Switch chips chop Broadcom Tomahawk
3/1/2016 01:00 PM EST
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Cisco Systems is shipping its first 16nm ASICs in switches that are part of new data center products announced today (Mar. 1). The ASICs leapfrog features offered by Broadcom whose 28nm chips are used in a wide swath of switches made by Cisco and its competitors.
The new ASICs enable a more flexible set of interfaces for ports carrying 100Mbit to 100 Gbit/second Ethernet and 32 Gbit/s Fibre Channel traffic. The company claims the chips are the first to pack 36 100G ports in a system that fits in a single rack unit. The ASICs also implement flow control tables to monitor all traffic running across leaf and spine switches.
Cisco designed a family of three closely related ASICs for its systems with aggregate bandwidth ranging from 3.6 to 1.6 Terabits/second. Two of the chips, made in TSMC’s 16FF+ process, started shipping in systems in February, a third will ship within two months.
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