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January 13th, 2017

Marvell and Mythware Introduce “Classroom Cloud” in Primary and Secondary Schools

By Yong Luo, Marvell China CSI Technical Support Director

Recently, Marvell and local China customer Nanjing Mythware Information Technology Co., Ltd. (Mythware), cooperated to create a brand new wireless network interactive teaching tool –the Mythware Classroom Cloud. Compact and exquisitely designed, this wireless network teaching solution is the first brand new educational hardware product based on Mythware’s more than 10 years of experience in education informatization and multimedia audio and video technologies.

mythware

The introduction of the Mythware Classroom Cloud, as well as its supplementary interactive classroom software, effectively solves some common wireless network equipment-related teaching application challenges, such as instability, frequent dropping offline and data transmission errors. Thus, the innovative Interactive teaching can be successfully carried out wirelessly. This not only enhances the efficiency of teaching, but also brings new vigor and vitality into primary and secondary classrooms.

mythware2

The Mythware Classroom Cloud incorporates a complete set of Marvell high-performance Wi-Fi enterprise-class wireless solutions, offering 2.4G and 5G operating frequency bands, and wireless throughput of up to 1900Mbit/s. The solution includes a dual-core 1.6GHz CPU – the ARMADA® 385. It also uses Marvell’s Avastar® 88W8864 – an 802.11ac 4X4 Wi-Fi chip. And, last but not least, the unit boasts a four-port Gigabit Ethernet transceiver, Marvell’s Alaska® 88E1543. Marvell’s solutions have been widely used in the Cisco enterprise cloud and Linksys high-end routers.

The Marvell ARMADA 385 CPU chip, with super data processing and computing capability, is built into the Mythware Classroom Cloud. It provides strong protection for sending and receiving large-capacity cloud files in the classroom. The CPU also provides abundant interfaces, so you can connect hard drives directly through the SATA 3.0 interface, which helps the Mythware Classroom Cloud to support up to 8TB of storage.

This is especially important for schools with poor network conditions. Teachers can upload resources such as courseware to the Classroom Cloud’s hard drives before school time, and call on the resources directly in class. That enables students to enjoy multimedia teaching resources immediately and without interruption, effectively solving problems caused by inaccessible networks or limited network bandwidth. The Mythware Classroom Cloud enables full real-time interconnection between teacher’s and student’s end devices, sending and receiving documents, arranging homework and accessing teaching resources in real time, without needing them to be forwarded by campus servers.

mythware3

One of the biggest highlights of the Mythware Classroom Cloud is that its lightweight body contains “wireless” super energy. Marvell’s Avastar 88W8864 802.11ac 4X4 wireless chip significantly improves the bandwidth utilization, as well as further upgrading data transmission capacity and reliability. It also provides trusted network support for a variety of multimedia file transmission in the wireless network teaching environment, ensuring the stability of classroom interactions.

One of its outstanding features is that teachers can use the wireless network in the classroom to send high-definition video (8Mbit/s) to more than 60+ mobile terminal devices with different operating systems, completely in sync and without delay. At the same time, teachers no longer have to worry about screen-pausing problems when broadcasting a PPT screen or demonstrating 3D graphic models.

And, when teachers use some interactive features (such as group teaching, sharing the whiteboard, initiating discussion and quick answer, survey and evaluations) during the teaching process, the problems of intermittent playback and the network dropping offline are solved.

mythware4

In addition, the Alaska 88E15433 Ethernet transceiver chip mounted in the Marvell solution provides stable and reliable Gigabit Ethernet connections, and Marvell’s 88PG877 power management chip provides voltage stability for the Mythware Classroom Cloud. It also supports flexible power supply modes: local AC and 802.3af PoE powering. With its special rotary chuck design, the Mythware Classroom Cloud equipment can be easily installed on classroom walls or ceilings.

mythware5

Mythware was founded in 2007, and for the past 10 years its main business has been educational software. Its core product – classroom interactive system software – enjoys a market share of up to 95% in China. It also supports up to 24 different languages, and is exported to over 60 countries and regions. Domestic and global users now exceed 31 million. By 2017, Mythware plans to fully transform into an integrated hardware and software supplier, focusing on intelligent hardware, big data, cloud platform, and will continue to release a large number of new hardware products and solutions. New opportunities for cooperation between Marvell and Mythware will continue to emerge.

 

January 9th, 2017

Ethernet Darwinism: The survival of the fittest (or the fastest)

By Michael Zimmerman, Vice President and General Manager, CSIBU

The most notable metric of Ethernet technology is the raw speed of communications. Ethernet has taken off in a meaningful way with 10BASE-T, which was used ubiquitously across many segments. With the introduction of 100BASE-T, the massive 10BASE-T installed base was replaced, showing a clear Darwinism effect of the fittest (fastest) displacing the prior and older generation. However, when 1000BASE-T (GbE – Gigabit Ethernet) was introduced, contrary to industry experts’ predictions, it did not fully displace 100BASE-T, and the two speeds have co-existed for a long time (more than 10 years). In fact, 100BASE-T is still being deployed in many applications. The introduction — and slow ramp — of 10GBASE-T has not impacted the growth of GbE, and it is only recently that GbE ports began consistently growing year over year. This trend signaled a new evolution paradigm of Ethernet: the new doesn’t replace the old, and the co-existence of multi variants is the general rule. The introduction of 40GbE and 25GbE augmented the wide diversity of Ethernet speeds, and although 25GbE was rumored to displace 40GbE, it is expected that 40GbE ports will still be deployed over the next 10 years1.

