The first 400G data center switches have been announced as the Broadcom 12.8Tbit/s and 8Tbit/s Tomahawk 3 switch chips start mass production.
Tomahawk 3 switch chips are used in the Arista 7060X4 Series and in new systems from Celestica, Delta Networks, Edgecore Networks and Quanta. Innovium is planning production shipments of TERALYNX switch chips before the end of 2018, Mellanox expects to be shipping the 6.4Tbit/s Spectrum-2 switch chips during the first quarter of 2019, and several other companies are developing switch chips with 400Gbit/s ports for introduction during 2019. Taken together with the introduction of 400Gbit/s QSFP-DD and OSFP optical modules, these developments will lift data center switching from 100 Gbit/s to 400 Gbit/s during 2019 and 2020.
We have seen unprecedented investment in high-performance switch chips in response to growing demand from data center operators for 400G switching and 6.4 Tbit/s, 12.8 Tbit/s or larger switch systems. More than $500 million has already been committed to three startups — Barefoot Networks, Innovium and Nephos — and Broadcom has introduced a new generation of all its three switch chip product lines, namely Tomahawk, Trident and StrataDNX.
Barefoot, Innovium and Nephos are believed to have important design wins, and Barefoot Tofino switch chips are shipping in the Arista 7170 series switches. Smaller switch chips with 25Gbit/s interfaces and 100Gbit/s uplinks are shipping from Centec Networks and Marvell.