Cisco to Make 10 Gigabit Ethernet More Affordable

The company claims the cost of its optical fiber transceiver adapter is a fraction of the cost of existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet optics.

Cisco Systems will jump out ahead of competitors in releasing an optical fiber transceiver adapter based on the new IEEE 802.3aq standard.

Cisco will release in June a new adapter for its Catalyst switches that allows customers to upgrade links to 10 Gigabit Ethernet using legacy optical fiber technology, used with older FDDI standards.

The cost of the adapter transceiver, which operates over multimode fiber links, is a fraction of the cost of existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet optics, according to Marie Hattar, senior director of network systems marketing at Cisco, in Santa Clara, Calif.

The new 10GBASE-LRM (Long Range Multimode) interface, dubbed the Cisco X2 10GE LRM Optical Module, will work in the Catalyst 6500, Catalyst 4500 and Catalyst 3750 switches.

The standard, finalized last fall, supports 220-meter distances on any multimode cabling plant, boasts lower power consumption, and lower heat generation and latency.


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It will list for $1,495, compared with about $4,000 for existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, according to Kumar Srikantan, director of product management at Cisco.

"You can have 10 Gigabit Ethernet for what four Gigabit Ethernet interfaces would cost," he said.

The technology is aimed at reducing the cost of implementing 10 Gigabit Ethernet uplinks in enterprise networks—outside the data center.

The Ethernet Alliance at Interop in Las Vegas demonstrated interoperability of Cisco, Foundry Networks and HP ProCurve switches using transceivers compliant with the new standard.

Foundry, for its part, expects to deliver its competing transceiver adapters based on the standard in the next six to eight weeks, according to Franchesca Walker, marketing director at Foundry, also in Santa Clara.

Other vendors participating in the demonstration included Sumitomo Electronics, Fiberxon, Finisar, Opnext, Avago and ClariPhy.


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