RE: 850 nm solutions
Even "relative pricing" isn't OK, "Relative cost" is
what we are constrained to.
"Pricing" is an artificial structure that includes profit.
Therefore discussions of pricing have nasty anti-trust
You have found where the fine line is drawn.
At 12:29 PM 4/20/00 -0700, Jonathan Thatcher wrote:
We have pretty strict rules about
sharing any kind of price information in the IEEE. You will see in
previous notes "relative pricing." This is okay. Absolute
pricing is not.
Please get this note deleted off the
Please all references to the enclosed
Chair, IEEE 802.3ae (10 Gigabit Ethernet)
Principal Engineer, World Wide Packets
PO BOX 141719, Suite B; 12720 E. Nora, Spokane, WA 99214
509-242-9000 X228; Fax 509-242-9001;
Message-----Sure thing. The 0.5M spec is for one of our vendors
(proprietary Cisco GigaStack) GBIC that uses something akin to the
FireWire cable for Single GigE or Dual GigE switch-to-switch connections
in a single GBIC slot. It is not 1000BASE-CX, but at least it is
inexpensive and available for closet/rack interconnects.
From: McCormick, Corey
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 8:37 AM
Subject: RE: 850 nm solutions
The 1000BASE-CX is supporting longer links but costs almost the same as
1000BASE-SX GBICs (lack of volume drives the cost up I suspect).
However, 1000BASE-CX is extremely rare in our experience. The
majority of our NIC vendors (3Com, IBM, Compaq, Alteon), provide almost
exclusively SX NICs without the benefit of using a GBIC slot, and this
has further limited our practical choices. The cost of a
1000BASE-SX NIC with a fixed (non-GBIC interface) is very near our cost
of the SX GBIC as a stand-alone part. Today the NIC's are ~$400-600
and the SX-GBICs are ~$250-$550. (We of course have a few
proprietary NICs @ $1000-$2000 each, but thankfully they are the
exceptions.) Even obtaining 1000BASE-CX GBICs has been tough, much
less getting them supported by another vendor's GBIC interface.
GBICs can be great, but it does not yet share the compatibility level of
10Base AUI, or even 100Base MII in our day-to-day lives. Just
because the connector fits, doesn't mean the link works well...
I suspect that the promise of 1000Base-TX pretty much killed the
1000Base-CX market and it's development, but with no TX standard likely
for 10G (I will trust all you in-the-trenches-EE-types for that insight),
the CX option should be much more popular I believe. To a large
extent I think this will depend on cost (again) as we obviously need both
ends of the links to support the same interface media and they are under
different market pressures I believe. Cost is always an issue, but
packaging on the NIC side is much less of a problem that on the switch
As market pressure/competition has brought prices down and density up for
the GigE switches, we are seeing the similar things in that market as
well. The packaging and cost issues seem to pushing our vendors
towards the small-footprint connectors which preclude the use of the much
larger but more convenient and expensive GBIC/SC connector housing.
In the standalone/pizza-box (1U-5U in height) GigE switches, GBICs are
still common, but in the Slot-based switching chassis the GBIC interface
looks to be fading. There are exceptions for dedicated uplink ports
where the GBIC's flexibility seems to be of prime importance.
If the cost differential for any copper spec 10GigE over the same fiber
solution is very large, I believe it will be very popular if the distance
is great enough to cover much of the installed data center
topologies. Our main data center is ~75M across and we use two
central switching locations. So, for us 25M will do many of our
connections. (~50% I would think)
We have architected our data center clusters around other fairly short
maximum lengths such as High-Voltage Differential SCSI, Low-Voltage
Differential SCSI, IBM's SSA Serial Disk architecture, etc... so this
would be nothing unfamiliar.
Hope this helps,
From: Ed Grivna
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 7:16 AM
Subject: RE: 850
could you please clarify the statement below? Where on
does this half-meter length spec for 1000BASE-CX come
Copper GBICs should be good for from 5 to 20 meters at
> Speaking as a customer, we would likely make use of
> as many 10M links as those > 10M. We currently use GigE
> links for both servers (1500 MTU and Jumbo) and as connections
> for distribution switches. We find the 0.5M Copper GBIC's less
> than useful, but about 35% of our links are <=10M. A
> 10-25M Coax would be quite useful as most of our connections in
> the data centers can utilize this length. The three
> uses for our 1G connections today are spread fairly evenly
> about 1/3rd each:
> Corey McCormick
> CITGO Petroleum