Broadcom Begins Shipping its Tomahawk 4 Switch Series

December 9, 2019

SAN JOSE, Calif., Dec. 09, 2019 — Broadcom Inc. announced today that it has delivered the StrataXGS Tomahawk 4 switch series, demonstrating an unprecedented 25.6 Terabits/sec of Ethernet switching performance in a single device— double the bandwidth of any other switch silicon available in the market today.

Delivered in less than two years after the previous 12.8Tbps product generation, Tomahawk 4 is implemented in 7nm technology with 512 50G PAM4 SerDes.  Tomahawk 4’s high level of integration and highly efficient architecture delivers up to 75 percent lower power and cost compared to alternative solutions.

The growth of hyperscale cloud networks continues its unrelenting upward trend, with bandwidth increasing by 25 percent and storage by 36 percent year-over-year[1].  Workloads for deep learning, using massively distributed neural networks and alternative computing nodes, require a dramatic increase in bandwidth with dense 100/200/400GbE links spanning high-radix, ultra-low-latency network topologies.

The continued trend towards disaggregated, high-density flash storage is concurrently demanding step functions in network throughput and reduced end-to-end access times. With its market-leading switching performance, high 100/200/400GbE port density, and rich feature set optimized for cloud use cases, Broadcom’s Tomahawk 4 is ideally suited to serve as the backbone for the next generation of hyperscale data center networks.

“The Tomahawk franchise is the flagship for cutting-edge, single-chip performance and integration among Broadcom’s multi-vectored Ethernet switch silicon portfolio, tailored to the unique and rigorous demands of hyperscale data center operators,” said Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Core Switching Group, Broadcom. “We are proud of our world-class engineering team for innovating and delivering the 25.6Tbps Tomahawk 4 chip in less than two years after we released Tomahawk 3.  Broadcom is proving yet again that customers can rely on us to lead the industry on switch silicon performance and execution at every generation.”

“Tomahawk 4 is an engineering tour de force, packing an unprecedented number of serdes into a monolithic 7nm chip,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst, The Linley Group. “As a result, Broadcom is once again first in delivering the next switch density, which hyperscalers need as they deploy 400G Ethernet.”

Tomahawk 4 accelerates the adoption of 100/200/400GbE Ethernet solutions at a point where optics utilizing 50G PAM4 electrical connectivity are shipping in high volumes.  Products from Broadcom’s Optical Systems Division, which offers a suite of optical interconnect solutions supporting 50G PAM4 and 100G PAM4 optical data rates, complement Broadcom’s switch chips. The combination of switches and pluggable optics from Broadcom provides a complete system-level solution with plug-and-play functionality.

StrataXGS Tomahawk 4 Series Key Benefits:

  • Enables the next generation of high-throughput, low latency hyperscale networks with 64 ports of 400GbE switching and routing.
  • World’s highest radix of 100GbE ports: 256 ports supported on a single chip, enabling low-latency, single-hop networks for massive alternative compute clusters.
  • Robust connectivity using 512 instances of the industry’s highest performance and longest-reach 50G PAM4 SerDes core, enabling long-reach East-West optical links and Direct-Attached-Copper in-rack cabling in the data center.
  • The industry’s most advanced 25.6Tbps shared-buffer architecture, offering up to 5X higher incast absorption and providing the highest performance and lowest end-to-end latency for RoCEv2 workloads.
  • New advanced load balancing mechanisms, virtually eliminating hash polarization and providing extremely efficient, controllable link utilization.
  • Advanced congestion management, enabling new traffic management paradigms.
  • Industry-leading instrumentation including IFA 2.0 for inband telemetry, postcards for out-of-band telemetry, SerDes link quality meters, and visibility into all on-chip packet drops and congestion events.
  • Four 1 GHz ARM processors for high-bandwidth, fully-programmable streaming telemetry and sophisticated embedded applications such as on-chip statistics summarization.
  • Implemented with unparalleled power efficiency in a monolithic 7nm die.

Broadcom also announced the introduction of Broadcom Open Network Switch APIs (OpenNSA), opening its SDK APIs for StrataXGS and StrataDNX products. Multiple open source network operating system initiatives are underway in the disaggregation ecosystem, focused on hyperscale and service provider markets. OpenNSA enables these initiatives on merchant silicon and allows the larger community to build on top of these efforts. OpenNSA also expands Open Compute Project efforts, like Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI), by simplifying the process of translating SAI APIs to Broadcom SDK APIs. Moreover, OpenNSA accelerates the SDN ecosystem by enhancing the toolset available for the developer community.

“Alibaba Cloud has worked closely with Broadcom on Tomahawk 4 products,” said Yiqun Cai, Vice President of Network, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence. “With Broadcom’s Tomahawk 4, Alibaba Cloud is able to accelerate the adoption of 100/200/400GbE Ethernet solutions and provide faster and better solutions to our customers.”

Availability
Broadcom is now shipping Tomahawk 4 BCM56990 devices to qualified customers. For more information on the Tomahawk 4 and all Broadcom products and solutions please click here.

About Broadcom

Broadcom Inc. is a global technology leader that designs, develops and supplies a broad range of semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions. Broadcom’s category-leading product portfolio serves critical markets including data center, networking, enterprise software, broadband, wireless, storage and industrial. Our solutions include data center networking and storage, enterprise, mainframe and cyber security software focused on automation, monitoring and security, smartphone components, telecoms and factory automation. For more information, go to www.broadcom.com.


Source: Broadcom 

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