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Broadcom Corp. has launched a Gigabit Ethernet controller that is both high-performance and integrates management-controller features, consolidating three components in traditional servers into one.


The silicon vendor's BCM5725 device is targeted at large data center and cloud environments. The company says it replaces three separate components from existing server designs – the baseboard management controller, GbE controller and system management firmware.


Greg Scherer, VP of server and storage technology at Broadcom, said, “Broadcom is delivering cost-effective, open and standards-based system management technologies to support emerging trends such as cloud computing.”


The controller will enable a new class of networking products, such as the AMD Open 3.0 modular server design by the Open Compute Project – the open source hardware design organization spearheaded by Facebook.


IDC analyst Abhi Dugar said, “Integrating the system management functionality into the Ethernet controller highlights the trend that IDC is tracking of increasing intelligence at every point in the flow of IP traffic, and IDC believes that this feature will help accelerate adoption of non-proprietary, open hardware in line with the goals of the Open Compute Project.”


Broadcom is currently sampling the device and plans to start volume production in the fourth quarter.


Key features:

- Integrated 10/100/1000BASE-T and transceiver

- IEEE compliant with IEEE 802.3az-2010

- Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE)

- x1 PCI Express+ v2.1 at 5.0 GT/s or 2.5 GT/s

- SMASH 2.0/WS-Management and IPMI 2.0/DCMI 1.5 standards based system management

- TruManage technology that enables a comprehensive set of system management features, including:

- Asset tracking of hardware/software inventory, and sensors-based monitoring

- Power control (graceful and ungraceful) and boot control (one-time and persistent boot configurations)

- User account management (accounts, roles and privileges)

- Alerts and indications; event and audit logs

- BIOS management

- Management firmware update

- Text console and media redirections

- Power consumption reporting and power capping