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Interop: Intel Unveils 10Gb Network Interface Card

Intel this week introduced a network interface card that delivers 10 Gbit Ethernet performance over standard copper cables, making it possible for companies to take advantage of higher data flows without installing expensive fiber optics.

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The chipmaker launched its 10 Gbit AT Server Adapter Wednesday at the Interop conference in Las Vegas. The NIC supports both 1 GbE and 10 GbE operations, so companies can use the device during a gradual upgrade of a network to the higher speed, the company said.

In supporting the 10GBASE-T standard, the new device provides 328-foot network transmission over CAT 6a cable, as well as 180 feet over CAT 6 cable. The adapter is built for use in servers attached to local area networks or storage area networks, Steve Schultz, marketing director for Intel, told InformationWeek.

In addition, the device contains Intel's virtual machine device queues technology -- or VMDq -- that handles sorting of data among software-running virtual machines. By offloading the sorting to the NIC, rather than a virtual machine monitor, more data can move much faster, Schultz said.

The 10 Gbit AT Server Adapter is scheduled to ship at the end of the month. The device is expected to cost $999.

Dell has committed to using the new adapter in upcoming models of its PowerConnect Ethernet switch, Schultz said. Details were not disclosed.

Intel's portfolio of 10GbE server adapters includes single and dual port versions. They are designed for multi-core processor-based systems, and support Intel's virtualization technology for connectivity.

The company's Ethernet products support a variety of operating systems, including Windows, Linux, Fedora, FreeBSD, and VMware ESX.

Intel's rivals in this realm include RMI and Freescale.