As at September 2015, these are the companies that manufacture and market silicon for the networking market. Sold as individual components, these silicon chips are the CPUs of networking performing the actual packet forwarding.
The rise of merchant silicon is due to adoption of the “Foundry Model” for cheap manufacture and is described on Wikipedia
Broadcom has a wide range of silicon for network switching specifically. More generally, Broadcom is a silicon chip design and sales company. Unlike Cisco, its does not make network hardware or software except as needed to support the sales of silicon chips.
Product Families: StrataDNX, StrataXGS.
StrataXGS Family – Trident, Trident II and Tomahawk.
- Intended for low cost Top of Rack switches for low density or network edge uses.
- Broadcom BCM56960 Tomahawk – May 2015.
- 25/40/50/100Gbe Top of Rack Switch
- BCM56060 and BCM56160 – Nov 2015.
- edge-of-network switches for 802.11ac Wave 2 access point.
Strata DNX Family – Dune.
- Used for higher cost devices with more demanding needs.
- 800 Gbps of packet processing
- HQOS, external packet buffers and advanced packet processing.
- BCM88370 – A single-chip switch delivering 800 Gbps Ethernet for compact carrier Ethernet and data center top-of-rack switches
- BCM88670 – A 720 Gbps packet processor and traffic manager with DNX fabric interfaces for carrier Ethernet switch router, data center chassis, and enterprise campus applications
- Up to 800 Gbps forwarding capacity per device
- Advanced, flexible and configurable packet processor
- Integrated accelerators for carrier service management
- Carrier feature support including Ethernet OAM, MPLS, VPLS
- Integrated hierarchical traffic manager with support for thousands of flows
- External packet buffer memory supporting DDR4 or GDDR5 DRAM
- Data center virtual network tunneling including VXLAN, NVGRE and Geneve
- Support for 10 GE, 25 GE, 40 GE, 50 GE, 100 GE Ethernet port interfaces
- Support for 200G-400G Interlaken™ port interfaces
- IEEE 1588 network timing engine
- BCM88770 – A high density switch fabric device providing 3.6Tbps throughput per device enabling over 100Tbps switching capacity in a single stage system when combined with BCM88670
- Chassis switch fabric supporting 3.6 Tbps per device
- Single-stage interconnect for up to 144 BCM88670 devices
- Dual-plane Ethernet/optical switch fabric
- Backwards compatible to legacy DNX switch fabric chipsets
Makers of switch silicon for a number of years. Focussed on the mass market for 1G & 10G Ethernet.
Cavium bought Xplain
Cisco doesn’t actually manufacture their own silicon and most chip design is outsourced to specialist companies in India. Cisco does still maintain control over a few chips in specific vertical markets like the carrier core for CRS products.
Because of it size and market dominance, the custom silicon that Cisco designs should be regarded as a unique merchant silicon maker for itself.
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