Broadcom Debuts 24-port Fast Ethernet Switch with Integrated Transceivers

10/19/2004 - Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor solutions enabling broadband communications, introduced the industry's first 24-port Fast Ethernet (FE) switch that integrates 24-port FE physical layer (PHY) transceivers and 2-port Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) media access controllers (MACs) into a single chip tailored for small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) networking applications. Sampling now, this latest innovation from Broadcom is a high-performance, cost-effective and complete local area network (LAN) switching solution designed to replace existing multiple chip solutions and to leverage a common software platform. The new device provides SMB customers with cost and board space reduction, ease of design and fast time to market.

The cost of technology deployment is a very sensitive issue with SMB customers. As networks become more critical to each business and more sophisticated to deploy and maintain, SMB customers and end-users are demanding more functionality and performance from their networks without having to increase their IT budgets. The Broadcom® BCM5324 single-chip switch is designed to replace the typical three- to four-chip solutions on the market today, while at the same time offering full Layer 2 management features, such as Voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), which are key to SMB switch customers and translate into tremendous cost and space savings and ease-of-design. The new device integrates all of the building blocks required for a high-performance switch system at an affordable SMB price point.

"Broadcom has long been a leader in providing innovative Ethernet switching solutions to the SMB space,' said Peter Newton, Product Line Manager at NETGEAR. "By delivering equipment to our SMB customers that can deliver higher performance, more functionality and better manageability at an affordable price, NETGEAR has maintained our leadership in SMB networking. Using semiconductor technologies from companies like Broadcom, NETGEAR will continue to enable SMB IT managers and end-users to accomplish their tasks more efficiently and cost-effectively."

The BCM5324 is also the industry's first 24-port FE switch with 24-port integrated transceivers to be manufactured using 0.13 micron CMOS process technology, which allows for higher levels of integration and increased performance at reduced power dissipation.

The BCM5324 joins Broadcom's next generation ROBOswitchTM family and is a full-featured Layer 2 managed switch. Based on seven generations of field-proven Ethernet switch design, the single-chip BCM5324 integrates a 24-port 10/100 Megabit per second (Mbps) FE switch with two GbE MACs as well as 24-port 10/100 Mbps PHY transceivers, an industry first. The FE ports can support up to 24 workgroup desktop users and the GbE ports can be used as connections to file servers or uplinks. This makes the 24 FE port plus two GbE port switch one of the most popular configurations for the SMB deployment.

"Broadcom's new BCM5324 switch is designed to meet and exceed SMB customers' increasing demand for higher port densities, more performance and functionality, reduced board space, and overall cost savings," said George Chu, Senior Director of Broadcom's SMB Switching Line of Business. "This unprecedented level of integration, combined with intelligent management features, demonstrates Broadcom's ongoing technology leadership and strong commitment to providing a complete, cost-effective solution to the SMB market."

A Highly Integrated, Full-Featured and Intelligent Switch
Broadcom's BCM5324 24-port FE switch contains 24 full-duplex 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX FE over copper transceivers, each of which performs all of the PHY interface functions for 10BASE-T Ethernet on Category 3, 4 and 5 unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cable and 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet on Category 5 UTP cable. In addition, the BCM5324 has two GMII/RGMII/TBI interfaces providing flexible 10/100/1000BASE-TX/FX connectivity. Its non-blocking switch fabric fully supports the 24 FE ports and two GbE port uplinks. Power dissipation of the device is less than 3.5 watts typical at 2.5 volts and 1.2 volts.

The BCM5324's on-chip packet buffer and control memory provide the most optimum solution without the need for any external memory. With up to four enhanced quality of service (QoS) queues per port, the BCM5324 is ideal for real-time multimedia applications such as VoIP, streaming video and data traffic. A comprehensive set of Layer 2 features of this device includes IEEE 802.1x for easy user access control and security; double tagging for traffic aggregation; and advanced auto-cable check for cable diagnostics with cable length measurement.

The BCM5324 supports web-smart technology for manageability and easy trouble shooting, as well as Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) applications for wireless LAN and IP phones. Web-smart technology provides a Web-based, simple user-friendly tool that allows very cost-sensitive SMB IT managers and end- users to service, configure and perform cable diagnostics on their switches without deployment of field support personnel or causing network downtime.

Common Software API Minimizes Development Effort
In addition to gaining new capabilities, Broadcom's customers can significantly reduce time to market and improve return on investment through the common software base used across Broadcom's entire enterprise and SMB switch product line, applying the well-established Broadcom switch software API. The common software base helps minimize software development, maintenance and support provided by the customer, which translates into more reliable and available end-user networks.

Availability and Pricing
Sampling now, the BCM5324 is priced at less than $2.00 per port in volume quantities. Volume production is expected by the end of 2004. The reference design based on the BCM5324 is currently available. The Broadcom switch reference design allows system vendors to accelerate their time to market as well as reduces the cost of system development.

About the ROBOswitch Family
Broadcom's ROBOswitch is a family of Layer 2 Ethernet switches that are highly integrated and optimized in price, features and performance for the small-to-medium sized business market. The product family offers switches from 5 to 24+ ports for both Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. The ROBOswitch family is the first line of Ethernet switches to integrate Fast Ethernet PHY and GbE PHY technology into a single-chip solution.

About Broadcom
Broadcom Corporation is a leading provider of highly integrated semiconductor solutions that enable broadband communications and networking of voice, video and data services. We design, develop and supply complete system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions incorporating digital, analog, radio frequency (RF), microprocessor and digital signal processing (DSP) technologies, as well as related hardware and software system-level applications. Our diverse product portfolio addresses every major broadband communications market and includes solutions for digital cable and satellite set-top boxes; high definition television (HDTV); cable and digital subscriber line (DSL) modems and residential gateways; high-speed transmission and switching for local, metropolitan, wide area and storage networking; home and wireless networking; cellular and terrestrial wireless communications; Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway and telephony systems; broadband network and security processors; and SystemI/OTM server solutions. These technologies and products support our core mission: Connecting everything®. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and may be contacted at 1-949-450-8700 or at

Broadcom®, the pulse logo, Connecting everything®, the Connecting everything logo, ROBOswitchTM and SystemI/OTM are trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States and certain other countries.

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