Monday, February 25, 2008

10G gets new options

Neterion rolls its X3100 series chips today at VMworld Europe, the first chips to support the NetQueue technology of VMware and the PCI SIG's I/O Virtualization. One analyst said the move could accelerate the slow ramp for 10G Ethernet.

But as reported today, competitors such as ServerEngines and NetXen are poised to leap to the IOV standard and Gen2 Express soon. And they have an edge in supporting storage capabilities such as iSCSI.

Beyond the battle of Ethernet and Infiniband controllers, the competition to define the optimal cabling for data centers and central offices is heating up. Startup Lightwire's release at the Optical Fibre Conference of a new CMOS optical transceiver with low power characteristics is one of many new active cable components to roll out in the past year.

The sheer variety of chip and cable options suggests there are still quite a lot of unknowns about how to best build and wire big back end facilities for 10G.

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