Broadcom StrataXGS Trident 4 7nm 32x400GbE Switch ASIC Sampling

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Broadcom Trident 4
Broadcom Trident 4

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s Intel to Acquire Barefoot Networks for Ethernet Switch Silicon announcement, we have something new from Broadcom. The company today announced new silicon based on a 7nm process for improved power and thermal performance at high speeds needed for next-generation networks. The Broadcom StrataXGS Trident 4 series (BCM56880) is a product we expect to hear more about in the near future.

Broadcom StrataXGS Trident 4 BCM56880

The Broadcom StrataXGS Trident 4 BCM56880 is first the first all 7nm switch chip. It will be interesting to see Broadcom start touting its process supremacy versus Intel foundries if next-gen Barefoot switch chips Intel fabs in-house. Here is a block diagram of the Broadcom Trident4-X11

Broadcom Trident 4 Block Diagram
Broadcom Trident 4 Block Diagram

On the bottom edge, we wanted to point out that there are 256x 50GB PAM-4 SerDes which Broadcom says are industry’s best performing, longest-reach 50G PAM-4 integrated SerDes that enables features such as longer reach DACs. DACs are under siege in terms of use above 100GbE since their lengths are rapidly becoming limited. These provide connectivity for 128x 100GbE, 32x 400GbE or other configurations.

We can also see 4x10G management Merlin SerDes which is beyond many edge switch aggregate bandwidth today.

The new Trident 4 has a variety of load balancing and congestion management features such as Dynamic Load Balancing, Dynamic Group Multipathing, Resilient Hashing, Latency-Based ECN marking, and Elephant Flow detection and re-prioritization. It supports Broadview Gen4 and IFA 2.0 telemetry and management as well.

Delta AGV848 V1 25GbE 100GbE Switch At Computex 2019
Delta AGV848 V1 25GbE 100GbE Switch At Computex 2019

A feature that many will find enticing with the Broadcom StrataXGS Trident 4 series is the pin compatibility with Trident 3 designs as well as other compatibility to make it close to a drop-in replacement. We have seen the Trident 3 series used widely such as in the Delta AGV848 switch we saw at Computex 2019 and covered recently.

Final Words

The switch space is heating up. With Intel’s recent Barefoot acquisition, and the SDN world using merchant silicon, the hyper-scale community is pushing the pace of innovation along with the need for carrier networks to handle an influx of 5G bandwidth. Broadcom, as expected, is filling out their portfolio with the StrataXGS Trident 4 BCM56880.

We are still some time away from seeing products, but this shows that more companies are getting 7nm silicon back whereas it was the domain of only a few until just recently.

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