Posts tagged 10 gigabit ethernet
LAN networks have come quite a long way since the early days of networking. There have been a variety of topologies used in LAN. As network topology has evolved, the speed with which data is transmitted, called data rate, has increased.
Different network topologies have used different types of cables and connectors to transmit data across it. LAN networks can be either wired or wireless.
Network Topologies Have Evolved over the years
Today’s networks use either fiber optic cable or four twisted pairs of 22 gauge wire to transmit data, but not terribly long ago, Token Ring (Introduced by IBM), used coaxial cable to connect all of the computers on a network. in this type, the cable left the main computer (server) room and travelled to each workstation and client before returning to the main computer room.
If one computer’s connection was lost, the whole network goes down. This was the main reason for the development and adoption of Ethernet-based networks, which make use of the aforementioned 4 twisted pairs of copper wire. in this type of LAN, each workstation is served by a dedicated link to the network and if one computer’s connection is lost, the rest of the stay up. Ethernet-based networks have evolved from 10 Base 2 through the current standard, 10 Gigabit Ethernet standard.
Data Rates Continue to Increase in LAN Networks
Today’s networks operate at speeds that network specialists from years ago could only dream of. Category 6 and 7 Ethernet network cabling offers speeds up to 10 Gigabits over four twisted pairs of copper wire, while fiber optic cable offer speeds much higher than that for LAN networks. The old network standard (Token Ring) was capable of transmitting data at between four and sixteen Megabits.
While the older Ethernet-based networks weren’t always capable of speeds that matched Token Ring, the increased reliability they gave more than made up for the lost throughput. more and more corporate networks are being transitioned to fiber optic cable from end to end, with the speeds this type of network cabling is capable of being dependent of the transceivers being used, but Terabit fiber optic networks are not uncommon.
Types of Cables and Connectors Used in LAN Networks Have Changed Since the first Networks
As stated, IBM’s Token Ring networks used a coaxial cable to connect all of the computers on a network in a ring. This coaxial cable was normally rated at 58 Ohm resistance and terminated with BNC connectors. Ethernet-based networks use a copper wire that consists of four separate twisted pairs of 22 gauge wires, with each individual 22 gauge wire being an individual conductor. These conductors are grouped into four pairs, blue, orange, green, and brown, with each primary color (tip) being paired with a conductor that has a white insulator with bands that match the primary color (ring). Ethernet cables are connected using RJ-45 connectors. There are a large number of connector types in use with fiber optic cables however the SC, ST, LC, and FC connector types are the most popular.
Avago Technologies (NASDAQ: AVGO) has unveiled a pair of QSFP+ optical transceiver modules that offer interoperability with fielded SFP+ modules. The new pluggable, parallel optical QSFP+ eSR4 transceiver can address both 40 Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet applications with a verified link distance of 400 m. meanwhile, the QSFP+ iSR4 modules enable interoperability to 10G SFP+ links up to 100 m using OM3 multimode fiber (MMF) and 150 m using OM4 MMF.The new modules are designed to offer data center operators the flexibility to reuse their current 10G infrastructures when upgrading to 40G.The Avago QSFP+ eSR4 modules integrate four 10G lanes in each direction to increase bandwidth within a line card by more than three times while using 50 percent less power than that of a one-lane SFP+ module. The QSFP+ eSR4 modules enable the development of top-of-rack, blade, and modular switches with up to 44 QSFP+ ports per line card. This provides 176 10G-channels with QSFP+ instead of the 48 SFP+ channels available today. QSFP+ eSR4 modules can be used for both high-density 10G and 40G aggregated Ethernet applications, providing more flexibility to connect to different levels of switches, reducing latency, and increasing port density with lower power consumption per lane, Avago says.The QSFP+ eSR4 extends reach to 300 m with OM3 MMF and 400 m using OM4 MMF. Avago expects to sample the QSFP+ eSR4 modules by this summer. The QSFP+ iSR4 modules are now in production.“We have worked closely with Avago to test a wide array of Corning Cable Systems’ fiber-optic cables that contained Corning ClearCurve OM3 and OM4 multimode fibers with their parallel optic transceivers, giving designers the flexibility to develop innovative data center applications,” said Doug Coleman, manager, technology and standards at Corning Cable Systems.“Together we verified that the interoperability of the Avago QSFP+ eSR4 modules meets link distance specifications for both 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet applications.”Avago will demonstrate the QSFP+ iSR4 and eSR4 modules, along with its portfolio of high-speed optical fiber products, in Corporate Village booth #1357 at OFC/NFOEC.
For more information on optical transceivers and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.
The E5 includes a new Intel Data Direct I/O system which will help to accelerate networking. The other networking component is a new 10 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) LAN On Motherboard (LOM) capability with the Intel X540 controller that provides an integrated 10Gbase-T solution. All together, Intel is aiming to lower the cost of 10 gigabit networking while accelerating overall networking performance.
“As we scale networks, we really need more bandwidth, driving down the cost of 10 gig Ethernet, so the transition from one gigabit to 10 gigabit can be accomplished,” Sunil Ahluwalia, Intel’s director of Product Marketing in the LAN Access Division, told InternetNews.com.
