Gigabit Transceivers ~ the Next Generation
15 , 2000
In April, Broadcom Corporation (NASDAQ:BRCM) announced the second-generation
Gigabit Ethernet Transceiver, a product that allows companies to leverage
their existing CAT 5 infrastructure. The significance of the Broadcom
BCM5401 is that it will allow vendors to manufacture network equipment
that utilizes existing wiring infrastructure, significantly reducing the
cost of extending Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop environment.
The Broadcom BCM5401 1000Base-T Transceiver will have a significant market
impact because Ethernet switching vendors will not have to change the
device form factor they are currently manufacturing. This will allow them
to keep engineering costs to a minimum in the area of design and manufacturing,
with the best example of this being the Data Closet stackable market.
This transceiver will allow companies to leverage the technology built
into the chip set by having a mixture of 10, 100, and 1000Base-T clients
residing on the same piece of hardware using existing Category 5 cabling.
Before development of this chip set, the only way to deliver Gigabit speeds
was to run fiber optic cabling to the area or desktop where this type
of performance was desired. This product will allow companies to receive
a 10 times performance increase to their existing network without having
to upgrade their infrastructure to either category 5E cabling or fiber
deployment of this technology will depend on both successful vendor testing
and which vendors will receive this chip set for testing. If the top three
vendors in the Ethernet switching and adapter market receive this chip
set you could see Gigabit Ethernet to the desktop over standard Category
5 cabling by either late third quarter or early fourth quarter.
Any company planning to upgrade its network in the third quarter of this
year should wait to see the vendor impact from this gigabit transceiver.
If vendor testing is successful, there will be a variety of options available,
ranging from reduced pricing in the 10/100MB Ethernet switch market to
a new line of products offering 1000MB Ethernet to the desktop. The visibility
of seeing this in 2000 is greater than 60 %, considering that testing
of the Broadcom 5400 pure 1000Base-T transceiver had no problems.