Broadcom Introduces World's Fastest Single-Chip Ethernet Switch

Enables Mass Deployment of 10Gbps in the Data Center

IRVINE, Calif., March 18 — (PRNewswire) — Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced a new series of multi-layer Ethernet devices that enable faster connectivity between servers in the data center. The new Broadcom® BCM56840 series  represents the eighth generation of the company's leading StrataXGS® switch architecture and provides up to 64-ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) with the flexibility to also support 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE).

Until now, only large corporations such as Fortune 500 companies and research organizations have had the resources to build data centers with high performance 10GbE switches connected directly to servers. The new Broadcom BCM56840 series changes these economics by delivering high performance, sub-microsecond latency and ultra low power on a single chip, thereby enabling any data center - regardless of size - to unleash the power of cloud computing.

Designed in 40 nanometer (nm) process technology, the BCM56840 series offers an unprecedented level of integration and converged Ethernet capabilities marking the first time a silicon solution has been available for the practical large scale deployment of 10GbE. With 64-ports of 10GbE or 16-ports of 40GbE connectivity, integrated SerDes, and scalable services, the new BCM56840 series is specifically designed to unlock the greater potential of cloud computing and fuel more widespread market adoption of 10GbE. The series can be used as a foundation element to build next generation top-of-rack switches, blade switches and modular switches. These switches can be tied together to deliver a highly scalable network, interconnecting thousands of servers for enterprise, as well as cloud provider data centers. With cut-through switching and sub-microsecond latency performance, the BCM56840 series is an ideal switch solution for algorithmic trading and high performance compute cluster environments.

The BCM56840 series supports Layer 2 / Layer 3 (L2 / L3) switching with dynamic access control lists (ACLs) and delivers on four critical requirements for the data center:

  • Bandwidth Density:
    • Industry's first 64-port 10GbE switch silicon solution.
    • Integrates 10 Gigabit (10G) serializers/deserializers (SerDes) reducing the total number of components needed for a system.
    • Provides direct 40GbE connectivity enabling easier deployment and simpler management.
  • Power and Cooling:
    • Industry's lowest power 640 Gigabits per second (Gbps) Ethernet switch.
    • Supports the Energy Efficient Ethernet™ (EEE) IEEE P802.3az draft standard.
    • High performance 10G SerDes optimized for data center applications lowers power consumption.
  • Low Latency:
    • Industry's lowest latency 640 Gbps Ethernet switch with integrated 10G SerDes.
    • Supports cut-through switching.
  • Data Center Services:
    • Provides virtualization support and visibility to individual virtual machines in the network allowing security, access control and quality-of-service (QoS) policies to be tied to virtual machines. This is critical to enable the large scale deployment of server virtualization and mobility of workloads.
    • Converged networking
      • Data Center Bridging (DCB) – unifies storage and networking under one technology with lossless Ethernet.
      • Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) – converges storage over Ethernet networks enabling a reduction in server input/output (I/O), cabling and power.
    • Provides high utilization multi-pathing via Transparent Interconnect of Lots of Links (TRILL) simplifying network topologies while increasing network resiliency and scalability.

Additional Highlights/Key Facts:

  • The BCM56840 series is ideal for data center applications and is compatible with aggregation and core products obtained through the recent acquisition of Dune Networks.
  • Broadcom has complementary silicon and software solutions for the data center market segment including:
    • BCM84834 – 40nm quad-port 10GBASE-T PHY
    • BCM57712 – 10GbE dual-port converged network interface controller (C-NIC)
    • BCM8754 – 10GbE SFP+ PHY
    • Software – The BCM56840 series is fully supported by Broadcom's widely adopted and field proven software application programming interface (API) that is common across the entire StrataXGS product line.  
  • The BCM56840 switch series is now sampling to early access customers.


Mr. Henry Tso, Chief Technical Officer, H3C

"The data center segment is an important growth area for our business. Broadcom's latest series of high density 10GbE solutions enables us to meet the virtualization and converged scalable services demands of our customers' next generation energy efficient data center." 

Martin Lund, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Broadcom's Network Switching line of business

"The new BCM56840 switch series sets the bar and delivers unprecedented levels of integration, reduced power consumption and ultimate performance. This new level of functionality will allow our customers to build innovative products to create the data center of the future."

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About Broadcom

Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in communications semiconductors for wired and wireless communications.  Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment.  We provide the industry's broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices.  These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything®.

Broadcom, one of the world's largest fabless communication semiconductor companies, with 2009 revenue of $4.49 billion, holds more than 3,800 U.S. and 1,550 foreign patents, and has more than 7,800 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video, data and multimedia.

A FORTUNE 500® company, Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe.  Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000 or at

Cautions regarding Forward-Looking Statements:

All statements included or incorporated by reference in this release, other than statements or characterizations of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry and business, management's beliefs, and certain assumptions made by us, all of which are subject to change.  Forward-looking statements can often be identified by words such as "anticipates," "expects," "intends," "plans," "predicts," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "may," "will," "should," "would," "could," "potential," "continue," "ongoing," similar expressions, and variations or negatives of these words.  Examples of such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, references to the potential of cloud computing and adoption of 10GbE, the functionality of the BCM56840 switch series and solutions for the data center and the effects of such functionality on our customers' abilities to build products for future data centers. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause our actual results to differ materially and adversely from those expressed in any forward-looking statement.

Important factors that may cause such a difference for Broadcom in connection with the BCM56840 switch series include, but are not limited to:

  • Delays in the adoption and acceptance of industry standards in those markets;
  • The rate at which our present and future customers and end-users adopt Broadcom's technologies and products in the markets;
  • The gain or loss of a key customer, design win or order;
  • Competitive pressures and other factors such as the qualification, availability and pricing of competing products and technologies and the resulting effects on sales and pricing of our products; and
  • Our ability to timely and accurately predict market requirements and evolving industry standards and to identify opportunities in new markets.

Additional factors that may cause Broadcom's actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to the list that can be found at .

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