Broadcom Unveils 400G PCIe Gen 5.0 Ethernet Adapters for AI Data Centers

  • Home
  • Industry News
  • Broadcom Unveils 400G PCIe Gen 5.0 Ethernet Adapters for AI Data Centers
DateMay 21, 2024

Aiming to revolutionize the data center environment, Broadcom has launched its newest line of scalable, high-performing, and energy-efficient 400G PCIe Gen 5.0 Ethernet adapters. With the rapid expansion of XPU bandwidth and cluster sizes in AI data centers, these new devices would offer an advanced, open, standards-based Ethernet NIC and switching solution to meet connectivity challenges.

Jas Tremblay, Vice President and General Manager of the Data Center Solutions Group at Broadcom, emphasized the company’s dedication to enhancing the power efficiency and connectivity of data centers supporting AI ecosystems. “Broadcom is prioritizing open standards and fostering collaboration with industry leaders to deliver the most extensive selection of high-performance connectivity solutions for AI infrastructure. Our 400G PCIe Gen 5.0 Ethernet adapters yet again underscore our commitment to enable the network-centric AI infrastructure platform.”

Broadcom’s new switch portfolio would mark a significant milestone as one of the industry’s first Ethernet adapters built with 5nm process technology, providing a power and thermally efficient design. The Ethernet adapter’s capabilities include driving passive copper cables up to five meters, supporting ultra-low power linear pluggable optics transceivers, and integrating with Broadcom’s high-radix Ethernet switches. These features would contribute to higher rack density using standard air-cooling technology, an essential factor for data centers.

Critical for Future AI Networks

Broadcom’s latest Ethernet adapters are designed to meet the increasing demand for faster data transfer speeds essential for future AI networks. With a third-generation RoCE pipeline, low-latency congestion control technology, and advanced telemetry features, the portfolio is well-suited for the high-bandwidth, high-stress network environments typical of AI infrastructure.

Patrick Moorhead, CEO & Chief Analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, highlighted the critical role of scalable high bandwidth and low latency connectivity in maximizing the performance of AI clusters. “As the industry races to deliver generative AI at scale, the immense volumes of data required to train large language models necessitate even larger server clusters. Ethernet presents a compelling case as the networking technology of choice for next-generation AI workloads. The 400G NICs offered by Broadcom, built on its success in delivering Ethernet at scale, offers open connectivity at an attractive TCO for power-hungry AI applications.”

Broadcom’s next-generation portfolio builds on its longstanding legacy of high-performance Ethernet solutions, ranging from 1G to 400G. Featuring Broadcom’s sixth-generation hardened NIC architecture, this new lineup strengthens the company’s leadership in Ethernet data center infrastructure, particularly in the AI sector.

The adapter software is designed to be vendor-agnostic, supporting a wide ecosystem of CPUs, GPUs, PCIe, and Ethernet switches using open PCIe and Ethernet standards. This approach aligns with Broadcom’s goals as a founding member of the Ultra Ethernet Consortium, reinforcing the company’s commitment to a standards-based ecosystem.

Dell PowerEdge Servers, Supermicro Green Computing Initiative

The 400G PCIe Gen 5.0 Ethernet family (BCM57608) is now broadly available through multiple server vendors as well as directly from Broadcom. This availability ensures that data centers can quickly adopt and integrate these high-performance, energy-efficient solutions to support the growing demands of AI and HPC workloads.

“Offering a comprehensive portfolio and collaborating with Broadcom is essential to our leadership in AI compute and networking solutions,” said Travis Vigil, Senior Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group Portfolio Management, Dell Technologies. “The Dell PowerEdge XE9680 server with the new Broadcom 400G NIC and Dell PowerSwitch ensures that our portfolio is optimized to provide end-to-end Ethernet AI fabrics, addressing the performance demands of AI solutions.”

In summary, Broadcom’s latest 400G PCIe Gen 5.0 Ethernet adapters represent a significant advancement in data center technology, addressing the critical needs of modern AI infrastructure with scalable, high-performance, and low-power solutions.

“With Broadcom’s new 400G Ethernet NIC’s extremely low power and support for passive copper cabling and linear drive optics, the BCM57608 fits perfectly with our Green Computing initiative,” said Charles Liang, president and CEO of Supermicro. “Broadcom’s outstanding execution has allowed us to bring the new adapters to production in record time, enabling us to capitalize on the strong growth we’re experiencing in the AI market.”

Leave a Reply