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Vitesse Switch Takes Industrial Aim

July 29, 2014

Author: Loring Wirbel

Vitesse has sampled a new SparX-IV switch with a raft of features normally reserved for carrier markets. This product serves what the company says are emerging applications in industrial Ethernet and SMB (small or medium-size business) platforms. The 52-port SparX-IV-80 (VSC7448) aims to bridge the gap between earlier SparX devices and stackable EStaX-III chips for SMBs and enterprises, and the Jaguar-2 devices with service-provider features.

The 52-port switch, which delivers an aggregate throughput of 80Gbps, borrows such features from Jaguar-2 as advanced L3 routing, full 1588v2 support using Vitesse’s VeriTime suite, and advanced L2 and L3 management through a 500MHz MIPS 24KEc core. It offers flexible port configurations that include 36xGbE using SGMII or 48xGbE using QSGMII, 4x10GbE (SFI/XAUI/RXAUI), and twenty-four 2.5Gbps SGMII ports.

At Layer 2, the VSC7448 enables 32K MAC addresses and 4K VLAN IDs, meeting 802.1Q VLAN standards. Policing functions provide protection from multicast/broadcast storms. For multicast, the switch supports both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses. SparX-IV’s ternary CAM technology, which Vitesse calls a VCAP (Vitesse content-aware processing) engine, can forward packets at both Layer 2 and 3.

Vitesse is emphasizing SMB applications that aggregate traffic from 802.11ac Wave 2 access points and industrial Ethernet designs requiring accurate time stamps and advanced packet-forwarding features. Repurposing Carrier Ethernet features gives the company a unique offering for ancillary markets that are less susceptible to commodity pricing; it says 15% of its new-product revenue is from Internet of Things and industrial accounts. But Vitesse will face competition from enterprise switch leaders Broadcom and Marvell, which have added Carrier Ethernet features to chips that offer all-10GbE ports.

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