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Fulcrum Microsystems Debuts 2.5/10G Ethernet Switches for Multi-Port GPON Line Cards; FocalPoint Switches Aimed at 4- and 8-Port OLT Cards; Offer Improved Throughput and Lower Cost.

CALABASAS, Calif. -- Fulcrum Microsystems today announced an expansion of its FocalPoint Ethernet switch device family with the industry's first Ethernet switch chips targeted at the coming wave of multi-port optical line termination (OLT) cards for Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) equipment.

With the success of GPON network implementations, equipment manufacturers are migrating from single-port, first-generation OLT cards to multi-port cards that provide higher user density and lower cost. To accommodate this transition and in order to handle the increased density without sacrificing performance, switching must be embedded into the line-card.

Fulcrum has responded to this trend with the FocalPoint FM2103 and FM2104 switches, both of which offer full line-rate performance. The FM2103 is configured for four-port OLT cards with four 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports for access connections and two 10-Gigabit Ethernet XAUI ports for backbone links. The FM2104 is for eight-port OLT boards and features eight 2.5-Gigabit Ethernet ports with two 10-Gigabit Ethernet XAUI ports.

Both devices feature flexible header processing for Ethernet-to-GPON interworking, allowing the devices to parse the GPON-specific packet header.

In a separate announcement, Fulcrum said it will work jointly with BroadLight, a leading end-to-end PON components vendor, on marketing and technical initiatives that will provide an integrated GPON solution composed of FocalPoint devices alongside BroadLight controllers.

"As GPON technology has proven itself in the market, the demand is growing for higher density solutions, providing a perfect new market to benefit from the performance and cost advantages of our FocalPoint switch family," said Bud Noren, senior product manager for Fulcrum Microsystems. "The Fulcrum and BroadLight solution is perfectly complementary and is an ideal first step in building the ecosystem that will help us to be successful in this market."

Switch and Memory Technology Drives Low Latency

At the core of both devices are two patented Fulcrum technology blocks: Nexus(R) Terabit Crossbar and RapidArray(TM) Packet Memory. Nexus leverages Fulcrum's event-driven logic technology foundation to deliver more than a Terabit-per-second of non-blocking throughput with 3ns of fall-through latency. RapidArray combines the ultra-fast data path of the Nexus crossbar with standard foundry state bits to deliver packet memories that offer twice the throughput of commercial memories, while maintaining comparable density and yield.

Both Nexus and RapidArray are power-efficient technologies, drawing about half the power per port of competing technologies and consuming power in direct proportion to traffic load, which results in the typical power consumption of 100mW per Gbps under full load.

Product Availability

Both devices are immediately available for sampling.

About Fulcrum Microsystems, Inc.

Fulcrum Microsystems delivers performance-leading Ethernet switch chips for next-generation board and system designs. The company's devices change the paradigm for interconnect, offering low latency, fine-grained flow control, and high throughput which combine to simplify board design and to build in more flexibility and higher performance. More information can be found at
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Sep 25, 2006
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