Ethernet-Diversity

Hence, a new market reality evolved: there is less of a cannibalizing effect (i.e. newer speed cannibalizing the old), and more co-existence of multiple variants. This new diversity will require a set of solutions which allow effective support for multiple speed interconnect. Two critical capabilities will be needed:

  1. Ability to economically scale-down to a few ports2
  2. Support of multiple Ethernet speeds

Marvell launched a new set of Ethernet interconnect solutions that meet this evolution pattern. The first products in the family are the Prestera® 98DX83xx 320G interconnect switch, and the Alaska® 88X5113 25G/40G Gearbox PHY. The 98DX83xx switch fans-out up to 32-ports of 10GbE or 8-ports of 40GbE, in economical 24x20mm package, with power of less than 0.5Watt/10G port.

Interconnect1

The 88X5113 Gearbox converts a single port of 40GbE to 25GbE. The combination of the two devices creates unique connectivity configurations for a myriad of Ethernet speeds, and most importantly enables scale down to a few ports. While data center- scale 25GbE switches have been widely available for 64-ports, 128-ports (and beyond), a new underserved market segment evolved for a lower port count of 25GbE and 40GbE. Marvell has addressed this space with the new interconnect solution, allowing customers to configure any number of ports to different speeds, while keeping the power envelope to sub-20Watt, and a fraction of the  hardware/thermal footprint of comparable data center solutions. The optimal solution to serve low port count connectivity of 10GbE, 25GbE, and 40GbE is now well addressed by Marvell. Samples and development boards with SDK are ready, with the option of a complete package of application software.

Interconnect2

  1. In the mega data center market, there is cannibalization effect of former Ethernet speeds, and mass migration to higher speeds. However, in the broader market which includes private data centers, enterprise, carriers, multiple Ethernet speeds co-exist in many use cases.
  2. Ethernet switches with high port density of 10GbE and 25GbE are generally available. However, these solutions do not scale down well to sub-24 ports, where there is pent-up demand for devices as proposed here by Marvell.

December 19th, 2016

Marvell Employees Proud to Give Back and Support the Local Community

By Marvell, PR Team

On Thanksgiving morning, over 560 Marvell employees woke up bright and early to join their families, friends and colleagues at the 12th annual Silicon Valley Turkey Trot. Despite the chilly morning, we kept warm with our matching gear and Turkey hats. We even had time between races to take pictures at our photo booth and share pictures and videos on Instagram and Twitter.

GiveBack-Blog

As you may know, the Turkey Trot is a celebrated Thanksgiving Day tradition here in Silicon Valley. In fact, with over 28,000 people registered, it’s the largest turkey trot in the United States. Organized by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, the event has raised over $5.9 million for local charities since its inception, including Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Housing Trust Silicon Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

trot

This year, Marvell sponsored the Fittest Firm corporate registration drive and took home the winning title with the most employee registrations in the “Large Company” category of the competition. Our CEO Matt Murphy, an avid runner, also participated with his wife and kids. In an interview with Queenie Wong of The Mercury News, Matt shared his perspective on the importance of being active, saying that he’s “a big believer in wellness and fitness in the workplace and the correlation between your performance at work and your mental and physical well-being.” We know firsthand that balance is key, and had a wonderful time giving back to our community while getting some healthy exercise before our Thanksgiving feasts.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Another event that Marvell was thrilled to have the opportunity to be part of this month was the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Young Men’s Leadership Summit. The Summit aims to engage underserved middle school students with career planning and mentorship, while highlighting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. Two of our very own employees, Kelvin Vivian and John Ma, participated in the event as mentors. They spent the day engaging with students, sharing their own stories and helping lead the STEM activity portion of the program.

The day itself was filled with excitement and curiosity. After an aerodynamics lesson, the students and their mentors were given a set of materials with the task of working together to build a plane. The lesson ended with a friendly flight competition. The goal of the event was to introduce students to possible futures in both leadership and STEM, inspiring them to see the many possibilities across a wide range of careers. We had a blast spending the day with these brilliant young minds and it was inspiring to be a part of this event.

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We’re always excited about opportunities for Marvell employees to give back and share their unique and diverse passions, whether they’re technology, engineering or running. That’s why it’s important to us to continually support the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, as well as other organizations with initiatives that truly align with Marvell’s core values. We’re happy and thankful to be part of a community that regularly brings local tech companies together to contribute to a greater cause.

