Speeding up broadband

24 November 2009

Broadcom has a line of low-power, high performance Ethernet switch chips for service provider networks
Broadcom has a line of low-power, high performance Ethernet switch chips for service provider networks

Broadcom has a line of low-power, high performance Ethernet switch chips for service provider networks.

The five new chips will enable mobile and broadband service providers to deploy a new generation of high performance network infrastructure equipment with lower capital and operational costs. They will also enable service providers to deliver mobile and broadband services across a single IP backbone.

These Ethernet switch chips will help to alleviate the bandwidth issues caused partly by the proliferation of iPhones and other bandwidth-hungry devices.

The global explosion of mobile devices, bandwidth-hungry applications and consumer demand for 24/7 connectivity to IP-based video, social networking and location-based services are overwhelming today’s mobile networks. Service providers are now challenged to provide ‘on demand’ connectivity and a better user experience on 3G and future 4G networks or risk the loss of high revenue generating subscribers. To meet these performance needs, networking OEMs must quickly bring to market low cost, data-oriented mobile backhaul equipment.

Traditionally, slow time division multiplex (TDM)-based mobile backhaul equipment was built using costly custom application-specific ICs (ASICs), field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and/or disparate components from niche suppliers. This design model, however, results in sub-standard equipment that is expensive, has a lengthy time-to-market and is not suitable for data and video. Ethernet application specific standard products (ASSPs) provide optimised bandwidth at the lowest cost for this application.

The latest Broadcom Ethernet switch products are optimised to reduce capital and operational expenditures. These solutions now enable service providers to manage broadband and mobile connectivity simultaneously on a single network with complete product interoperability.

Broadcom service provider switch products deliver on three key design principles:
        Consistency: Advanced protocols not only deliver efficient end-to-end provisioning of         revenue generating services, but also facilitate easier network manageability. Broadcom’s         service provider switch portfolio offers a common set of features and protocols for every         step in the network, minimizing operational expenditures and reducing cost of ownership.

        Scalability: Scaling demands vary dramatically across the service provider network.         Broadcom offers a variety of service provider switch products that are optimised to scale to         the appropriate level at each point in the network. Providers require this range of scalability         not only to achieve high performance in the core, but also to address the cost concerns         associated with edge equipment which must support a high number of cellular sites.

        Quality: Providers must demonstrate that their networks adhere to contractual service level         agreements. Broadcom designs and tests its switch silicon to meet the field performance         demands of the service provider market. In addition to rigorous test and manufacturing         methodologies, Broadcom devices incorporate extensive resiliency mechanisms, performance         monitoring capabilities and traffic management services.

Broadcom’s service provider switch portfolio incorporates products from Broadcom’s StrataXGS, XGS Core and RoboSwitch Ethernet switch product lines. In total, Broadcom now features more than 30 switch products built specifically to meet the requirements of next generation service provider networks (this includes previously announced products). The five new switch series being introduced today include the following:
• BCM56630 – Gigabit Ethernet (GbE)/10GE switches for carrier Ethernet aggregation switches and routers
• BCM56685 – 2.5G switches for embedded access systems
• BCM56330 – GbE edge switches for mobile backhaul applications
• BCM56130 – Fast Ethernet (FE) edge switches for business-class access
• BCM53280 – FE edge switches for consumer multi-tenant units (MTUs)

Carrier-class switch products are commonly used in conjunction with Broadcom’s digital subscriber line (DSL) and cable broadband products, physical layer (PHY) transceivers and serializer/deserialiser (SerDes) solutions to deliver a variety of commercial silicon products for service providers.


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