BOTHELL, WASH. (06/02/2000) - Allied Telesyn next week will announce a device that can stretch the range of Gigabit Ethernet connections over multimode fiber up to 2 kilometers.
The new stand-alone, modem-sized device, the AT-EX1001SC/GM1 Gigabit Ethernet extender, could be helpful to enterprise network architects who have balked at the use of Gigabit Ethernet for long-distance networking - such as linking branch-office LANs together, or as a WAN communications technology.
In the past, users have had to replace multimode fiber-optic cables with more costly single-mode fiber to use Gigabit Ethernet as a long-haul medium.
The AT-EX1001SC/GM1 can be used to connect two Gigabit Ethernet devices over multimode fiber at a distance of up to 2 kilometers - four times the 500-meter limit of standard IEEE 802.3z Gigabit Ethernet over multimode fiber.
The device requires no management software and can plug in to standard Gigabit Ethernet switches, routers or network interface cards.
"Customers, such as banks or insurance companies, who've deployed FDDI may want to deploy Gigabit Ethernet, but they don't want to rip out all their multimode fiber to do so," says James Mustarde, director of marketing for Allied Telesyn.
By letting customers keep their existing wiring infrastructures, Mustarde says Allied Telesyn's product provides "an almost transparent transition to Gigabit Ethernet."
Devices that can extend Gigabit Ethernet range will become more valuable to users as Gigabit Ethernet becomes more commonly employed to connect LANs together over long distances and even as a WAN platform.
Worldwide shipments of Gigabit Ethernet switch ports were up more than 500 percent last year, according to International Data Corp. (IDC), in Framingham Massachusetts.
The AT-EX1001SC/GM1 Gigabit Ethernet extender will be available later this month. It will sell for US$3,000.
Allied Telesyn: www.alliedtelesyn.com.