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Layer 2 switches consume <600mW/port

Posted: 11 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Touted to be the world's first fully integrated, cost-optimized, triple-speed 10/100/1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet) Layer 2 switches, the SparX series from Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. features what it claims as the industry's lowest power, integrated switch-plus-copper-PHY technology, consuming <600mW per porta 40 percent advantage over competing multi-chip solutions.

For the first time, Vitesse said, customers can significantly reduce BoM costs with a total system-level solution consisting of a single integrated SparX component. This solution replaces existing designs that are burdened with having to use a switch plus external CPU, PHYs and line termination schemes.

The first two SparX series membersthe 5-port SparX-G5 (VSC7385) and 8-port SparX-G8 (VSC7388), are designed for Small Office Home Office (SOHO) and consumer markets where low cost and flexible QoS is required. Target applications also include Small-Medium Business (SMB) desktop switches, and consumer wireless and DSL broadband router applications.

"The SparX series rewrites the rules for the industry, driving Gigabit switching into price-sensitive markets, and displacing Fast Ethernet as the preferred SOHO/desktop solution," commented Simon Keeton, GM of Ethernet Products Division at Vitesse. "We dramatically reduce overall system costs in five key areas: integrating the PHYs; cutting power consumption by over 40 percent; supporting two-layer PCB designs; eliminating the need for fans and external line terminations; and allowing the end customer to use inexpensive plastic cases."

Additionally, members of the SparX series offer sophisticated QoS features, including four queues per port with per-queue traffic shaping and policing, IPv4 and IPv6 classification capabilities, and the ability to carry consumer-quality VoIP. Other features include 802.1x authentication, Layer 2 through Layer 4 link aggregation and VLAN support, and wire-speed MAC address learning.

Vitesse stressed the SparX series' ability to support Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) remarking. DSCP remarking enables enterprise network managers and service providers to more accurately manage the priority of traffic based on service agreements with customers, the company explained. According to them, they are the only company to offer a one-chip switch supporting this important network QoS feature.

Currently sampling, the VSC7385 and VSC7388 are available in low cost, PBGA packaging. Volume pricing for the VSC7385 is $30 and $40 for the VSC7388. Volume production will begin in the first quarter of 2005.

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