Switch chipsets and integrated switch devices are at the core of most networking systems. Internet traffic continues to grow rapidly causing bottlenecks in carrier networks and data centres. Over the past two years, switch chipset vendors have made significant investments in new devices with higher speed interfaces, new features, and greater integration. 10-Gbit/s serial links are changing the market with integrated Ethernet switch devices supporting 40GE or up to 72 lower speed ports. Similar speed increases are coming through for PCI Express and RapidIO with Gen 3 and Gen 2 solutions. InfiniBand continues to offer the highest bandwidth ports. The number of switch silicon vendors has dropped with Broadcom acquiring Dune and IDT acquiring Tundra but the competition is just as intense.
This report details and analyses high-performance switch chipsets, integrated devices, and FPGA alternatives, identifying the key requirements and highlights the advantages they hold for equipment manufacturers. It also reviews vendor strategies and surveys component features, performance, and flexibility. The report covers more than 70 devices and profiles 10 vendors in this important market.