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Broadcom Gigabit Ethernet switches self diagnose problems

Broadcom Corporation today announced its next-generation of 5-port and 8-port ROBOSwitch Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) products are optimized for small office/home office (SOHO) and small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) networks. The highly integrated products enable cost-optimized Gigabit switching solutions for customers upgrading from Fast Ethernet. The products have network diagnosis capabilities that simplify the transition to Gigabit Ethernet over existing wiring.

The GbE switches are suited for unmanaged and lightly managed SMB networks, and for such broadband access embedded applications as cable, ADSL and wireless routers, and passive optical networks (PON).

Installing local area networks is frustrating and costly and it is difficult to diagnose and fix wiring problems. This results in network downtime, unnecessary support costs and reduced productivity. A common problem is the presence of a network “loop,” in some cases a simple error such as an incorrectly attached cable can crash the entire network.

Transitioning a network from FE to GbE uncovers issues such as substandard wiring that may work improperly with Gigabit signaling. If the source of the problem is not immediately apparent to the user, it often leads to calls to IT support or customer service, and in some cases product returns.

Broadcom's CableChecker technology finds the location of wiring faults without disrupting live network traffic. Broadcom's LoopDTech technology provides immediate warning when a loop is introduced in the network, allowing the problem to be identified and fixed quickly. These functions are automatic and require no configuration by the user.

“In the SOHO and SMB markets, there is high demand for simple, reliable
solutions that can reduce network problems and minimize downtime,” said Martin Lund, Vice President and General Manager of Broadcom's Network Switching Business Unit. “Our cost-optimized and feature-rich GbE switches self-diagnose wiring problems, simplify network installation, and will further accelerate the transition to Gigabit Ethernet in homes and small offices.”

Broadcom's new 5-port BCM5397 Gigabit Ethernet switch and 8-port BCM5398 Gigabit Ethernet switches have fully-integrated PHYs for all ports, resulting in a lower cost and a smaller easy-to-implement footprint design. The products
integrate new intelligent features for unmanaged networks, including LoopDTech and CableChecker. For lightly managed applications, the BCM5397 and BCM5398 are said by the company to be the most fully featured 5- or 8-port GbE switches available, as they provide quality of service (QoS)/queuing, rapid spanning tree, 802.1Q VLAN with double tagging, rate control, IGMP snooping, and 802.1x security. The products are ideal for unmanaged and lightly managed GbE workgroup switch designs, and Gigabit-enabled home gateways.

Broadcom's 5-port BCM5397 and 8-port BCM5398 are currently sampling to
early access customers. Pricing is available upon request.

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