A new Australia company, Zeptonics, has created what it claims is the world’s fastest network switch. The company’s “Zeptomux” bills itself as a “23-to-1 multiplexing switch that operates with a fibre-to-fibre latency (including SFP+s) of ~130ns.” The Zeptomux can achieve that speed over copper or fibre, and uses 10G Ethernet …
But does it make your beer colder?
Anyone else reminded of the Kalpana* Etherswitch, a game-changing bit of kit from the early 90s that could switch at full line speed (a massive 10Mb) with a few μs latency? Or is my long grey beard showing?
* Bought by Cisco, natch.
Not sure it is game-changing
While the latency drop will be important for some users, the latency drop is gained by changing the switch to a mux (each port can only communicate with the up-link port).
While this will prove useful for some systems (storage seems a logical choice), building usable networks will still require traditional "full fat" switches that can switch between ports in addition to the uplink.
Not sure they will be able to claim any new technology (I suspect much of the speed comes from process shrinks of existing methods), so if it does provide a reasonable size market, the big fish can join in. Or they may just be purchased outright and live happily ever after :-)
Re: Not sure it is game-changing
It is game changing because the game is the market, not the product.
However, there is absolutely zero new technology in their product, as most IT products anyway, but it's a working ultrafast mux, and the companies buying out zeptwhatever won't care if it costs a few millions for a working product line.
When the big fishes join, they always do it by buying out, they don't have the in-house capability for innovation, only mass-market efficient production to sales capabilities (that makes them so much money they can simply buy out innovators).
So what will be interesting is not zeptonics as anyone can buy it for any price, but the next company that is going to sell itself for much more because a competitor will need to fill that market niche fast in order to remain full stack competitive.
Anyway, might be another few years before that happens, as big fishes tend to let small fishes kill each other before buying the right one (look at the flash market).
The Photo is quite telling...
The chap obviously knows the intellectual level of us Reg readers well.
He should, however, have used Playmobil for true authenticity, though alongside the box, this may have lead readers to believe the switches were 6ft high and as long as a Portacabin.
I shall, however, raise a 10am can of Special Brew in his honour.
That's not a fast switch...
Lib/Lab/Con (delete as necessary) policy change/reverse manifesto promises when elected into government are surely faster switches.
They are definitely not the only provider offering off the shelf an embedded x86 with a large FPGA hanging off a wide PCI express bus. I believe there are even some offerings with more than 24 ethernet ports. And there are plenty of traders that develop this sort of hardware internally too, not to mention Google et al.
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