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Mellanox Boasts 10-Gbit/s Ethernet

With other suppliers nipping its heels, Mellanox has unveiled a two-port 10-Gbit/s Ethernet adapter, the next step in its stated goal of "single-wire convergence over Ethernet or InfiniBand." (See Mellanox Ships Ethernet Adapter.)

The ConnectX EN is a set of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet adapter chips and NICs that offer PCIe connectivity to multi-core processors from AMD and Intel, support iSCSI for storage connectivity, and come with fiber and CX4 copper compatibility. The chips support Windows, Linux, and VMware.

Mellanox says OEMs are already testing ConnectX EN for a range of applications, including servers that support clustered databases, Web infrastructure, and IP video. But none are available for comment because it's too soon in their development cycle. In the past, Mellanox has counted Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM, NetApp, Qlogic, Sun, and Voltaire, among its OEMs.

One thing: Mellanox says it's not interested in 10GBase-T, the copper-based version of 10-Gbit/s Ethernet. "We think it's too early for 10GBase-T," says Mellanox senior director of product management Dan Tuchler. "You need special augmented Cat 6 cable to run it." (See 10GBase-T Compliance in Doubt.)

Mellanox views the new products as key to its previously announced ConnectX strategy of consolidating and streamlining data center equipment on Ethernet and/or InfiniBand, with Fibre Channel conversion to either network taking place at the SAN. (See Mellanox Incorporates 10-GigE and A Dynamic Duo.) Adapters supporting both 10-Gbit/s Ethernet and/or InfiniBand are set for release in the fourth quarter of this year, with 20-Gbit/s InfiniBand to follow in 2008, the vendor says.

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