Comms chips

Vitesse Targets Ethernet Backhaul

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) is launching an Ethernet switch-chip family for Ethernet access devices, targeting edge-network applications, especially mobile backhaul.

Vitesse claims Serval, being announced Monday, is the only merchant access switch that supports MPLS and MPLS-TP and has an LTE-advanced-ready support for the IEEE Communications Society 1588v2 standard for backhaul timing. The first Serval chip, VSC7418, is due to sample to customers this month.

Serval continues Vitesse's practice of naming chips after increasingly obscure wild cats, following Jaguar, LynX and Caracal.

Why this matters
Vitesse is trying to stake a claim on leading the operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) side of carrier Ethernet. Serval includes lots of OAM features while still keeping the chip contained in terms of power consumption and size, says Uday Mudoi, Vitesse's director of product marketing.

It's kind of a response to the Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) StrataXGS BCM56440, a mobile backhaul chip launched in March -- but that chip's scope includes larger systems than Serval targets, Mudoi says.

If a specialized low-power chip is really necessary for access and backhaul, then Vitesse may have bought itself a temporary advantage. But then it won't be long before others, especially Broadcom, catch up to its engineering.

For more
Other recent tidbits about carrier Ethernet devices and the chips that love them:

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 4:47:19 PM
re: Vitesse Targets Ethernet Backhaul

Vitesse has already mortgaged the farm to loan sharks to get these chips out to the equipment makers, but can it survive the 18 month Telco qual cycle given its limited financial resources?  Next trip to the loan sharks is going to be really expensive

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