Broadcom shrinks Ethernet switching gear to 65nm
Smaller chips and green intentions
Interop 2008 Broadcom has refreshed its lineup of Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches, bestowing them with smaller 65nm chips in time to show at Interop in Las Vegas.
The merchandise covers 5-, 8-, 16-, and 24-port switch models. There's also a new big switch with 48 ports of 1GbE as well as four 10Gb ports.
The company is hoping the denser portage and lowered power consumption from using 65nm chip technology will appeal to OEMs for their finished networking products.
Broadcom's new BCM53310 series is made up of a 16- and 24-port GbE Layer 2 switch, which support both unmanaged and smart switch configurations.
Broadcom claims the BCM53310 series will provide a 40 per cent reduction in total system power using the smaller chips. The switch includes an AutoVoip feature, which allows voice packets on a network to be prioritized to support VoIP phones.
The 8-port BCM53118 is a single-chip switch that supports a full L2 feature set. Broadcom is advertising a 30 per cent reduction in power in full traffic mode versus its earlier iteration of 8-port silicon solution.
The BCM53115 is a 5-port GbE switch targeted at consumer devices and home networking equipment.
Broadcom's latest switch for big business is the BCM56624 — a 48-port GbE plus 4-port 10GbE switch using a 65nm chip. The switch has carrier-class features such as IPv4 and IPv6 routing, as well as security mechanism like IPFix and large access control lists (ACLs).
Of course, no announcement would be complete without taking a swing at the green angle — and Broadcom is happy to comply. There's there the power-saving benefits of 65nm chips, and that song and dance is certainly on Broadcom's checklist.
The release also prominently boasts that Broadcom "supports the current industry initiatives to remove lead and other hazardous materials from all products," but there's no real mention if it has actually taken any action.
At least it's thinking about the penguins. That's something. We guess. ®
According to the report, 40% power reduction, I assume that means only the switching chip, not the whole pizza box. I doubt they changed the rates for 802.*... Not a lot of boxes in this space that aren't using Broadcom chips, anyway. outside of Cisco (and some of theirs do as I recall). Green is money, in the US.
I will say the only 802.11n AP chipset I've seen that works on the old (=cheap) PoE standard is the 65nm Broadcom one... though I haven't seen kit based on it in the stores yet, so that just might be "on a roadmap" somewhere.
The only wireless Broadcom card I've had that wasn't wired is my 802.11n minipci in my Dell, and so far it's been solid with my Cisco and Linksys gear. Haven't needed Linux drivers for it but that's always hit-or-miss anyway, I have an old Cisco card I use when the built-ins don't work.
@Good, smaller network cards
Are they so huge now? Is there much benefit to 'smaller' chip tech here? Perhaps a little speed boost, which is fairly useless, as an ethernet cable just can't carry much more. Maybe a tiny bit less power use--again fairly useless, as it still has to exert itself enough to make a usable signal. When was the last time you looked at a laptop ethernet adapter or combo card and said: "Wow, that's huge! Can't they do something to make it smaller?"
I have to agree witwh Corinne too... I've found Broadcom cards generally suck. "Wow, excellent signal! Wait... no signal... Oh, it dropped again :("
They can shrink all the way to 32 nm, I still wouldn't touch them with anything but an ax if I'm doing the purchasing.