SMC Networks Inc. continued the low-cost Gigabit Ethernet march this week with two switches and a NIC that can provide 1000M bit/sec links at around US$30 per port.
SMC's EZ Switch products include the five-port SMC8505T and eight-port SMC8508T. Both boxes have auto-sensing 10/100/1000M bit/sec ports, as well as auto-MDIX support, allowing the switch to connect to nodes or other switches from any port. This eliminates the need for special switch-to-switch or "crossover" cabling for linking switches.
Small, high-powered workgroups seems to be the deployment SMC has in mind for the EZ Switch gear. In addition to the Gigabit ports, SMC says the switches are the only desktop boxes that support Jumbo Frames - a technology that allows the frame size to exceed the IEEE's 1,500-byte standard for Ethernet. Transmitting Ethernet frames as large as 9K bytes can allow certain kinds of traffic - such as large file transfers data backups - to run more efficiently, experts say.
The SMC8505T and SMC8508T are available for US$130 and US$180, respectively. SMC will also ship a new Gigabit Ethernet NIC, the EZ Card 1000, next month for US$30.