Switches feature in-field upgrade capability

Article By : Broadcom

Broadcom's Trident 3 family incorporates the FleXGS architecture, allowing users to introduce new switching and instrumentation features via field-upgrade.

Broadcom Ltd has released the first members of its Trident 3 family of programmable switches for datacentre, enterprise and service provider networks transitioning to high density 10/25/100G Ethernet. According to company, the StrataXGS Trident 3 switch series is manufactured in 16nm and offers fully programmable line-rate switching, reconfigurable on-chip databases, load balancing and embedded instrumentation for network visibility.

The FleXGS architecture in Trident 3 is made up of programmable parsing, lookup and editing engines with associated reconfigurable databases. The engines are dimensioned and arrayed to maximise parallelism, performance, functional capacity and area/power efficiency, Broadcom noted.

The pipeline can be programmed to handle software-defined network virtualisation and service chaining protocols, including VXLAN, GPE, NSH, Geneve, MPLS, MPLS over GRE, MPLS over UDP, GUE, identifier locator addressing (ILA) and PPPoE, among others. The architecture also supports programmable telemetry, including insertion/processing of in-band telemetry headers (and associated packet metadata such as traffic identifiers and timestamps) as well as out-of-band network visibility (such as per-packet/per-flow attribute histograms and new ERSPAN like protocols). Programmability can be used in conjunction with Trident 3 native traffic engineering functions such as configurable ECMP and dynamic, state-based load balancing and multipathing.

The FleXGS allows users to introduce new switching and instrumentation features via field-upgrade.

Other features of the FleXGS programmable architecture include:

  • Programmability enables new overlay processing and instrumentation features delivered via in-network software upgrade
  • Parallelised and shared match-action databases for table efficiency and per-packet lookup capacity
  • Flexible programming models: script based programming flow for power users and switch program images for fast time-to-market
  • Unified software development model across devices with flexible APIs

StrataXGS Trident 3 switch series features include:

  • High density 1/2.5/5/10/25/40/50/100GbE port connectivity using integrated 10/25Gbps NRZ SerDes
  • Example single-chip platforms and line cards include spine and converged campus core (32x100GbE), 25/100GbE Top-of Rack (48x25GbE + 8x100GbE) and 10/100GbE Top-of-Rack (48x10GbE + 6x100GbE)
  • 32MB on-chip, shared packet buffer delivers up to 8x higher network burst absorption and congestion avoidance compared to previous generations
  • Programmable on-chip forwarding databases for L2 switching, L3 routing, label switching and overlay forwarding
  • Increased ACL scale to support evolving policy/security requirements
  • PCIe Gen3 x4 host CPU interface with on-chip accelerators improves control-plane update and boot performance by up to 5x
  • Programmable support for network telemetry, including per-packet timestamping, flow tracker, microburst detection, latency/drop monitor, active-probe-based in-band network telemetry, and in-band OAM processing; integrated with open-source BroadView v2 telemetry agent and analytics software
  • Dynamic, state-based flow distribution provides systematic and adaptive reduction in link congestion and traffic imbalances in large-scale Layer3/ECMP leaf-spine networks
  • Adaptive routing for dynamic traffic engineering in non-Clos topologies
  • Full feature compatibility with previous generation Trident 2 and Trident 2+ devices

Broadcom is now sampling the first two members of the StrataXGS Trident 3 family, the BCM56870 (3.2Tbps) and BCM56873 (2Tbps).

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