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Intel shows off 10Gbit over copper NIC

by on05 May 2008


Can deliver 10Gbit speeds with CAT 6a cable

It appears that Intel has achieved what some networking engineers have considered the current holy grail in network performance, which is 10 Gigabit speeds over copper. While 10Gbit network speeds have been available for some time now, it has only been available using fiber, which by its very nature is expensive.

Intel showed off the new 10GbE over copper Server NIC at the Interop conference in Las Vegas. The NIC will support both 1GbE and 10GbE speeds, so that companies that are already using 1GbE switches can install these NIC cards and be prepared for the transition to 10GbE in the future.

The 10GbE speeds are able to travel 328 feet over CAT 6a cabling or 180 feet over CAT 6 cabling. The new 10GbE NIC features new technology called VMDq that will be able to handle the sorting of data from servers running virtual server operating systems and will be able to offload much of the process to the processor that will be found on the NIC card.

The Intel 10 Gbit Server Adaptor is expected to retail for US$999 and should be shipping toward the end of the month. Dell has already announced that they are committed to offering the new 10GbE technology in some of its PowerConnect Ethernet switches, as well as offering it as an option of some of their servers as well.

With file sizes growing larger and larger, it has become necessary to improve network performance. While at first we expect the 10GbE products to be primarily the domain of carriers and large corporations, prices of both the NIC and switches will fall, but don’t expect to start seeing 10GbE on your average consumer motherboard anytime soon.

Last modified on 05 May 2008
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