Broadcom Trident 4-X7 for 400GbE Networking Launched

Broadcom BCM56690 Chip Cover
Broadcom BCM56690 Chip Cover

Today we have a next-gen Trident X7 with the Broadcom StrataXGS Trident 4 (BCM56690.) This is the company’s new enterprise switching platform designed to take 50GbE and 100GbE networking to server nodes. It also will bring 400GbE to more data centers.

Broadcom Trident 4 for 400GbE Networking Launched

We expect the new Broadcom Trident 4-X7 to be used as a top-of-rack (ToR) switch in enterprise networking environments. Is designed to handle 50GbE or 100GbE network drops to servers and then 400GbE uplinks to aggregation switching layers.

Broadcom Trident 4 X9 Digram Large
Broadcom Trident 4 X7 Digram Large

While we are seeing 400GbE becoming very common in the AI training server space, enterprise servers tend to be 1/10th the cost of those servers, and core counts tend to be much lower due to VMware and Microsoft licensing models than we see in more cloud-like environments. That means that the 25GbE generation of enterprise server connectivity will migrate to 50GbE and 100GbE in the near future and we have already shown NVIDIA BlueField-2 DPU’s and AMD Pensando DSC2-100G Elba DPUs running VMware ESXio. NVIDIA is starting to roll out its 100GbE solution for VMware enterprises to match AMD. That will help drive new services to enterprise VMware deployments and therefore more need for 100GbE ToR switches. Trident’s feature set has always focused on enterprise customers.

Broadcom says that it will support Enterprise SONiC on Trident 4 which is important given the way SONiC has been reshaping the industry. We are going to have the key features of Trident4-X7 below.

Final Words

The product is still listed as “preliminary” by Broadcom so it is likely to be several quarters out from seeing products in switches. At the same time, Trident has been around for years, so we expect new generations. It is exciting to see this and we would expect for the new switch silicon to be adopted by companies like Arista as the chips ramp production.

We recently reviewed a 400GbE Broadcom Tomahawk 4-based switch that you can find here.

Key Features

Here are the features for those that want a reference:

  • Cost- and power-optimized for next-generation data center and campus networks, supporting 50G ToRs (48x50G + 8x200G, or 48x50G + 4x400G) with a compiler-programmable architecture
  • An extremely rich, enterprise-grade feature set with a high degree of feature concurrency
  • Architecture scalability for bandwidth requirements throughout the enterprise network: SKUs available up to 4.0Tbps, all supported with the same NOS and hardware code base
  • Industry-leading fully shared packet buffer and database sizes
  • Extensive, programmable in-band telemetry including support for IFA 2.0 (In-band Flow Analyzer version 2)
  • A wide variety of load-balancing and congestion management features including Dynamic Load Balancing, Dynamic Group Multipathing, Resilient Hashing, Latency-Based ECN marking, and Elephant Flow detection and re-prioritization
  • Broadview™ Gen 4 integrated network instrumentation feature set and software suite, providing full visibility to network operators into packet flow behavior, traffic management state, and switch internal performance
  • Four GHz-class processors on-chip enabling powerful out-of-band (streaming) telemetry and a variety of Broadcom-provided embedded applications
  • Robust connectivity using up to 80 instances of the industry’s best performing, longest-reach 50G PAM-4 integrated SerDes core, enabling a wide variety of optical and direct attached copper (DAC) links
  • Implemented in power-efficient 7nm process technology (Source: Broadcom)


  1. Management at 10G x2 – How are people using that bandwidth? Not to parrot Gates, but why isn’t 1G good enough for everyone?

  2. @Matt:

    Even if you aren’t pushing 10Gb on management it would be an SFP+ connection so you don’t have to have a random RJ45 attached to it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.