Intel has boosted its networking range with three gigabit ethernet products that run over standard copper wires instead of fibre.
The chip giant has also unveiled Intel Express, an uplink module that allows switches to connect to servers or backbones using gigabit over copper technology.
The three products include two Netstructure switches and a switch uplink device that supports the IEEE's 802 standard for running gigabit ethernet over Category 5 copper wiring.
Steven Rotz, product line manager at Intel, said: "Customers using gigabit ethernet over copper will benefit from the cost savings of using their existing cabling and the savings will mount up."
Intel is pricing its copper-based switches at half the cost of the company's fibre-based versions, he said.
Rotz also claimed that the latest products are among the first to offer IEEE-compliant auto negotiation features that automatically use 100Mbps rates if non-gigabit ethernet devices are on the network.
The Netstructure 470T sports six 100/1000Base-T copper ports and two GBIC ports, while the 470F features eight 1000Base-SX ports aimed at aggregating workgroup switches.
Intel Express also features auto sensing technologies for 100Base-TX or 1000Base-T networks.
The products form part of the chip giant's recent foray into the networking field. It is also a founding member of the recently formed 10 Gigabit Ethernet Alliance set up to extend the technology beyond Lans to metropolitan area networks and Wans.
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