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Broadcom NetXtreme C-Series 25G/50G Controllers Designed To Alleviate Network-Taxed Processors

By - Source: Broadcom
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Broadcom introduced its BCM57300 NetXtreme C-Series of scalable 10G/25G/40G/50G Ethernet controllers, which utilize the company's TruFlow technology to deal with network traffic congestion while delivering up to 30 Mbps with low latency (1.5-µs round trip), all in the industry's lowest powered (<5W), smallest (14x14 mm2) 25/50G controller package.

Available on either dual-port or single-port PCIe and OCP mezzanine NIC models, Broadcom's NetXtreme C-Series controllers are designed to extend the network edge into the server NIC. The BCM57300 uses a hardware-based approach to congestion notification that is faster than software-based solutions. The NetXtreme C-Series will be available in both OCP Mezzanine and PCIe models.The NetXtreme C-Series will be available in both OCP Mezzanine and PCIe models.

The new controller family is capable of lowering network congestion with its traffic management on-chip, able to detect an influx of network traffic, and use configurable profiles that correlate to network traffic patterns. Having the process of congestion notification use a hardware-based approach means it's managed at a layer closer to incoming data, freeing up CPU resources for other applications.

According to a survey by Infonetics, the current average number of virtual machines per server is 42, but that's expected to rise up to 96 VMs by 2017. Broadcom added that the current number of CPU cores dedicated to networking at faster link speeds is at 33 percent and is set to rise to 45 percent with the introduction of Skylake and 50G networking. Put together, Broadcom simply pointed out how demanding network virtualization can be for future processing technologies.

To alleviate the burden on the processing end, TruFlow enables vSwitch acceleration, which processes flows rather than just packets and is designed to reduce virtualization tax by removing the workload off the CPU and into the Broadcom NetXtreme C-Series Controller.   Besides its vSwitch acceleration, TruFlow also distributes flow processing into the server end points, giving network architects a little more room to work with when managing flows in growing networks.

With its low CPU usage and its ability to deliver bidirectional 50G throughput, the BCM57300 NetXtreme C-Series could be a viable solution for growing cloud data centers. Broadcom forecasted that the use of 25 GbE/50 GbE adapters and controllers will gain more traction as customers want to move off of 10 GbE/40 GbE and onto faster speeds.

The NetXtreme is currently in its sampling phase, but Broadcom is expecting to push the BCM57300 NetXtreme C-Series into full scale production by the end of the year.