SMC Networks has continued the low-cost Gigabit Ethernet march this week with two switches and a NIC that can provide 1000M bit/sec links at around $US30 per port.
SMC's EZ Switch products include the five-port SMC8505T and eight-port SMC8508T. Both boxes have auto-sensing 10/100/1000M bit/sec ports, as well as auto-MDIX support, allowing the switch to connect to nodes or other switches from any port. This eliminates the need for special switch-to-switch or "crossover" cabling for linking switches.
Small, high-powered workgroups seem to be the deployment SMC has in mind for the EZ Switch gear. In addition to the Gigabit ports, SMC said the switches were the only desktop boxes that supported Jumbo Frames - a technology that allowed the frame size to exceed the IEEE’s 1500-byte standard for Ethernet.
Transmitting Ethernet frames as large as 9KB could allow certain kinds of traffic - such as large file transfers data back-ups - to run more efficiently, experts said.
The SMC8505T and SMC8508T are available now for $US130 and $US180, respectively. SMC will also ship a new Gigabit Ethernet NIC, the EZ Card 1000, next month for $US30.