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Broadcom Delivers New Trident 3 Generation of 10/25/100G Ethernet Switches

Published: Jun 15,2017

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Broadcom Limited announced immediate availability of the first members of its breakthrough Trident 3 family of programmable switches for data center, enterprise, and service provider networks transitioning to high density 10/25/100G Ethernet.

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Manufactured in 16nm and building on the widely deployed StrataXGS Trident and Tomahawk switch products, the new StrataXGS Trident 3 switch series offers fully programmable, line-rate switching solutions ranging from hundreds of Gbps to multiple Tbps, complete with large reconfigurable on-chip databases, best-in-class load balancing, and rich embedded instrumentation for network visibility.

"The innovation in our StrataXGS Trident 3 Series is in delivering a fully programmable switching pipeline while maintaining backwards compatibility to the existing install base of StrataXGS Trident and Trident 2 based networks," said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Switch Products at Broadcom.

"Rather than a blank slate, our customers want a scalable, bulletproof network data plane that is reprogrammable to address future requirements, while continuing to aggressively drive down Ethernet cost and power. With Trident 3, we’ve uniquely delivered that solution. Our customers can leverage a single development to yield a complete line of programmable switching platforms, with the same rich feature set extending all the way from the service provider edge, to the data center, converged campus core, and wiring closet.”

The FleXGS architecture in Trident 3 comprises of new programmable parsing, lookup, and editing engines with associated reconfigurable databases. The engines are dimensioned and arrayed to maximize parallelism, performance, functional capacity and area/power efficiency to best address the diverse and concurrent needs of today’s evolving networks.

The pipeline can be programmed to handle software-defined network virtualization and service chaining protocols, including VXLAN, GPE, NSH, Geneve, MPLS, MPLS over GRE, MPLS over UDP, GUE, Identifier Locator Addressing (ILA) and PPPoE, among others. The architecture also supports programmable telemetry, including the insertion/processing of in-band telemetry headers (and associated packet metadata such as traffic identifiers and timestamps) as well as out-of-band network visibility (such as per-packet/per-flow attribute histograms and new ERSPAN like protocols). Programmability can be used in conjunction with Trident 3 native traffic engineering functions such as configurable ECMP and dynamic, state-based load balancing and multipathing.

"Broadcom's approach to programmable switching in the Trident 3 line distinctly enables the implementation of new and diverse packet processing use cases with a pipeline that boasts optimal silicon power and area, deterministic PPS performance, and bandwidth scalability even greater than its more purpose-built predecessor," said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst at The Linley Group.

"With multiple, optimized Trident 3 products ranging from 25/100GbE data center leaf-spine to multigigabit campus distribution, network operators can deploy new software-defined visibility, overlay, and forwarding capabilities uniformly across their infrastructure in a highly responsive and efficient manner.”

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