Articles :: Intel Developers Forum: Part 2 ::

Niso Levitas · 03-07-2002 · Category: Interviews

Gigabit Ethernet for the Desktop

We see dirt-cheap 100 MBit Ethernet cards on the market today. Gigabit Ethernet card prices start at $180 and are aimed at the server market. Gigabit switch prices are far away from the desktop segment. Only servers have the priority to talk "Gigabit" to their backbones, but this will not last long. Single chip Ethernet for the desktop is ready and will hit the market under $50 and we may expect price drops for Gigabit switches, soon. The transition from 10 to 100 MBit for the desktop took years, but copper CAT6 Gigabit solutions and fast price drops may speed 100 to 1000 MBit transition process. Intel is thinking to integrate Gigabit connection in to their chipset solutions in 2003.

There were 3 products on the showcase ready for the market. We saw two single-chip dual port server gigabit Ethernet cards, one of them was fiber, and the other copper CAT6 connector type. You can team up those dual ports and it may act as a virtual 2 GB connection or you can load balance them. The most surprising thing we learned is, those cards can team up with other cards such as 3COM by using an Intel utility. The third adapter was the desktop gigabit adapter but there was no visual difference with 100 MBit Intel adapters. FW82546 gigabit Ethernet chip is for the dual port server connections, and RC82540 chip is for the desktop adapters.


  1. The Future of Memory
  2. Gigabit Ethernet for the Desktop
  3. Pentium 4 Mobile
  4. 2003 PC