Higher port speeds enable 802.11ac wave 2 wireless access points

18th November 2015
Jordan Mulcare

Broadcom Corporation has announced a enterprise Ethernet switches designed to deliver the faster data rates offered by 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi. Built on Broadcom’s StrataXGS architecture, the BCM56060 and BCM56160 enable OEMs to design cost-optimised network switches that enable high speed, robust Internet access across both traditional and new all-wireless enterprise networks.

The increased wireless speeds delivered by 802.11ac Wave 2 are exceeding the speeds of today’s broadly deployed Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), thus driving enterprises to upgrade network edge switches. The most cost-effective solution is to run 2.5G Ethernet to the access point, thereby unlocking the faster wireless speeds and enabling the higher bandwidth demands without needing to re-cable an entire network. Broadcom’s new switches address the upgrade needs for both traditional and all-wireless enterprises.

For the traditional wired enterprise where desktop terminals, voice-over-IP phones and wireless access points are all connected, the new BCM56160 is the industry’s most integrated Ethernet switch chipset. The BCM56160 enterprise switch adds 2.5GbE access point connections to the popular 24 and 48 port GB Ethernet form factors. To accommodate higher WiFi traffic, the device also integrates more high speed 10GB interfaces for fiber uplinks and delivers double the stacking bandwidth of previous generation devices.

For the all-wireless office built primarily on WiFi access points with few wired terminals, Broadcom introduces its first switch product family optimized for 802.11ac Wave 2 enterprise environments. The BCM56060 enables a smaller form factor with low power consumption, providing multi-mode 1GbE/2.5GbE Ethernet interfaces with 10GB uplinks. Because it is designed to connect primarily to access points instead of wired PCs and phones, it cuts cost by eliminating the legacy 1GbE Ethernet links.

“There’s a strong 2.5G Ethernet ramp expected in the coming five years,” said Alan Weckel, VP Ethernet Switch Analyst at Dell Oro. “We expect 5m 2.5G ports to be deployed next year and up to 25m by 2019, driven by the transition to 802.11ac Wave 2 WiFi.”

“Broadcom continues to partner with worldwide equipment manufacturers to deliver the most comprehensive portfolio for Enterprise Networking.” said Nick Kucharewski, Vice President, Network Switch Marketing, Broadcom. “Our new switch products enable a converged wired/wireless enterprise and deliver highly optimised 2.5GE solutions for high density wireless deployments.”

“The new Broadcom 2.5GbE product lines are well aligned with near-term customer demand for faster converged wireless access points and switches, and help us to serve our customers as they upgrade their equipment to the latest WiFi standard,” said Eric Broockman, CTO and EVP Engineering, Extreme Networks.

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