Ethernet switch simplifies packet-based equipment design -

Ethernet switch simplifies packet-based equipment design

Ottawa, Canada—Zarlink Semiconductor expanded its DirectConnect family of embedded Ethernet switches with a high-capacity aggregation and switch device that is designed to simplify the design of high-density media processing, data plane and control plane cards used in wired, wireless and cable networks.

The ZL33020 embedded Ethernet switch is a 24 FE (Fast Ethernet) + 4 GE (Gigabit Ethernet) port device with 3.75-Mbits (480 Kbytes) of embedded memory for control databases and frame data buffer. The device supports multiple interface options, including SMII, RMII, GMII, TBI and MII.

The ZL33020 switch integrates flexible packet scheduling algorithms and buffer management functions. Designers can use the ZL33020 device to assign packets to four transmission classes on FE ports (eight classes for GE ports) and two levels of dropping precedence. Each packet is assigned a transmission priority and dropping precedence based on user-defined attributes.

When interconnecting multiple DSP/NPU devices in a cluster, the ZL33020 switch can implement packet addressing based on MAC Address, Ethernet Type and VLAN Identifier plus packet prioritization based on IEEE 802.1p priority, VLAN Tag, L3 DS/TOS field, IP Type of Service and Layer 4 logical port numbers. Addressing allows system designers to split media processing resource allocation between DSP and NPU devices in the cluster.

Two types of flow control are available in the ZL33020. In half-duplex mode, all ports support backpressure flow control to minimize the effects of lost data during long traffic activity bursts. In full-duplex mode, IEEE 802.3x flow control is provided.

Zarlink’s ZL33020 Ethernet switch is available now, priced at $62.00 in 10,000-unit volumes. A version for the 16 FE + 2 GE configuration will be available soon.

For more on Zarlink’s packet switching technology, please visit

Zarlink Semiconductor, 1 (613) 592 0200,

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