Single-Chip 10 GbE from Broadcom

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The 10 GbE market is rapidly converging on single-chip solutions, likely ushering in an era of sleeker designs for even high-power servers.


Broadcom is one of the first out of the gate with the BCM57710 converged network interface controller (C-NIC), which offers dual-port 10 GbE connectivity on one chip, according to a report at SYS-SON Media.


The system is part of the NetExtreme II line of C-NICs, and completes the last 10-gig link in the Broadcom chain of controllers, switches and physical layer devices.


Broadcom pulled a lot of tricks out of its hat to engineer a single-chip solution, such as simultaneous processing of network, storage, clustering and traffic management. The device also features Microsoft's Windows TCP chimney engine, iSCSI block storage and remote direct access memory (RDMA). The result is a system that offers TCP/IP and Ethernet-based functionality, freeing up bandwidth for improved server performance and CPU utilization.


The system also features bi-directional line rate performance, capable of delivering 4.7 Gbps with only 33 percent CPU utilization. That's a feat that would require nearly full utilization over standard Layer 2.


And hats off to Broadcom's lawyers, who came up with one heckuva forward-looking statement tacked onto the press release. With all the patent issues and backdating activity swirling around recently, I guess it never hurts to be on your toes.