Electronic Design

Switches And MACs Make Carrier Ethernet Easy

The movement from circuit-switched to packet-based networking continues at an accelerated pace. Optical transport networks (OTNs) are being integrated into the long haul and metro networks, and Carrier Ethernet is finding itself the most popular metro-area networking (MAN) technology as it replaces legacy SONET/SDH. But implementing Carrier Ethernet equipment has its challenges. Vitesse Semiconductor’s Jaguar family of Ethernet devices is designed specifically for service provider Carrier Ethernet applications.

Using a new architecture from Vitesse, this family offers an optimized feature set that is critical for making the transition from today’s time domain multiplexing (TDM) circuit-switched networks to modern packet-based Ethernet networks. This transition enables carriers worldwide to provide expanded services to users of wired and wireless networks. According to Vitesse, the Jaguar family will permit Ethernet services to be delivered faster with greater flexibility at a lower cost.

The Jaguar family implements the industry’s only architecture incorporating advanced service features such as full IEEE-1588 functionality and operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM). Delivering advanced Ethernet timing support compatible with Synchronous Ethernet and IEEE-1588v2, the architecture achieves accurate network timing references over packet networks, which is particularly important in mobile backhaul applications. Additionally, the architecture is the first to provide OEMs and service providers with five-nines reliability over packet-based networks including delivery of real-time multimedia services.

This service-aware architecture is designed to map client traffic to any of the thousands of services, with each individual service offering MEF-compliant (Metro Ethernet Forum) policing, scheduling, and traffic shaping. A single chip provides thousands of policers and as many as 50,000 statistics to ensure and monitor service-level agreements. This results in unprecedented flexible service differentiation and support, allowing providers to easily deploy services such as E-Line, E-Tree, and E-LAN.

The Jaguar family launches with four devices: the Jaguar VSC7460 (see the figure) and LynX VSC7462 Carrier Ethernet switches and the CE-MaX-24 VSC7364 and CE-MaX-12 VSC7366 media access controllers (MACs). To deliver carrier-grade reliability, these devices permit hardware-generated continuity checking for Port, Link, Tunnel, and Service protection. The fast link failure detection and exclusive path protection mechanism provide reliable 50-ms protection switching performance critical to carrier networks.

The Jaguar switches integrate multiple ports of Gigabit Ethernet with advanced traffic-shaping features for service-aware networks. Providing more on-chip resources for policing and statistics than any other products in their class, Vitesse’s Jaguar and LynX switches support all popular connection-oriented and connectionless network protocols, including Provider Bridging, Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB), Provider Backbone Bridging with Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE), and Multi-Protocol Label Switching-Transport Profile (MPLS-TP).

Offering a dense alternative for constrained rack space, the Jaguar has 24 10/100/1000-Mbit/s Ethernet ports and four 10-Gigabit Ethernet XAUI ports. The LynX is a 12-port version with dual 10-Gigabit ports. The XAUI ports can be configured as four 2.5-Gbit/s interfaces.

The Carrier Ethernet MACs are pin compatible with the company’s switch devices. The MACs are available with two port counts: 24 Gigabit Ethernet ports with four 10-Gigabit ports or 12 Gigabit Ethernet ports with two 10-Gigabit ports. These MACs have all the service-aware and traffic engineering features of Jaguar and LynX yet are designed to deliver Ethernet services over SONET and packet optical networks.

Vitesse will soon announce another family of Ethernet switch products specifically designed for carrier access applications such as mobile backhaul. These carrier access switches will share the same software application programming interface (API) as the Jaguar family. Vitesse will begin sampling these devices to lead customers in the second quarter of 2010. Production pricing will range from $150 to $60 based on device selection.

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.

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