Gigabit Ethernet Speeds Enabled

NEW YORK (06/27/2000) - Intel Corp. on Tuesday introduced two Gigabit Ethernet server adapters at the PC Expo conference, both based on a new controller chip, the 82543GC, which can distinguish between 10Mbps, 100Mbps, and 1000Mbps (1 Gigabit) Ethernet data feeds.

This capability allows an IT manger to scale to faster throughput devices without having to upgrade the entire network, according to the company.

Faster processors, multiplied network traffic, and the increased corporate deployment of 100Mbps Fast Ethernet connections to desktop PCs have placed additional stress on network servers that still have lower data throughput rates of either 10Mb, or 100Mbps, said Tim Dunn, the general manager of the Santa Clara, California-based Intel's LAN Access Division.

"This technology gives the IT manager the ability to scale out without having to upgrade the entire network all at once," said Dunn.

"You can upgrade the server, and this technology knows the difference between the data feeds, allowing them to travel together all at once."

By allowing Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet connections to interact together on the same network, the new Intel technology also provides a migration path for the older Ethernet networks to the "next generation" Gigabit Ethernet networks.

"As clients go up in speed to 10/100 level, the servers need to step up to the demand," said Dunn.

The new controller also offloads certain network functions such as the verification of data packet integrity and transmission confirmations from the host server, improving throughput across the entire network.

Intel is offering the adapter cards in two flavors. The Intel PRO/1000 F Server adapter is for fibre-optic cables. The PRO/1000 T is designed for still widely deployed, Category 5 copper wiring.

The Intel 82543GC is now available for $92 in 10,000 unit quantities. The PRO/1000 F adapter is also available for $795 each, or $3750 in packs of five.

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