Broadcom Finally Gets to 100G
Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) has started shipping a 100Gbit/s network processor, breaking a long period of ... not silence, exactly, but really-quietness.
The BCM88030 is a 100Gbit/s full-duplex processor -- that is, it carries 100Gbit/s in one direction. (Put another way, the bandwidth isn't double-counted, as it often is in switch/router circles.) Broadcom isn't saying how much power the chip uses, but it will be reasonable to build a 400Gbit/s line card using four of the chips, says Dan Harding, Broadcom senior director of product marketing.
Why this matters
Broadcom is reigniting its telecom interest, having recently acquired Dune Networks and NetLogic Microsystems. The BCM88030's genealogy goes back to the 2006 acquisition of Sandburst, a group we haven't heard much from lately.
In the meantime, Broadcom got lapped by EZchip Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: EZCH), which began shipping the NP-4, its 50Gbit/s full duplex network processor, in 2010. Broadcom's closest answer was a 24Gbit/s full duplex processor. EZchip also claims it already has wins for a 100Gbit/s processor in the works, the NP-5.
A third competitor is Xelerated, which recently got acquired by Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) and had also reached the 50Gbit/s mark.
Broadcom thinks it's OK to be late to that generation of products. The 100Gbit/s generation is at the point where equipment vendors really need new chipsets -- as opposed to 40Gbit/s, which really became the "n-by-10Gbit/s" generation, Harding says.
— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading