Marvell's new line of switches and Ethernet transceivers offers optimised and cost-efficient end-to-end solution for data centres transitioning to 25GbE speeds.

As data centres increase bandwidth speeds to keep up with the massive flow of data coming through the cloud, they must also balance the capital and operational expenditures associated with moving to next-generation networks. 25GbE offers the benefits of enhanced compute and storage efficiency at a long-term cost structure similar to 10GbE. However, the market has lacked solutions designed optimally for the 25GbE data centre.

Marvell’s new solution is comprised of its Prestera 98CX84xx family of 25GbE switches and Alaska C 88X5123 and 88X5113 Ethernet transceivers, all fully compliant with the IEEE 25GbE and 100GbE standards.

With the new Prestera 98CX84xx switch family, Marvell offers an optimised 25GbE solution for the most common top of rack (ToR) port configurations. The 98CX84xx solutions are designed specifically for mainstream data centre high-performance server applications, significantly reducing the overhead costs associated with current 25GbE (ToR) switches built with non-optimal devices. The Prestera devices, with integrated 25GbE PHYs, are enabling data centres to break the 1W per 25G port barrier for 25G ToR applications, allowing more power to be used for compute and storage resources in the data centre, and reducing power and cooling costs, the key contributors to operational costs in data centres.

The Alaska C 88X5123 Ethernet transceiver enables customers to support the new IEEE 25GbE specifications on their existing switch ASICs without the expensive investment involved in new silicon development. The Alaska C 88X5113 Ethernet transceiver, a 40G Ethernet to 25G Ethernet Gearbox device, is unique in the industry in that it enables a 40GbE stream to be translated to a 25G Ethernet stream. This device is purpose-built to enable existing 40GbE-capable server NIC controllers to support native 25GbE, hastening the availability of 25GbE-capable NICs.

Offering support for leading-edge software-defined networking (SDN) initiatives, Marvell’s Prestera 98CX84xx switches include an abstraction layer which integrates seamlessly with Open Computing Project (OCP) switch abstraction interface (SAI) application program interfaces (APIs). Marvell provides an OpenSwitch driver plug-in that facilitates easy integration with the OpenSwitch application stack. The Prestera 98CX84xx switches are also supported by industry-leading software solutions for the data centre, such as IP Infusion.

The new Prestera switch and Alaska Ethernet transceiver devices also support the 25G consortium mode of operation, enabling seamless interoperability with legacy deployments.

Marvell has collaborated with the industry’s top original design manufacturers (ODMs) including Delta Networks, Inc., Foxconn, Pegatron Corporation and Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) to provide 98CX84xx-ready platforms for ToR switch applications.

Samples and reference designs for Marvell’s 98CX84xx, 88X5123 and 88X5113 solutions are available today.