Broadcom Unveils StrataXGS III

The company's latest Ethernet switch chip includes support for security, IPv6 routing, and wireless LAN switching

January 24, 2005

5 Min Read

IRVINE, Calif. –- Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor solutions enabling broadband communications, today announced its new StrataXGS® III switch architecture featuring the world’s fastest, highest performing family of fully integrated Ethernet switch chips. Evolving from four prior generations of Broadcom® Ethernet switch technology, the new StrataXGS III switches are the first to incorporate ubiquitous security, wire-speed IPv6 routing and wireless LAN support. The new StrataXGS III switch architecture features an advanced multi-layer 72 Gigabit per second (Gbps) full-duplex packet processing architecture. These next-generation capabilities are only available in StrataXGS III switches.

Information Technology (IT) professionals are often required to minimize capital expenditures and reduce operating costs of network infrastructures. To achieve these objectives, IT professionals need to simplify the management of desktop PCs, VoIP phones, wireless LAN access points and security appliances. The deployment of new applications, as well as the convergence of voice, video and data, has intensified the need for reliable, secure, high performance networks. Ethernet switching is the most pervasive solution to achieve this convergence due to its wide use and cost-effectiveness. The StrataXGS III Ethernet switch chips further accelerate this convergence through their superior performance and enhanced security features, delivering the reliability demanded by enterprise and carrier environments.

Announced today is the first StrataXGS III product family, the 500 Series. Designed for feature-rich, high performance Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 10GbE switch applications, the 500 Series includes five new chips, the BCM56500, BCM56501, BCM56502, BCM56503 and BCM56504, each targeting different port and functionality requirements. The flagship product, the BCM56504, is the only switch in the industry to incorporate 24 GbE ports and four 10GbE ports in a single-chip device. This specific configuration is required by network integrators to support concurrent stacking and redundant 10GbE uplinks. Each GbE port can operate at 10/100/1000 Megabits per second (Mbps) while each 10GbE port can operate in either 10GbE mode or stacking mode. Additionally, the BCM56504 is based on a 72 Gbps packet processor that is capable of processing over 100 million packets per second, which is unrivaled for integrated multi-layer switches.

“With StrataXGS III, we are delivering an exciting new generation of switching silicon that enables reliable and secure communication of voice, video and data traffic on a single high-performance network,” said Martin Lund, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom’s Enterprise Switch Line of Business. “Building on the success formula of the previous generations of StrataSwitch® and StrataXGS, StrataXGS III features an impressive collection of unique technologies that will power the world’s most advanced enterprise and carrier networks over the next several years.”

Focus on Robust Security, Resiliency and Converged Unified Networking

With the increasing rate of targeted attacks on public and corporate networks, Broadcom has responded to the need for resilient secure networking by integrating a wealth of unique security-based intelligence into all StrataXGS III products. Broadcom’s exclusive wire-speed Layer 2 to Layer 7 application-aware security technology is designed to enforce secure policies based on a flexible variety of programmable rules. Also featured is integrated Denial of Service attack prevention technology that provides continuity of service to users in case of an attack. To complete the security features within all StrataXGS III products, advanced cryptographic technology is integrated that meets the stringent requirements defined by the U.S. Government’s FIPS 140-2 standard.

Building upon next-generation security features, the StrataXGS III architecture enables seamless integration of a unified wireless and wired infrastructure. In the past, WLAN adoption has been limited due to the cost and complexity of deploying expensive appliances and managing a separate WLAN network. The StrataXGS III architecture solves these problems by integrating secure WLAN services and fast roaming technology, eliminating the need for costly appliances. As a result, IT professionals can now deploy cost-effective and easy to manage WLAN services, such as new VoIP wireless phones, on a single unified network.

As the Internet continues to experience incredible growth, it is expected that there will be a shortage of IPv4 addresses in the future, prompting a new protocol solution called IPv6 that provides virtually unlimited address space. In support of this trend, the StrataXGS III architecture is ahead of this transition by fully integrating both IPv4 and IPv6 routing capabilities. This cost-effective implementation will enable the easy migration to IPv6 in corporate and service provider networks. In addition, intelligent IP multicast technology is also featured within StrataXGS III switches, enabling service providers to offer new triple play capabilities (voice, video and data) and video broadcasting services.

To reduce system development costs and accelerate time to market, Broadcom provides a comprehensive application programming interface (API) that maintains software compatibility with previous generations of Broadcom switches. In addition to providing a common API, Broadcom provides reference designs for the StrataXGS III product series including software, schematics, layout files and related documentation.

StrataXGS III Summary

The StrataXGS III family of switch chips is ideal for standalone, stackable and chassis switch configurations supporting enterprise, service provider and grid computing markets. In addition, these devices are well-suited for use in embedded applications such as blade servers, IP DSLAM (Internet protocol digital subscriber line access multiplexers), PON (passive optical networking), and AdvancedTCA® (Advanced telecom computing architecture), providing reliable local, backplane and inter-shelf switching.

Pricing and Availability

The 500 Series of StrataXGS III Ethernet switches (BCM56500, BCM56501, BCM56502, BCM56503 and BCM56504) are currently sampling to Broadcom’s early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.

Broadcom Corp.

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