Marvell revs up Ethernet to 400Gbps with new ‘Alaska’ chips

Marvell Semiconductor is the first semiconductor to ship networking chips supporting the 802.3cd standard that will pump up Ethernet ports to 400Gbps max.

The 802.3cd standard is designed to eventually replace the current physical Ethernet ports, which run at 25Gbps to 100Gpbs, with ports that will run at 50Gbps, 200Gbps, and 400Gbps.

And Marvell is the first chip vendor out of the gate with support for the standard in its Alaska C 88X7120 transceivers. The chips aren’t fully cooked, but they are sampling to customers. Sampling is to semiconductors what beta testing is to software.

The chips support 16 50Gbps ports, four 200Gbps ports, and two 400Gbps ports, using PAM4 signaling. They’re aimed at top-of-rack switches with interfaces ranging from 25Gbps to 400Gbps.

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