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White Box Switching: Goodbye Trident II, Hello Cavium XPliant

David Gee of comments:

Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs) that produce incumbent profit busting white box switching technology could soon be releasing the next wave of programmable networking based on technology from a silicon company best known for it’s encryption products. Cavium have released the XPliant chipset which it acquired from a $90m purchase earlier this year. This chipset comes in four flavours varying from 880 Gbps to 3.2 Tbps. This results in devices having 128×25 Gbps switching lanes allowing switches with 32x100GbE, 64x 50/40GbE, or 128x 25/10GbE ports in a single device. The highest speed Cavium device is currently twice the speed of the next highest merchant silicon offering, however merchant vendors will catch up with the speed aspect before too long. The important part here to remember is this chipset is programmable and is touted to be released with support for Generic Network Virtualisation Encapsulation (GENEVE) out of the box, along with a “simulator” for product designers to test their code against. All designed to increase the speed to market and decrease delay.

Trident II has been the dominant force in whitebox switching thus far, especially at the high end. If a competitor arises, there is a great chance that we’ll see some additional functionality coming down the road.

Read more at: White Box Switching: Goodbye Trident II, Hello Cavium XPliant

About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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