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Intel's New Family Of Ethernet MACs Are First To Use Standards-Based Interface That Simplifies Designs

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 29, 2002 - Intel Corporation has created a new family of Media Access Controllers (MAC) that are the first to employ a new standards-based interface technique that simplifies development of high-performance routers, multiservice switches and other networking equipment.

The first members of this new MAC family, the Intel® IXF1110 Gigabit and Intel® IXF1010 100/1000 Megabit MACs, are the first to use a more robust interface technology called "dynamic phase alignment" that bolsters data throughput to help ensure 10-Gbps wire speed performance.

Dynamic phase alignment is one of two options for sampling data across a parallel bus interface specified by the System Packet Interface Level 4 - Phase 2 (SPI4-2) standard. Because of its modular characteristics, SPI4-2 has been gaining popularity since being introduced by the Optical Internetworking Forum last year, but has been implemented using a static alignment sampling technique. Intel is the first chip maker to offer devices with the more robust dynamic phase alignment.

As network data speeds increase, even minor jitter or skewing that result from unequal electrical paths and resistance introduced by connectors can misalign bits across the parallel SPI4-2 interface, resulting in transmission errors and lower performance when using the static technique. Intel's new MAC family addresses this problem with dynamic sampling that is more tolerant of out-of-sync bits, which results in fewer errors and wirespeed performance.

"The new MACs reflect Intel's modular standards-based approach to communications technology," said Kirt Bailey, general manager of Intel's Networking Components Division. "Basing the new family of MACs on the SPI4-2 specification greatly enhances the flexibility of equipment makers to easily combine the MACs with network processors and other packet-processing building blocks and significantly reduce development costs and time."

First in a Family of SPI4-2 MACs
The new Intel IXF1110 and Intel IXF1010 Gigabit MACs are the first entrants in a planned family of Intel SPI4P2 MACs with dynamic phase alignment to be rolled out over the next year. The product family will cover a range of speeds, including Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The IXF1110 MAC is a 10-port Gigabit Ethernet device for optical applications. It integrates a variety of functions, including a serializer-deserializer and optics controller. The IXF1010 MAC is a 10-port 100/1000 Mbps unit for twisted-pair network solutions. The 400 MHz clock rate of the chips enables 10 Gbps data throughput and in-band management.

The IXF1110 and IXF1010 MACs, both compliant with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 802.3 standards, are sampling now and will be available in the third quarter. The IXF1110 MAC will be available for $245 and the IXF1010 MAC will be available for $205, both in quantities of 1,000.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

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