Fulcrum Launches Low-Latency Chips

Fulcrum launches world's first low-latency IP router chips

November 6, 2007

2 Min Read
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CALABASAS, Calif. -- Fulcrum Microsystems today announced six new members of its industry-leading FocalPoint family of 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch chips adding high-performance routing with its FM4000-series devices. With the industry’s highest port density and lowest latency, as well as a full suite of Datacenter Ethernet functions, FocalPoint is the first switch that can enable datacenter networks to scale into the thousands of nodes.

The FM4000 chips are designed for datacenter switching platforms for high-performance computing, server and storage host interconnect, and datacenter aggregation applications. They are complete layer 2/3/4 IP switch/routers with full line-rate performance on all ports with a total throughput of 360 million packets per second. Fulcrum’s unique design technology means that the FocalPoint FM4000 chips boast the lowest latency in the industry – 300 nanoseconds as a full layer 3/4 router. This provides a highly responsive network fabric that exceeds the performance of specialty fabrics such as InfiniBand and Fibre Channel, and is well suited for the millions of messages per second performance needed for high-performance clustered-computing applications.

The 24-port density of the chip – also an industry best – enables it to be the interconnect foundation for extremely large clustered systems. When used in fat tree (or Clos) network architectures, the density and low latency mean the network can scale to 3,456 non-blocking nodes in three tiers of switching – well beyond that when additional tiers or managed under-provisioning are introduced.

“Centralized computing, networked applications and broadband mobility are driving an explosion in the build-out of highly-efficient, highly-scalable data centers, and Ethernet is the most bandwidth-efficient interconnect solution available,” said Mike Zeile, Fulcrum Microsystems vice president of marketing. “The FocalPoint FM4000 series enables switch makers to build scalable 10-Gigabit switch fabrics; we see this becoming a multi-billion dollar market opportunity in just a few years.”

Fulcrum Microsystems Inc.

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