Foundry Networks Inc. on Monday launched its next-generation terabit switching architecture and the first two products that implement the high-performance hardware architecture.
The foundation of the architecture is 10Gbps Ethernet technology, which will be targeted at both enterprises as well as service providers for LAN, MAN and WAN applications.
"The next generation switching products will be 40Gbps ready, which we believe will be the next performance plateau," said Ken Cheng, general manager of Foundrys enterprise business unit in San Jose, Calif. Cheng pointed out that the IEEE has already begun to form committees to work on developing a standard for 40Gb Ethernet.
Foundry achieved several advancements in its next-generation switching platform to take it beyond the markets current high-end switching platforms. Its application specific integrated circuit chipset, dubbed Terathon, contains 80 million transistors on a single chip. The architecture also uses 3.125 Gigahertz serialization to build very fast serial connections for the switching fabric. Foundry also employed fully programmable gate arrays to bring programmability to the hardware architecture and exploited advancements in optical interface technologies to allow for higher density chassis, according to Cheng.
Although Foundry has upped the ante among high-performance switching providers, it has not changed the competitive landscape with its new architecture, believes Zeus Kerravala, vice president of infrastructure at The Yankee Group Inc. in Boston.
"Foundry is still the high-end alternative to Cisco. Theyve solidified themselves as the viable alternative at the high end," he said.