Intel Launches Gigabit Ethernet Family

Intel Corp. introduced a new family of Gigabit Ethernet products that includes an adapter supporting fiber networks that offers 998 Mbps performance in benchmark tests.

Intel's products support Gigabit Ethernet copper -- 1,000BaseT -- and fiber optic -- 1,000BaseSX -- networks. They are expected to help address the demanding bandwidth requirements of evolving networks and data centers supporting e-business and Internet applications.

The family is based around the new Intel 82543GC Gigabit Ethernet controller, which includes integrated support for 10 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 1,000 Mbps network connections in a single chip. This allows Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet technologies to interact on the same network and provides a clear migration path from older Ethernet networks to the next generation Gigabit Ethernet network technology.

The new controller boosts network performance by offloading selected network functions, such as calculations verifying the integrity of a data packet and transmission confirmations from the server host processor. This improves the throughput of the network connection and increases the speed of transactions over a network.

In addition to the new controller, Intel also announced two Gigabit Ethernet adapters. The PRO/1000 F Server Adapter is designed for Gigabit Ethernet over fiber optic cables. The PRO/1000 T Server Adapter is designed for network connections over Category 5 copper wiring. The adapter will sense the current network speed and will integrate with existing 10 Mbps Ethernet or 100 Mbps Fast Ethernet switches. The adapter will migrate to faster Gigabit Ethernet speeds as Gigabit Ethernet switches are deployed.