Intel claims to have broken the cost and technical barriers that have been holding back 10Gbps Ethernet (10GbE) deployments in the data centre with its introduction of a 10GbE network interface card for servers.
According to the chip giant, its Intel PRO/10GbE SR Server Adapter is the first device of its kind priced at less than $5,000 (£2,785) and operating on standard multimode fibre.
Hans Geyer, vice president and general manager of Intel's networking and storage group, said: "With a substantial reduction in cost and an adaptor in a form factor that fits standard servers, it now promises to fill a similar rapidly growing need in the data centre, because the proliferation of GbE to the desktop and ever more network-intensive applications are demanding more bandwidth."
The server adaptor, which is designed for applications such as server clusters, network storage, medical imaging and graphic design, uses XPAK optical technology to reduce the price over previous adaptors by 40 per cent, Intel claimed.
The XPAK optics enable 10GbE connectivity over multimode fibre, while their small-form factor makes the adaptor compatible with standard server slots.
Intel added that it has been working with equipment makers to provide interoperability with popular switches. Collaboration with Cisco has led to 10GbE interoperability with Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches.
"As customers evolve to a networked data centre, where resources are aggregated, shared and accessed over a scalable intelligent network foundation, the need for cost-effective 10GbE server connectivity will rise," said Christine Falsetti, director of enterprise solutions marketing at Cisco, in a statement.
The Intel PRO/10GbE SR Server Adapter costs $4,770. Intel has promised to introduce a single-mode fibre version - the PRO/10GbE LR - later this summer, for applications involving distances up to 10km, such as communications among regional data centres.
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