Thanks to Tech Field Day, I’ve become really familiar with NBASE-T, the new standard that promises to add 2.5 and 5 gigabit Ethernet as stepping stones to 10 GBase-T. At Interop this year, Peter Jones introduced me to Aquantia, makers of NBASE-T silicon for adapters and switches. Rumors were going around the room that we would soon see really-affordable products to finally boost small office/prosumer speed above gigabit speed, and here they are!
ASUS just launched the first sub-$100 NBASE-T adapter using Aquantia silicon. This adapter supports 100 Mbps “Fast Ethernet”, Gigabit Ethernet, 2.5 and 5 Gbps NBASE-T and regular 10GBASE-T. It will scale performance based on the port on the other end of the wire as well as the quality of that wire.
And what to connect it to? Right now, the cheapest 10GBASE-T switches sell for well over $500, but this will soon change as well with Aquantia’s forthcoming 4-, 5-, and 8-port silicon promising $30/port switches. The inflection point has arrived: Gigabit networking will soon be passé, even in the home!
Here’s AnandTech’s coverage:
ASUS this week released the first inexpensive vendor-based consumer-grade 10 GbE / 10GBase-T card powered by an Aquantia silicon. The card can be installed in any modern PC with a PCIe 3.0 x4 slot free (either CPU or chipset), and supports 10 Gbps, 5 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, 1 Gbps and 100 Mbps networking standards over RJ45 connectors using Cat5e/Cat6 cabling. What is important is that the board costs less than $100, at a lower price than Aquantia quoted in the initial announcement ($127).