Intel has launched a new type of optical transceiver which it claims is the first 10Gbps small form factor transceiver for multi-mode fibre networks.
The TXN17201/9 Multi-Mode Xpak is aimed at data centre applications and can be used for either 10Gbps Ethernet or Fibre Channel.
Intel maintained that, as Gigabit Ethernet invades the corporate desktop, more bandwidth is needed at the backbone to cope with rising demands on the network infrastructure.
"As Gigabit Ethernet deploys on the desktop, 10-Gigabit solutions are going to become essential in the data centre," said Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel's Communication Group.
The majority of fibre installed in the data centre is multi-mode. This is optical fibre designed to carry multiple light rays or modes concurrently, each at a slightly different reflection angle within the optical fibre core.
Multi-mode fibre transmission is used for relatively short distances because the modes tend to disperse over longer lengths (known as modal dispersion) which makes multi-mode ideal for data centres.
Another benefit is that it is far cheaper than single-mode, which is used for long distance connections.
The transceiver uses a third less power (3.5W) and is a third the size of earlier products, allowing it to be used in high port density switches and on PCI Network cards.
It will be available next January and production volume pricing is expected to be £300 ($500). The device will be previewed at the Intel Developer's Forum in San Jose, California from 9 to 12 September.
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