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Intel's Ga-Ga for GigE

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) today released Gigabit Ethernet chips using the company's own silicon, and also rolled out two high-end network adapters aimed at servers.

So far, Intel's GigE controllers have incorporated physical-layer devices (PHYs) from Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL). But word at last month's Intel Developer Forum was that Intel was giving private demonstrations of a Marvell-free Ethernet chip, as reported by Light Reading, Byte and Switch's sister publication (see Intel Readies GigE PHY Chip).

Intel isn't giving up the Marvell relationship just yet. Marvell officials have noted they're continuing to work with Intel on new products. And Intel officials aren't wedded to the idea of using all-Intel silicon for Gigabit Ethernet.

"We will use the technology that's most appropriate for the application," says Tim Dunn, vice president of Intel's communications group.

The first of Intel's new chips, the Pro/1000 CT, uses the CSA bus developed by Intel as a faster alternative to the commonly used PCI bus. A standard called PCI Express will take care of the speed problem, but Intel didn't want to wait for the standardization process.

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