CX4-compatible SerDes enables the transmission of 10GbE over low cost, standard copper media as well as fibre.

The BCM5673’s integrated architecture combines a packet buffer memory, on-chip address tables and high-performance SerDes in a single device, reducing the number of components necessary in a 10GbE switch. Competitive 10GbE silicon solutions usually require standalone SerDes, a minimum of four external memory devices and a fabric interface chip, resulting in at least seven components per 10GbE port.

The ‘ContentAware’ network processing capabilities of the BCM5673 provide Layer 2 through Layer 7 per packet intelligence. This on-chip classification processor allows network administrators to simultaneously deploy voice, video and data in IPv4 and IPv6 networks. Furthermore, the device enables complex, content-based access control lists (ACLs) for implementing security features, such as denial of service attack blocking, intrusion detection and wireless authentication.

Offered in a 400-pin PBGA package, the device has been built using 0.13-micron CMOS process technology. It has a power consumption of less than 4W.

Samples of the BCM5673 are currently available to customers. Production quantities are expected by the end Q3 of 2003. Pricing is available upon request.

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