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A Guide to 10G Ethernet Controllers and Adapters
Including Converged Network Adapters

Fifth Edition

Published March 2012

Authors: Bob Wheeler and Jag Bolaria

Single License: $4,495 (single copy, one user)
Corporate License: $5,995

Pages: 159

Ordering Information

The Definitive Report on 10G Ethernet Server Connectivity

The market for 10GbE server connectivity remains extremely dynamic with rapid shifts in technology and vendor market share. Evaluating the long-term outlook for adapter and controller vendors requires an in-depth understanding of their products and roadmaps. Now in its fifth edition, "A Guide to 10G Ethernet Controllers and Adapters" provides a uniquely detailed look at the vendors and products in this market. This report offers complete chapters on the leading 10GbE controller vendors. Because OEMs source both board-level and chip-level products, we include full coverage and comparisons for both 10GbE NICs and 10GbE controller chips. Covered applications include LAN-on-motherboard (LOM), standard adapters (NIC), blade-server mezzanine cards, and converged network adapters (CNA).

With the transition to 10GbE, many new technologies are being added to Ethernet-controller designs. Most of these new features are designed to offload processing from the host CPU and therefore increase throughput or lower CPU utilization. These offloads are divided into three basic categories: stateless offloads that work with traditional operating system stacks; stateful offloads such as TOE that require stack changes; and virtualization offloads for environments such as VMware and Xen. For converged networks, new protocols such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, and iWARP/RoCE (RDMA) also come into play. With all of this complexity, no single vendor can satisfy the requirements of all potential customers. We help you sort out which vendors meet your specific needs.

We Map Out the Crowded Vendor Landscape

"A Guide to 10G Ethernet Controllers and Adapters" begins with an extensive overview of this fast-growing market. The report provides tutorials that help you plow through the alphabet soup of acronyms and standards. We explore the market and technology trends for 10GbE and 40GbE server connections, followed by an explanation of the common attributes of these products.

Following these introductory chapters, the report delivers a complete chapter on six major vendors of 10GbE controller chips and NICs: Broadcom, Chelsio, Emulex, Intel, Mellanox, and QLogic. Each major-vendor chapter includes company background information, full details of announced products, product-roadmap information where available, and our conclusions about the vendor and its products. An additional chapter covers vendors that primarily sell adapters: Brocade, Myricom, and Solarflare. We then dedicate a chapter to detailed head-to-head comparisons of the many available controller, NIC, and CNA products.

The report concludes with our outlook for the server market for Ethernet and the leading vendors.

Make Informed Decisions

As the leading vendor of technology analysis for networking silicon, The Linley Group has the expertise to deliver a comprehensive look at the range of chips designed for server connectivity. Bob Wheeler and Jag Bolaria use their broad experience in networking silicon to deliver the technical and strategic information you need to make informed business decisions.

Whether you are looking for the right Ethernet adapter or controller for your application or seeking to partner with or invest in a chip vendor, this report will cut your research time and save you money. Make the intelligent decision, order "A Guide to 10G Ethernet Controllers and Adapters" today.

This report is written for:

  • Engineers designing servers or other systems that embed Ethernet connectivity
  • Network managers and end users who are evaluating 10GbE/40GbE technology or planning deployments
  • Marketing and engineering staff at companies that sell related chips who need more information on 10GbE/40GbE controllers
  • Technology professionals who wish an introduction to 10GbE technology and related chips for servers
  • Financial analysts who desire a detailed analysis and comparison of 10GbE semiconductor companies and their chances of success

Don't wait! Get your copy now to track the latest developments in this fast-paced market!

What's New in this Edition

"A Guide to 10G Ethernet Controllers and Adapters" has been extensively updated to cover the newest chip- and board-level products for 10GbE and 40GbE server connections as well as software updates (firmware/drivers) and product roadmaps. Here are some of the many changes you will find:

  • Coverage of Broadcom's new BCM57800 family of 10GbE controllers for PCIe Gen3
  • Coverage of Emulex's new XE201 10GbE/40GbE/FC controller chip and OCe11000 series NICs/CNAs
  • Coverage of Intel's new "Twinville" controller for 10GBase-T and NICs based on the new chip
  • Coverage of Mellanox's new ConnectX-3 EN 10GbE/40GbE controller for PCIe Gen3 and NICs based on the new chip
  • Coverage of QLogic's new 8300 series controllers and CNAs
  • Coverage of Brocade's new 1860 Fabric Adapter for 10GbE and 16G Fibre Channel
  • 2011 market-size and vendor-share data for 10GbE controllers and NICs/
  • Market forecast for 10GbE NIC/LOM/CNA shipments through 2015/

