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Entries in Tomahawk 3 (2)

Thursday
Jul112019

Trident 4 boosts enterprise switch capacity to 12.8 terabit

  • Broadcom’s Trident 4 switch chip has a capacity of 12.8 terabits, 4x the capacity of its Trident 3.
  • The chip reduces fourfold the cost of a 128x100-gigabit switch.  
  • The Trident 4 adds compiler programmability  
  • This is the company’s first switch chip in 7nm CMOS. 

Broadcom has unveiled the Trident 4, its latest family of switch chips for the enterprise. 

The largest-capacity Trident 4 family member, the X11 chip, has a switching capacity of 12.8 terabits. This is a fourfold increase in capacity compared to Broadcom’s current high-end enterprise chip, the Trident 3, announced in June 2017.  

The Trident 4 will also reduce the cost of a 128x100-gigabit switch by a factor of four. The current cost of a 12.8-terabit switch, a multi-chassis solution, is $245,000 not including the pluggable optics, says Broadcom, citing market research firm, The Dell’Oro Group.

“The announcement is significant both in updating the Trident line for enterprise and in adding compiler programmability thereby limiting the openings for competitors such as Barefoot - soon Intel - Innovium, and Marvell,” says Bob Wheeler, vice president of The Linley Group and principal analyst for networking.

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Saturday
May182019

COBO brings operational benefits to the data centre 

Brad Booth admits the hyperscalers have a problem.

“Our operational inefficiencies are massive and it is only going to get worse,” says Booth, principal network architect for Microsoft’s Azure Infrastructure and chair of the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO).

The COBO-enabled 12.8-terabit demonstrator switch. Source: COBO

The issue, he says, is that when a switch arrives at the data centre, it comes without the optics installed. The operations staff must unpack the optical modules, plug them into the switch and verify that each is working; an exercise that is repeated thousands of times when they commission a new data centre.

“The time it takes for us to get the network up and running impacts how quickly we can monetise the data centre,” says Booth.

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