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Xsight Samples Leading-Edge Switch

January 19, 2021

Author: Bob Wheeler

Xsight Labs emerged from stealth last month to challenge Broadcom at the Ethernet switch market’s high end. Led by a greatly successful team, the Israeli startup is already sampling its first chip, called the X1. It claims the monolithic 7nm design reduces power dissipation relative to competing chips. The X1 also offers programmable packet processing combined with a unique architecture that shares memory between packet buffers and lookup tables.

The leading-edge 25.6Tbps Ethernet switch chip uses 100Gbps PAM4 serdes, which connect to next-generation 800Gbps optical modules. Logically, the 32x800Gbps optical modules can break out to 64x400G or 256x100G Ethernet ports. The X1 targets multiple data-center applications, including leaf/spine fabrics, top-of-rack (ToR) switches, and high-performance clusters in AI and HPC. As a result, Xsight offers two 12.8Tbps X1 variants in addition to the 25.6Tbps model.

Differentiation is important, as the startup enters a crowded field. Seven competitors are shipping 400G Ethernet switch chips, and Broadcom is already in production with the first 25.6Tbps chip. Competitors packing 100Gbps serdes include Broadcom’s Tomahawk4-100G (TH4-100G) and Innovium’s Teralynx 8. Although Xsight touts the X1 for multiple applications, we see it initially serving only a handful of the largest data-center operators. With Broadcom and Innovium already supplying these customers, the newcomer must now demonstrate the superiority of its design.

Subscribers can view the full article in the Microprocessor Report.

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