by Adam Armstrong

Marvell Prestera CX 8500 Switch Family Announced

Today Marvell announced its new Ethernet switch solution portfolio for edge and private data centers utilizing composable infrastructure, Marvell Prestera CX 8500 family. The new switch solutions range from 2 to 12.8Tbps and are designed with intelligence, edge computing and 5G applications in mind. Marvell will be showcasing this new solution as well as other solutions at the OCP U.S. Summit 2019 in San Jose, Calif. (booth A5) March 14-15, 2019.

There are now more smart and connected devices than ever before. These IoT devices are generating massive amounts of data that while insightful, it is difficult for organizations to get the data somewhere where it can be effectively analyzed. Instead of attempting to migrate the data to data centers, many are leveraging intelligence at the edge. A more efficient method for storing and analyzing data at the edge is to leverage composable infrastructure; the flexibility allows different configurations for different needs without hardware changes. Once these changes are made at the edge, data centers need the technology to support them.

The new Marvell Prestera CX 8500 portfolio will address these issues through offering what the company states as unprecedented workflow visibility, analytics and network simplification to support QoS, traffic management and scalability. In order to deal with the complexities of composable infrastructure, the new switch leverages Storage Aware Flow Engine (SAFE) technology. This technology can provide greater insight into network flows with per flow visibility, advanced telemetry and comprehensive diagnostics that identify and resolve network congestion.  Another technology utilized with a nifty acronym is Forwarding Architecture using Slices of Terabit Ethernet Routers (FASTER) technology. FASTER can reduce the number of network layers while simplifying complexity, allowing edge data center networks to be collapsed into a single layer. This can lead to a reduction in overall network costs. 

Key features:

  • Packet Processor: 
    • 9th generation Ethernet switch pipeline deployed in enterprise, service provider and data center networks
    • Leverages stable 16nm high volume process node enabling quick time-to-market for customers
  • Storage Aware Flow Engine (SAFE)
    • Support for elephant flow detection and packet prioritization using advanced proactive hardware probes that can predict congestion before the event occurs
    • Multi-lookup flow engine capable of using both TCAM and SRAM for lookups on more than 500K flows
    • RoCEv2 awareness provides flow level diagnostics to identify and resolve network congestion
  • Forwarding Architecture using Slices of Terabit Ethernet Routers (FASTER)
    • Up to 8K queues with 3 level H-QoS and VoQ support for up to 1K ports
    • Congestion aware load balancing/dynamic load balancing
    • Supports scaling of ports from 1 Gbps through 400 Gbps
  • Telemetry
    • Dedicated flow-based hardware engines with programmability addressing the latest telemetry packet formats and monitoring data exporting methods (INT, iOAM, TAM, etc.)

The Marvell Prestera CX 8500 portfolio has 25Gbps and 50Gbps I/O options that Marvell states will lower power consumption by 35% and greater than 25% more total buffer memory compared to traditional switching ICs.  The new family maintains API compatibility with the Marvell Prestera DX and EX families. Marvell Prestera CX reference designs and white box systems are supported by a production-qualified version of Open Compute Project’s open Networking Operating System SONiC.


The Marvell Prestera CX 8500 portfolio is currently sampling.

Marvell Prestera CX 8500

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