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Intel reveals 100GbE Fiber NIC

Intel has revealed a new NIC that might open 100GbE network
speed to end users. Although it’s doubtable that one would
pay 1500 US$ and more for a NIC just to have 100GbE in his
machine, it’s obvious where network speeds head to.

On April 2nd, Intel has revealed it’s 800 Series NIC1.

With 2 100GbE ports that can hold the corresponding SFP2 modules this NIC is quite fast. Although it’s usually not intended for usage in end user systems, this card comes with a classic PCIex16 connector wher you could fit this card into any cunsumer system of your choice. However a price tag of minimum 1500 US$ might stop a lot of people from buying this card besides the fact that you also would need a 100GbE capable switch. And boy, do these Switches cost:

For example the HPE FlexFabric 5950 Switch that can handle such high speeds comes at a family-friendly price of roughly 30’000 US$ – Piece o’cake – let’s take 10 of ’em!

Cables are at around 300 US$ per meter so exprect slightly higher prices for longer ranges here.

But what is it good for if the other components are still pricey and hardly affordable to Joe Average?

Intel itself sees this NIC as a future investment for upcoming FTTH3 environments where the connections today already hit 10Gbit/s. But also those of thinking of FTTD4 will probably take an eye on this NIC. So while providers still don’t provide such speeds, you might already prepare your infrastructure to handle way higher speeds.

But this also requires that High-end-switches that can handle such speeds become way less expensive and user-friendly. Today’s high-end-enterprise-switches are everything but user-friendly. If you’re not a tech crack and fully informed about networks and how they work, then you might find yourself lost with quite expensive hardware and no use for it at the end.

So how does Intel rectify the release of such high-end-NICs then if not only for enterprises?

Here are Slides what they have in mind:

The Speed evolution:

The Programmable Protocol Plus:

The ADQ5 Technology and it’s usage:

The ADQ allows applications to create their own queue and prevent data being mixed up with other queues thus reducing the latency and increasing as well as optimizing bandwidth.

The DDP6 feature and it’s Programming:

So while other manufacturers still stay with 1GbE or probably 10GbE via classic copper cables, Intel takes the next step forward. Copper has the disadvantage that 100GbE is barely manageable and if, the switches are horribly expensive besides the fact that we haven’t seen any for sale yet. 100GbE via copper also requires you to use the most recent cable technology (Cat.8) and even then you’ll only reach 40Gbit/s maximum!

Here’s a small chart of the different Ethernet categories:

Unless the other 100GbE components become available at a fair price tag, this NIC is just a tad oversized for private homes and we see this NIC preferably used in big datacenters, in SAN-Servers and other components that demand for reliable and fast network interchange.
Intel says that mass production will start in H2 2019. Although Intel has not revealed any price tag yet, the NIC is speculated to release for 1’600 US$
  1. Network Interface Card
  2. Small Form Factor Pluggable transceiver
  3. Fiber to the Home
  4. Fiber to the Desk
  5. Application Device Queue
  6. Dynamic Device Personalization

April 8, 2019 Netspark - 1387 posts - Member since: May 9th, 2011 No Comments »

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