Startup owns the NBASE-T Phy market: eats as much as it can

June 28, 2016 // By Julien Happich
Aquantia further expands the market for multi-Gigabit NBASE-T Ethernet switches and WLAN equipment by delivering its second generation of 5/2.5 Gigabit NBASE-T PHY devices, aimed at upgrading legacy Ethernet cabling infrastructures to 5Gbit/s speeds.

The startup who shared its NBASE-T specs with IEEE so they would become a standard (enabling second sources through reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing deals), is still the only supplier of 5/2.5 Gigabit NBASE-T PHY devices. It expects other semiconductor vendors such as Broadcom and Marvell Semiconductor to follow suite soon.

Aquantia’s 1st generation AQrate product line, sampled in 2013 and released to production in 2014 have been widely adopted by networking OEMs such as Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

The 2nd generation of AQrate products are expected to encourage a broader adoption of NBASE-T technology into the rapidly expanding Small and Medium-sized Business (SMB) and campus environments, including healthcare, industrial and education sectors.

The new AQrate 28nm product family includes the AQR407, AQR408, and AQR409 pin-compatible 5-, 4- and 3-speed quad-port PHYs housed in a 19x19mm flip-chip BGA package. It also includes the AQR107, AQR108, and AQR109 pin-compatible 5-, 4- and 3-speed single-port PHYs in 7x11mm flip-chip BGA packages. All devices operate over the extended (0ºC to +108ºC) and industrial (-40 to +108ºC) temperature ranges.

The new chips also support the IEEE MAC-layer security protocol, called MACSec, a key requirement for some Enterprise-class Ethernet switches. It also boasts the IEEE feature called 1588 v.2, an emerging requirement in some applications exploiting time-stamp functionalities. AQrate products support all PoE standards up to 60W.

Aquantia’s 2nd generation AQrate products are expected to be in production this summer.

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