Intel announces world-first at IDF: single-chip gigabit ethernet

Intel has introduced the world's first single-chip gigabit ethernet products, putting highly integrated, low cost solutions back on the agenda.

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By  Kate Concannon Published  February 27, 2002

In the Day One buzz of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, CA, Intel introduced three gigabit ethernet products, providing solutions for desktop PCs, workstations and servers. As single-chip products, they are up to 45% smaller and consume less power than previous products.

"High performance servers and desktop PCs require high performance network connections to satisfy an increasing demand for network services and to improve the performance of common applications," explained Tim Dunn, general manager of Intel's LAN access division.

For servers, the Intel 82546EB controller features a dual port, which allows manufacturers to place two gigabit ethernet network connections in the same space previously required for one.

Like the Intel 82545EM gigabit ethernet controller for workstations, the 82546EB supports PCI-X bus interface, for more efficient networking, and both the alerting standard format 1.0 and SMBus 2.0 specifications, for greater manageability.

Optimised for desktop PCs, the Intel 82540EM is a single-chip controller for copper-based networks. Smaller than a twenty-five fils coin, the 82540EM represents a size decrease of 45% from previous controller size. Manufacturers can thereby reduce cost, designing single motherboards that accommodate either a fast ethernet or gigabit ethernet connection within the same space.

"Intel's controllers are optimised for servers, workstations and desktop PCs in which high performance, lower power and motherboard space constraints are primary considerations," concluded Dunn.

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