Marvell has developed a line of Ethernet transceivers that are fully optimised for 2.5Gbit/s and 5Gbit/s data rates over Cat5e cables. The Marvell Alaska 88E2010/40 family of Ethernet transceivers claims to deliver a cost efficient, small form factor and low power dissipation to allow the use of the most common types of installed Cat5e Ethernet cabling for applications including 802.11ac Access Point uplinks, switches, servers, workstations and high-end PCs.

The Alaska 88E2010/40 Ethernet transceivers are designed to be compliant with the emerging IEEE 802.3bz standard and the NBASE-T Alliance specification for 2.5Gbit/s and 5Gbit/s data rates over Cat5e cables.

To provide a seamless system solution, the Alaska 88E2010/40 Ethernet transceivers can be kitted with Marvell's range of switches, which span the range from basic Layer 2 functionality to models containing full Enterprise Class Virtualisation and Layer 3+ features. These switches support anywhere from 4 to 48 NBASE-T ports, have the ability to stack with 40GbE and 100GbE uplinks and are provided with application software in turn-key packaged solutions.

The Alaska 88E2010/40 devices use Marvell's advanced digital signal processing (DSP) technology to enable the repurposing of low-cost Cat5e Ethernet cables for data rates as high as 5Gbit/s. The devices support Category 6 (screened or unscreened), Category 6a (augmented) and Category 7 type cables, as well as Category 5e type cables for distances up to 100m. The devices support a variety of host interfaces (2500BASE-X, 5000BASE-R, SGMII), as well as 10G host interfaces such as USXGMII interface and XFI/RXAUI with Rate-Matching. The transceiver family also features full backward compatibility with lower-speed legacy Ethernet (1000/100/10Mbit/s) on the line side.

The Alaska 88E2010/40 Ethernet transceivers also incorporate the Marvell advanced Virtual Cable Tester technology for cable fault detection and proactive cable performance monitoring. With advanced DSP technology, the transceivers can proactively monitor the performance of a cable and determine cable length and type, in addition to detecting opens and shorts and reporting the location of a fault, detailed the company.