For Intel, the first step is about performance. The Intel E5′s new Data Direct I/O technology enables a network interface card (NIC) to communicate directly with the processor cache. Additionally, the E5 supports PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 which delivers double the bandwidth of the previous PCI Express standard. according to Intel, an E5 chip can now pump out over 200 Gbps of throughput for LAN bandwidth, up from 50 Gbps in Intel’s last generation of server chips.
A key part for the LAN bandwidth improvement on the E5 is the integration of an I/O hub directly with the processor. In the previous Intel generation, there was a PCIe chipset that would talk to both the processor and the NIC.
“In this generation, we’ve essentially integrated that chipset into the processor,” Ahluwalia said. “That integration gives us some amazing latency improvements of up to 30 percent better latency.”
Utilizing Intel Data Direct I/O, networking traffic is further optimized as the NIC can write data directly into the CPU cache. As such, Intel is able to have more throughput as well as lower power utilization.
Intel isn’t just enabling more network bandwidth with the E5, they’re also building a new NIC technology as well. The Intel X540 is a LOM technology that enables 10GbE traffic using 10GBase-T. 10GBase-T uses standard Cat6 copper cables with an RJ-45 interface, that are relatively cheap and common throughout the networking world. Other 10 gigabit technologies have involved the use of fiber and specialized cables that incur more cost and complexity.
“The X540 is the industry’s first 10 gigabit network controller that is fully integrated,” Ahluwalia said. “That integration allows us to lower the power, reduce space and enable LOM deployments.”
The X540 LOM deployment model with 10GBase-T can potentially be a significant catalyst for networking cost reductions in a data center, according to Intel. Ahluwalia noted that a typical Cat6 cable that might be needed for the X540 is only $5.00, in contrast with the hundreds of dollars that SFP+ networking cabling cost with non-10Gbase-T solutions.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.
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Amphenol (NYSE: APH) has launched a new series of SFP+ Active Copper Cables for the IT/Data center market at CablesOnDemand.com. Engineered by Amphenol High-Speed Interconnects (AHSI), the SFP+ Direct Attach Copper Cables integrate active limiting, pre-emphasis and equalization circuitry, thereby ensuring compatibility with a growing number of 10-Gigabit Ethernet switches with “active-only” SFP+ ports.
"Maintaining 10-Gigabit data-rates over a single data lane is always a challenge, especially when copper is the transmission medium," comments Nick Blas, Product Marketing Manager for Amphenol Cables on Demand. "to combat these challenges, Amphenol has designed its active SFP+ cable series using a comprehensive systems engineering approach. everything from the SFP+ connector’s PCB backplane to the twinaxial copper wire itself is bandwidth-optimized – often with the aid of proprietary Amphenol technology.”
Related story: Amphenol unveils 600+ pre-terminated fiber optic cable products at CablesOnDemand
Amphenol says it intends to fill a void in the marketplace with its new Active SFP+ Cable offering. According to the company, the proliferation of 10-Gigabit Ethernet network infrastructure has excelled well beyond industry expectations. With critical subcomponents in short supply, OEM’s are removing the signal equalization circuitry from their equipment’s SFP+ ports. while the move helps to lower associated hardware costs, the additional signal processing demands are offset onto the network’s interconnect platforms. this leaves network integrators and installers with only two options for wiring up short-distance links 10 meters or less in length.
The first and most expensive interconnect option in the aforementioned scenario is to link up a pair of SFP+ ports using a separate SFP+ optical transceiver module for each port in conjunction with an optical patch cord. this particular interconnect method is extremely expensive due to the costs incurred from the SFP+ transceiver modules as well as the power and/or heat budget considerations associated with the optical engines themselves. the second option, which offers significant cost advantages over the optical route, is to use an active equalized SFP+ copper cable assembly such as the one offered by Amphenol. one Amphenol SFP+ Active Copper Cable Assembly will perform the same function as two SFP+ transceiver modules with optical patch cord – all for approximately one quarter the cost and one half the power consumption, according to the manufacturer.
The Amphenol Active SFP+ Copper Cable Assemblies are available in a variety of lengths, including 1m, 3m, 5m, 7m, and 10m – ideal for short-run top-of-rack switching applications. each Active SFP+ Cable utilizes Amphenol’s latest integrated 20-position “board-as-connector” design with active equalization and limiting amplifier circuitry; fully enclosed within zinc die-cast backshells for superior EMI performance and minimal insertion loss. each cable is expertly assembled with Amphenol Spectra-Strip brand twinaxial SKEWCLEAR 2-pair wire; optimized for bandwidth-intense applications such as 10Gb Ethernet, Fibre Channel, InfiniBand, and SONET. SFF-8431 SFP+ MSA compliant for guaranteed compatibility with your SFP+ ported switch, router, or NIC.
All of the cables discussed above are available now for same-day shipment from Amphenol Cables on Demand’s Endicott, NY-based fulfillment center. Bulk discounts are available in quantities above 50 pieces.