List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Executive Summary
1 Server Connectivity
What Is a LAN?
Evolution of Ethernet LANs
Cable Plants
Ethernet Switches
Client and Server Connections
Storage-Area Networks
Data Centers
2 Ethernet Technology
Network Layers and IEEE 802 Standards
Link Layers
Spanning Tree and VLANs
Data Center Bridging
Link Aggregation
Authentication and Security
Ethernet Physical Layers
Fast Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet
10GbE Optical
40GbE and 100GbE
Backplane Ethernet Standards
Energy Efficient Ethernet
Physical-Layer Interfaces
Optical Modules
Upper-Layer Protocols
TCP Connection Setup and Teardown
TCP Congestion Management
3 Server Technology
PCI Express
Technology Overview
I/O Virtualization
Storage Protocols
Fibre Channel
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
Operating Systems and Drivers
High-Performance Computing
Server Platforms
Processor and Chipset Technologies
Form Factors
4 10G Ethernet Controller Chips
Common Characteristics
PHY Integration and Interfaces
Software Considerations
5 Market Data and Trends
Market Size and Vendor Share
10GbE Forecast
Market Trends
Servers and Connectivity
Technology Trends
I/O Virtualization
Storage Convergence
Advanced Offloads and Features
6 Broadcom
Company Background
Controller Chips
NIC Products
Product Roadmap
7 Chelsio
Company Background
Controller Chips
NIC Products
Product Roadmap
8 Emulex
Company Background
10GbE Controllers
Multifabric Controller
10GbE NICs
Product Roadmap
9 Intel
Company Background
Controller Chips
NIC Products
NetEffect iWARP NIC Products
Product Roadmap
Company Background
10GbE and 40GbE Controllers
10GbE NIC Products
11 QLogic
Company Background
10GbE Controllers
10GbE NIC Products
Product Roadmap
12 Other NIC/CNA Vendors
Company Background
Fabric-Adapter Products
Company Background
10GbE NICs
Company Background
10GbE NIC Products
Product Roadmap
13 Product Comparisons
10GbE Controller Chips
10GbE Adapters for Storage Convergence
10GbE Adapters for Low-Latency Applications
14 Conclusions
Market Directions
Vendor Outlook
Other Adapter Vendors
Appendix: Further Reading
Figure 1-1. Typical LAN architecture
Figure 1-2. Storage-networking model
Figure 1-3. Flat data-center network topology
Figure 2-1. IEEE 802 standards
Figure 2-2. IEEE 802.3 basic frame format
Figure 2-3. Ethernet physical layer
Figure 2-4. 10G Ethernet physical layer
Figure 2-5. Layer model for 40G/100G Ethernet
Figure 2-6. Modules and interfaces for 10Gbps
Figure 2-7. TCP segment format
Figure 3-1. PCI Express system topology
Figure 3-2. Linux network-stack simplified diagram
Figure 3-3. Rack-mount servers and a standard-size rack
Figure 3-4. Typical blade-server architecture
Figure 4-1. Stateless 10GbE controller simplified block diagram
Figure 5-1. 10GbE NIC port share for 2011
Figure 5-2. 10GbE NIC revenue share for 2011
Figure 5-3. 10GbE controller-chip revenue share
Figure 5-4. Forecast for 10GbE NIC/LOM shipments, 20112016
Figure 6-1. Broadcom BCM957810 dual-SFP+ NIC
Figure 7-1. Chelsio T440-LP-CR quad-port 10GbE NIC
Figure 8-1. Emulex OCe11102 dual-port SFP+ CNA
Figure 9-1. Intel X540-T2 dual-port 10GBase-T NIC
Figure 10-1. Mellanox ConnectX-3 EN dual-port 40GbE NIC
Figure 11-1. QLogic QLE8342-CU dual-port SFP+ CNA
Figure 12-1. Brocade 1860 dual-SFP+ fabric adapter
Figure 12-2. Myricom Myri-10G dual-port SFP+ NIC
Figure 12-3. Solarflare SFN6122F dual-port SFP+ NIC
Table 2-1. OSI reference mode
Table 2-2. Ethernet PHY standard
Table 3-1. PCI revisions and characteristic
Table 5-1. 10GbE NIC market share through 201
Table 5-2. 10GbE NIC market share through 201
Table 5-3. 10GbE controller-chip revenue share
Table 6-1. Key parameters for selected Broadcom BCM57xxx controller
Table 6-2. Key parameters for Broadcoms standard 10GbE NI
Table 7-1. Key parameters for Chelsio 10GbE controller
Table 7-2. Key parameters for selected Chelsio T4-based NIC
Table 8-1. Key parameters for Emulex 10GbE controlle
Table 8-2. Key parameters for Emulex XE-201 controlle
Table 8-3. Key parameters for Emulex CNA
Table 9-1. Key parameters for selected Intel 10GbE controller
Table 9-2. Key parameters for selected Intel 10GbE NIC
Table 10-1. Key parameters for Mellanox ConnectX EN controller
Table 10-2. Key parameters for selected Mellanox ConnectX-3 NIC
Table 11-1. Key parameters for QLogic cLOM controller
Table 11-2. Key parameters for selected QLogic 10GbE CNA
Table 12-1. Key parameters for Brocade adapter
Table 12-2. Key parameters for selected Myricom 10GbE NIC
Table 12-3. Key parameters for selected Solarflare 10GbE NIC
Table 13-1. Comparison of 10GbE controller
Table 13-2. Comparison of 10GbE SFP+ adapters for storage convergence


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