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Simplifying the installation of high-speed Ethernet connections for computer makers, Intel on Monday introduced a new family of Gigabit Ethernet products for desktop PCs, workstations, and high-end servers here at the Intel Developer's Forum (IDF).

The three new, single-chip Gigabit Ethernet products are nearly 45 percent smaller and use less power than previous Ethernet products from Intel, according to Tim Dunn, general manager of the LAN access division for Intel's Platform networking group in Hillsboro, Ore.

The Intel 82546EB Gigabit Ethernet controller is a dual-port, single-chip systems for servers; the Intel 82545EM Gigabit Ethernet controller is a dual-port, single-chip system for workstations; and the Intel 82540EM, which is designed for PCs and is about the size of a dime, is built atop a single motherboard configuration that allows PC makers to choose either a Gigabit Ethernet connection or a Fast Ethernet connection without having to redesign the innards of the PC, according to Dunn.

Price-wise, Dunn said that computer makers will be able to integrate the faster 10/100/1,000 Gigabit Ethernet products into computer systems for only a small amount more than current 10/100 Ethernet controllers.

"Manufacturers are going to realize that they can employ a Gigabit connection for around US$20 to $30 more, and have headroom that will last users for maybe the next five years," Dunn said.

Companies with large PC deployments that require high-speed data throughput across multiple, often synchronized PCs, will immediately benefit from the arrival of Intel's new Gigabit Ethernet controllers in vendors systems, Dunn said. The new products will also aid in speeding up common routines such as large file transfers and data backup and recovery, Dunn said.

Preliminary tests show the new Gigabit Ethernet controllers deliver anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent greater performance, above the additional throughput headroom offered with the new controllers," Dunn said.

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