Broadcom Trident 3 Aims to Advance Switch Programmability

New network silicon can scale up to 3.2 Tbps.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jun 21, 2017
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Look under the sheet metal on networking switches from multiple vendors and more likely than not, there is Broadcom silicon inside. Broadcom is now advancing its silicon with a new generation of Trident 3, powering a new portfolio of programmable switches.

The StataXGS Trident 3 switch series extends Broadcom's widely deployed StrataXGS Trident and Tomahawk product lines. The StrataXGS Tomahawk was announced back in September 2014, providing networking vendors with a new platform to enable 25 Gigabit Ethernet networking products.

With the Trident 3 launch, Broadcom is now providing fully programming packet processing as well as improved power efficiency. There are multiple version of the new Trident 3 starting at 200 Gbps of throughput scaling all the way up to 3.2 Tbps on a single chip.

The programmability of the Trident 3 is enable via Broadcom's FleXGS programmable pipeline which provides instrumentation, forwarding schema and support for multiple overlay formats including VXLAN, Geneve and MPLS over GRE/UDP.

"The FleXGS architecture in Trident 3 comprises of new programmable parsing, lookup, and editing engines with associated reconfigurable databases," Broadcom stated in its release. "The engines are dimensioned and arrayed to maximize parallelism, performance, functional capacity and area/power efficiency to best address the diverse and concurrent needs of today’s evolving networks."

Multi-gigabit support is a core part of the Trident 3 with support for high-density 1/2.5/5/10/25/40/50/100GbE port connectivity.

"The innovation in our StrataXGS Trident 3 Series is in delivering a fully programmable switching pipeline while maintaining backwards compatibility to the existing install base of StrataXGS Trident and Trident 2 based networks," Ram Velaga, senior vice president and general manager, Switch Products at Broadcom, said in a statement. "Our customers can leverage a single development to yield a complete line of programmable switching platforms, with the same rich feature set extending all the way from the service provider edge, to the data center, converged campus core, and wiring closet."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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