Multi-Gigabit Ethernet Featured Article

Aquantia Adds to Multi-Gig Movement with New NICs


May 15, 2017

Let’s face facts, we live in a legacy world. Digital transformation is driving change, innovation and then some from the data center to the c-suite, enterprise to SMB. While many are making the move from Gigabit to multi-gigabit Ethernet, access, and climbing the connectivity ladder are vital in this evolution at hand. NIC cards enable customers to update technology without having to start from scratch, making the most out of spend.


Allow me to offer some background. 2015 was a big year for multi-gigabit Ethernet; it was when the 2.5/5G upgrade cycle started for enterprise infrastructure, which is now in full swing. Couple the tens of millions of Ethernet ports with the hundreds of millions of ports in Enterprise/SMB switches, and the numbers begin to add up rather quickly.  First to market and NBASE-T founding member, Aquantia has pioneered the network modernization movement with solutions that don’t abandon infrastructure, but instead make the most of investment in place.

Case in point, today, Aquantia unveiled two NIC cards: the AQN107 and AQN108. The AQN107 can support from 100Mb up to 10GbE, offering four lanes for full data rate. The AQN108 supports up to 5GbE, and offers an easy entrée into multi-gigabit Ethernet.

As Kamal Dalmia, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Aquantia Corp, explained to TMC in a recent interview, the first implementations were on display at CES down on the motherboard with ASrock. Dalmia continued to note the cards are available to both end users and corporate clients, with each card providing the power of a multi-gigabit port, without the need to redesign the platform.

The specifications for the AQN107 include:

  • Supports up to 10GbE speeds
  • Distances of up to 100m on CatA
  • PCI Express (x4 PCle / x1 PCle) with a single port
  • Driver support from Aquantia
  • Intelligent offload support
  • Offers driver installer and MS Auto Update with remote support for IT management
  • QoS for up to 8 traffic classes  
Image via Aquantia

Specs for the AQN108:

  • Supports up to 5GbE speeds
  • Distances of up to 100m on Cat5e/Cat6
  • PCI Express (x4 PCle / x1 PCle) with a single port
  • Driver support from Aquantia
  • Intelligent offload support
  • Offers driver installer and MS Auto Update with remote support for IT management
  •  QoS for up to 8 traffic classes

Dalmia illustrated that, “The way things are now, most OEMs are looking to put out a 5G product,” with some – primarily for gaming – going up to 10G. But, according to Dalmia, the market is still nearly a two to one ratio in favor of 5G, however it is still a growing market.

When you take a step back and look at the big picture, or “Billion Ethernet Port Opportunity,” it can be broken down into four primary segments. The data center, which offers 10’s of millions of ports; the enterprise that includes offices and a projection just shy of 400 million ports; carrier access, nearly 100 million ports annually; and consumer, which comprises nearly 300 million ports.

There are adolescent segments at this time, which Dalmia believes could be very exciting in the not too distant future, but we’ll leave that in the gray for now. However, currently as content continues to become denser and richer, from graphics and video editing, to education, industrial and graphic design, either NIC adds value, as it augments the performance of your platform in place.

The two new products are available for purchase today through Arrow in Europe and the Americas, with announcements coming shortly for Asia.

It’s time to move away from the legacy world we know to the multi-gigabit world poised to empower operations well into the future. So whether you’re a suit and tie man in the corporate world, or the hard core gamer on the brink of E-sports awesomeness, the truth is simple. It’s time to join the multi-gigabit movement.




Edited by Alicia Young

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