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Microsemi and Aquantia Announce New Optimized Multi-gigabit Ethernet Solution

May 11, 2017

Microsemi Corporation, a provider of semiconductor solutions that are differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance, and Aquantia Corp., a pioneer in high-speed Ethernet connectivity solutions for data centers, enterprise infrastructure and client connectivity, announced this week that they have come together to create a production-ready multi-rate switch reference platform optimized to support 24x2.5G and up to additional four 2.5G/5G/10G BASE-T ports.

The new solution brings Microsemi's SparX-IV L2/L3 enterprise switch, VSC7448; Linux SMBStaX software; clock management; and PD69208M Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) power sourcing equipment (PSE) manager together with Aquantia's second generation multi-rate IEEE 802.3bz PHY, AQR409.

Larry O'Connell, director of product marketing for Microsemi's Ethernet Networking Technology (ENT) group, discussed some of the customer benefits of this new platform by saying, “The new multi-rate switch reference platform provides Microsemi customers a complete hardware and software solution that can be readily taken to the market, as Aquantia's PHY application program interface (API) and firmware have been integrated into Microsemi's Linux-based application software suites, including CEServices, SMBStaX and WebStax…Additionally the solution combines Microsemi PoE and low jitter clock solutions with our Ethernet switch and software technologies, providing our customers a single source for their Ethernet networking needs.”

According to the two companies, they decided to create this platform because they saw a need in the market that wasn’t being met. Thanks to the exponential growth of Wi-Fi enabled devices, today's enterprise APs have maximized their Gigabit uplink throughput. Additionally, IHS Technology expects total worldwide 802.11ac and 802.11ac Wave 2 APs will exceed 128 million units from 2015 to 2020, comprising more than 76 percent of total AP shipments by 2020. As a result of these two facts, the 802.11ac upgrades, especially Wave 2, will require additional Ethernet data rates beyond what Gigabit Ethernet technology can currently support.

That’s where this new solution comes in. According to the announcement, the platform includes target applications of 1G, 2.5G and 10G Ethernet switching and aggregation. Therefore, the joint reference design from Microsemi and Aquantia would be beneficial in enterprise infrastructure applications such as enterprise and small and midsize business (SMB) switches, enterprise access routers, and wireless local access network (WLAN) access point (AP) switches.

Kamal Dalmia, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Aquantia, commented further on how the new platform meets this need by saying, “As Wi-Fi speeds are projected to exceed the capabilities of existing wired networks, the need for optimized multi-Gigabit Ethernet solutions is clear. Combining the Aquantia AQrate AQR409 multi-rate PHY with Microsemi's SparX-IV enterprise switch provides a highly optimized solution to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to address this challenge…As a result, we expect our new joint reference platform with Microsemi to accelerate the adoption of multi-Gigabit bandwidth over existing network cabling, while enabling enterprises to cost-effectively address information technology (IT) concerns.”

Those who are interested in learning more about the solution and how it works can stop by to see Microsemi at the NBASE-T Alliance booth #317 during Interop ITX, which is being held in Las Vegas from May 15-19, 2017.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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