Solarflare® Introduces Industry's Lowest-Power 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller and Begins Sampling

Industry's first standards-compliant 10GBASE-T server adapter reference design will accelerate growth of 10 Gigabit Ethernet market

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 29 /- DesignCon 2007 - Solarflare® Communications, a leading provider of high-performance Ethernet silicon, announced today Solarstorm(TM), the industry's lowest-power 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller, along with the sampling of this silicon. The Solarstorm controller operates at just 2.2 watts, setting the bar for low power. In addition, the company introduced the industry's first standards-compliant 10GBASE-T server adapter reference design, along with 10GBASE-CX4 and XFP optical server adapter reference designs. Because these reference designs hit the sweet spot of low power, high performance, standards compliance, and simplicity, they will accelerate the adoption of 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The new Solarstorm(TM) controller delivers the optimal balance of performance, power, and price, enabling the widespread implementation of 10 Gigabit Ethernet in data center and enterprise networks. "The combination of Solarflare's new Solarstorm(TM) 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller and 10Xpress® 10GBASE-T PHY will enable our OEM customers to bring to market 10 Gigabit Ethernet server adapters at about the same cost as quad-port 1 Gigabit Ethernet server adapters. Such cost effectiveness will accelerate deployment of 10 Gigabit Ethernet," said Bruce Tolley, vice president of marketing at Solarflare.

Solarflare's Solarstorm controller uniquely possesses several key features that meet OEM demands:

o Compelling performance while consuming just 2.2 watts of power
o Lowest latency of all 10 Gigabit Ethernet controllers in the market.
o Cost effectiveness and simplicity that enable OEM customers to deliver
very low cost 10Gigabit Ethernet server adapters
o Virtualization of its host interface, providing the most efficient way
to accelerate I/O in virtualized operating system deployments
o Stateless offloads that allow server I/O performance to scale with the
host processors and motherboard chipsets
o No need to engineer links, no need for new protocols, such as iWARP and RDMA

"I am very impressed by the low power dissipation of the Solarstorm 10GbE controller," commented Bob Wheeler, Senior Analyst, The Linley Group. "This is key for enabling the current generation of 10GBASE-T PHYs to drive the full 100 meter distance, while staying well within the constraints of the 25 watt PCI Express limit."

Solarstorm is capable of leveraging Intel's QuickData(TM) Technology platform announced on October 16, 2006, at the Intel Developer's Forum in Taipei.

"Intel's QuickData Technology complements Solarflare's new high- performance 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller by minimizing the system overhead associated with data movement to and from the network." Jim Pappas, Director, DEG Technology Initiatives and Industry Marketing (TiiM) of Intel remarked: "Finding the right division of labor between the 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller and the motherboard chipset is key in designing a solution that will scale with time. A combination of enhancing the motherboard chipset with features like Intel's QuickData Technology and putting the right stateless offload features into the 10 Gigabit Ethernet controller provides a solution which preserves the network infrastructure, and removes the burden of deploying new protocols."

By enabling products from other companies to use the acceleration engine present in Intel® Xeon® 5100 series-based servers, Intel QuickData Technology helps the industry benefit from the increased speed, scalability, and server reliability that only Intel enterprise platforms can provide.

10GBASE-T and Server Adapter Reference Designs

The IEEE 802.3an Standard for 10GBASE-T requires that all PHYs for 10Gigabit Ethernet on twisted-pair copper reach 100 meters. Furthermore, the TIA-568B and the TIA-942 cabling standards also require support for 100 meter channels of copper cabling. Solarflare is the only company sampling a standards-compliant 10GBASE-T PHY with greater than 100 meter reach. The Solarstorm 10GBASE-T server adapter reference design supports distances of greater than 100 meters on UTP Category 6A cabling, 100 meters on ScTP Category 6, and 55 meters on UTP Category 6. This reference design uses Solarflare's currently sampling 10Xpress® PHY which has been tested privately and publicly by multiple third parties to greater than 100 meter reach even in the worst-case, four-connector topology with a 6 around 1 alien near end cross talk (ANEXT) environment.

Solarflare is the only company sampling a 100-meter, standards compliant 10GBASE-T PHY. The IEEE 802.3an standard requires that all PHYs claiming compliance support 100 meter reach on Category 6A cabling. "Anixter recommends Category 6A cabling infrastructure for data center applications, and is the only distributor that independently tests 6A cabling in the industry," stated Andy Jimenez, Vice President of Technology at Anixter, the world's leading distributor of communications products. "Additionally, both the international and US standards (ISO 11801 and TIA/EIA 568-B) and the data center standard (TIA/EIA 942) require 100 meter reach utilizing four connector cabling topologies," Jimenez commented.

In addition to the 10GBASE-T server adapter reference design, Solarflare is offering 10GBASE-CX4 and optical (XFP) server adapter reference designs. All of the reference designs include schematics, bill of materials, layout files, critical components lists, and errata. All three reference designs are available in a low profile PCI Express form factor.

Solarflare is publicly demonstrating the SFE4001 10GBASE-T server adapter reference design, which operates at 16 watts while compliant with the 10GBASE- T standard's specified reach of 100 meters. This demonstration is taking place at DesignCon 2007, which is at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California on January 30th, 2007 and January 31st, 2007. Solarflare is exhibiting in booth #746.

Pricing and availability
SFC4000 Solarstorm(TM) 10 GbE Controller
Available: 1/29/2007
Pricing: upon request

SFX7000 10Xpress® 10GBASE-T PHY
Available: Currently sampling
Pricing: upon request

SFE4001 Solarstorm(TM) 10GBASE-T Reference Design
Available: 1/29/2007
Pricing: $1,500 for complete reference design kit

SFE4002 Solarstorm(TM) XFP Reference Design
Available: 1/29/2007
Pricing: $1,500 for complete reference design kit

SFE4003 Solarstorm(TM) 10GBASE-CX4 Reference Design
Available: 1/29/2007
Pricing: $1,500 for complete reference design kit

About Solarflare Communications

Solarflare Communications Inc. is a leading silicon vendor delivering Ethernet products that enable the rapid adoption of 10 Gigabit for data center and enterprise networks. Solarflare was the first company to demonstrate and sample to customers a 10GBASE-T PHY reaching 100 meters over an IEEE 802.3an standards-compliant Category 6A link. The company's high-performance Ethernet solutions will lower the cost of 10G networking for data center and enterprise customers. The privately held company is headquartered in Irvine, California with a development center in Cambridge, UK.

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Source: Solarflare Communications Inc.

Sacha Arts of Slider & Associates,
+1-408-356-3099,, for Solarflare Communications Inc.

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