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A Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips

Thirteenth Edition

To be Published July 2017
Order by July 28, 2017 and save $300!

Authors: Bob Wheeler and Loring Wirbel

Single License: $4,495 (single copy, one user)
Corporate License: $5,995

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Evaluating and Comparing the Latest Ethernet Switches and PHY Chips

The Ethernet market is marked by technology transitions, which often result in large shifts in vendor share. Over the past several years, large data-center operators have increased the pace of technology innovation, creating markets for new speeds and new physical layers. These dynamics are behind the introduction of high-density 100G Ethernet switch chips, which also serve the new 25G and 50G Ethernet standards. The same operators also have a huge appetite for data-center interconnect (DCI) bandwidth, creating early demand for 400G Ethernet.

In Ethernet switches, Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Cavium, Centec, Innovium, Marvell, and Mellanox are competing to win market share in data centers. These vendors are adding 100G Ethernet support along with new features for SDN and NFV. For data centers, most PHY development now focuses on 100GbE retimer chips using 25Gbps serdes technology, with 50Gbps PAM4 on the horizon.

The large size of the Ethernet switch and PHY market continues to keep it a competitive environment. "A Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips" breaks this market into three growth segments:

  • Data-center switch chips
  • 10GbE PHYs for copper (10GBase-T)
  • 100GbE gearbox PHYs and 25Gbps retimers

Unlike typical market research, this report provides technology analysis and head-to-head product comparisons. Which chips will win designs and why? How will these vendors be positioned as 100GbE ramps? Only The Linley Group’s unique technology analysis can provide this forward-looking view.

We Sort Out the Technology and the Key Vendors

“A Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips” begins with an extensive overview of this dynamic market. The report provides tutorials that help you decipher the myriad of acronyms and Ethernet standards. We explore the target markets and applications for Ethernet silicon, followed by an explanation of the common attributes of these products.

Following these introductory chapters, the report delivers a complete chapter on five leading switch vendors: Barefoot Networks, Broadcom, Cavium, Intel, and Marvell. Each vendor chapter includes company background information, full details of announced products, a discussion of the vendor’s roadmap where available, and our conclusions about the vendor and its products. Then, for each product segment, we include a chapter covering other vendors and a chapter comparing the products in the segment.

Product-segment chapters include coverage of switch chips and PHY chips. We cover switch chips from Centec, Innovium, and Mellanox. For the physical layer, we focus on 10Gbps Ethernet-over-copper chips and 100Gbps gearbox PHYs and retimers. Covered PHY vendors include Aquantia and Inphi. Finally, we offer our outlook for the leading vendors in each segment and for the overall market.

Make Informed Decisions

As the leading vendor of technology analysis for networking silicon, The Linley Group has the expertise to deliver a comprehensive look at the full range of chips designed for 10GbE/25GbE/100GbE applications. Principal analyst Bob Wheeler and Senior Analyst Loring Wirbel use their broad experience to deliver the deep technical analysis and strategic information you need to make informed business decisions.

Whether you are looking for the right Ethernet chip for your application or seeking to partner with or invest in a chip vendor, this report will cut your research time and save you money. Make the intelligent decision, order "A Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips" today.

This report is written for:

  • Engineers designing Ethernet switch products or systems that embed an Ethernet switch or PHY
  • Marketing and engineering staff at companies that sell related chips who need more information on Ethernet chips
  • Technology professionals who wish an introduction to Ethernet chips
  • Financial analysts who desire a detailed analysis and comparison of data-center Ethernet semiconductor companies and their chances of success

This market changes rapidly, don't be left behind!

Updates to the Thirteenth Edition of "A Guide to Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips" incorporate new announcements made since the release of the previous edition.

  • Coverage of Broadcom’s new Tomahawk II, Trident 3, and Jericho+ Ethernet switch chips
  • Coverage of Marvell’s Bobcat 3 25G Ethernet switch
  • Coverage of Barefoot Networks’ Tofino programmable switch
  • Coverage of Innovium’s 12.8Tbps Teralynx switch
  • Full-chapter coverage of Cavium’s Xpliant programmable switch
  • 2016 market size and vendor share for GbE switch chips, 10GbE switch chips, and 10GbE PHYs
  • Updated market forecasts for GbE through 100GbE switch chips as well as 10GbE and 100GbE PHYs, from 2016 - 2021
  • Product comparisons updated to include the latest chips
List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Networks and Equipment
Evolution of Ethernet LANs
Cable Plants
Ethernet Clients
Data Centers
Carrier Networks
Ethernet Equipment
2 Ethernet Technology
Network Layers and IEEE 802 Standards
Link Layers
Ethernet Physical Layers
Physical-Layer Interfaces
Optical Modules
Related Protocols
Fabric and Host Interfaces
3 High-Speed Design Issues
Signal Integrity
PCB and Connectors
Signal Conditioning
Clock and Data Recovery
4 Ethernet Switch and PHY Chips
Switch Chips
Common Characteristics
System Design
Software Considerations
10Gbps Ethernet PHYs
Optical-Module Architecture
Optical-PHY Architecture and Common Characteristics
Copper-PHY Architecture and Common Characteristics
Interoperability and Compliance
40Gbps and 100Gbps Ethernet PHYs
5 Technology and Market Trends
Software-Defined Networks
Emerging Ethernet Rates, PHYs, and MSAs
Ethernet-Silicon Technology Trends
6 Market Outlook
Market Share
Market Size and Forecast
ASSPs for Ethernet Switching
10GbE-100GbE PHYs
7 Barefoot Networks
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
8 Broadcom
Company Background
Switch-Chip Features
Switch-System Design
100Gbps Transceivers
Product Roadmap
9 Cavium (Xpliant)
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
10 Intel
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Design Details
11 Marvell
Company Background
Switch Chips
System Design
10Gbps Copper Transceivers
100Gbps Transceivers
12 Other Switch-Chip Vendors
13 Other PHY Vendors
14 Switch and PHY Comparisons
Comparing Data-Center Switch Chips
Key Differentiators
Comparing 10-100Gbps PHYs
100GbE Gearbox and Retimer Chips
10GBase-T Copper PHYs
Key Differentiators
15 Conclusions
Vendor Outlook
Closing Thoughts
Appendix: Further Reading


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