Next-generation switches need high port densities to handle intense growth in data-center traffic, yet even the most highly integrated switch chips cannot provide enough ports in a single chip. By taking advantage of available network topologies, however, developers can implement switches with densities of 32, 48 or more ports that provide highly efficient, scalable interconnects between servers and computing clusters. These multiport switches will be vital to handling the growing traffic associated with video streaming, social networking and e-commerce applications. Using switches based on 10Gbps Ethernet (10GbE) and with high port densities, data centers achieve high throughput in compact systems that can be scaled easily to meet expanding requirements.

This white paper profiles the switching architectures needed to implement next-generation high-port-density switches. In addition to outlining the tradeoffs involved in these architectures, this paper gives examples of switch network implementations using the Fujitsu MB86C69RBC 26-port switch chip.