December 16th, 2016

Marvell Awarded Huawei’s Joint Innovation Award 2016

By Michael Wu, Marvell Sales VP and China General Manager

Huawei

 

Marvell is honored to be a recipient of Huawei’s Joint Innovation Award 2016. Our partnership with Huawei focuses on bringing innovative networking solutions to market that enable advanced connectivity and infrastructure. Marvell’s Prestera® DX switch and Alaska® Ethernet transceiver product families are designed to power the industry’s next-generation enterprises and data centers with high-performance, feature-rich switching devices. Our President and CEO, Matt Murphy, accepted the prestigious award on behalf of the company during an exclusive, formal ceremony hosted by Huawei in Shenzhen, China. We thank, Huawei, for this recognition and look forward to our continued collaboration.

October 13th, 2016

Marvell Unveils Industry’s First 25G PHY Transceiver Fully Compliant to IEEE 802.3by 25GbE Specification

By Venu Balasubramonian, Marketing Director, Connectivity, Storage and Infrastructure Business Unit at Marvell

Alaska C 88X5123 enables adoption of 25G Ethernet in datacenters and enterprise networks

Server room in data center.

Server room in data center.

Growing demand for networking bandwidth is one of the biggest pain points facing datacenters today. To keep up with increased bandwidth needs, datacenters are transitioning from 10G to 25G Ethernet (GbE). To enable this, IEEE developed the 802.3by specifications defining Ethernet operation at 25Gbps, which was ratified recently. We are excited to introduce the high performance Marvell Alaska C 88X5123 Ethernet transceiver, the industry’s first PHY transceiver fully compliant to the new IEEE 25GbE specification.

Availability of standards-compliant equipment is critical for the growth and widespread adoption of 25GbE. By delivering the industry’s first PHY device fully compliant to the IEEE 802.3by 25GbE specification, we are enabling our customers to address the 25GbE market by developing products and applications that meet this newly defined specification.

In addition to supporting the IEEE 802.3by 25GbE specification, our 88X5123 is also fully compliant to the IEEE 802.3bj 100GbE specification and the 25/50G Ethernet Consortium specification. The device is packaged in a small 17mm x 17mm package, and supports 8 ports of 25GbE, four ports of 50GbE or two ports of 100GbE operation. The device also supports gearboxing functionality to enable high density 40G Ethernet solutions, on switch ASICs with native 25G I/Os.

With support for long reach (LR) SerDes, and integrated forward error correction (FEC) capability, the 88X5123 supports a variety of media types including single mode and multi-mode optical modules, passive and active copper direct attach cables, and copper backplanes. The device offers a fully symmetric architecture with LR SerDes and FEC capability on host and line interfaces, giving customers the flexibility for their system designs.

For more information on Marvell’s Alaska C 88X5123 Ethernet transceiver, please visit: http://www.marvell.com/transceivers/alaska-c-gbe/

October 6th, 2016

Marvell PHYs for Low-Latency Industrial Ethernet

By Kaushik Mittra, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Ethernet PHY products, Connectivity, Storage and Infrastructure Business Unit at Marvell

Part 1 of Two-Part Series

Introducing the Marvell 88E1510P/1512P/1510Q Family of PHY Products

Traditionally Ethernet has been used in enterprise applications – we are familiar with its use in our office environments. But the IEEE 802.3 family of standards is constantly evolving. Industrial networks present their own set of challenges, and Ethernet with its components are evolving again to address the needs of the factory floor. Connectivity hardware that can offer low-latency, enhanced electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection while operating in extended temperature environments is invaluable to industrial network implementation. The Marvell 88E1510P/88E1512P/88E1510Q family of PHY (physical layer device) products was designed from the ground up in collaboration with leaders in industrial automation and has been vetted for use in the most demanding industrial applications.

A multitude of communication protocols are used in industrial networks today including EtherNet/IP, EtherCAT, Profinet and SERCOS III. These are independent and proprietary offerings from different vendors. But what they share in common is the goal to deliver real-time Ethernet to industrial automation applications under harsh environmental conditions. The typical elements of an industrial network might include programmable logic controllers (PLCs), motor controllers and drives, sensor networks and human machine interfaces (HMIs). These elements are connected on the Ethernet backbone using a protocol such as EtherCAT or Profinet. The network topology might be hub-spoke (star) or linear. Regardless of network topology, the goal is to provide precise control and synchronized timing information to each of the nodes. If the topology is a long daisy chain, then each node has to perform with the most optimized latency to enable fast request/response cycle times through the system.

Figure1-IndustrialConnectivity

Looking for a Low-Latency PHY?

Protocols such as EtherCAT have to process the Ethernet packet and insert new data into the frame as it passes through in real-time. For real-time applications, this imposes tight restrictions on the latency through the switch and PHY. With this requirement in mind, we designed the Marvell 88E1510P/1512P/1510Q family of PHY products to address the stringent latency needs of tier-1 industrial customers. The table below shows that the Marvell low-latency PHY operates 30-40 percent faster as compared to non-optimized implementations.

Figure2-Default-transmit

While the data shown above is the default configuration, significantly lower latencies are possible with register programming. The sum total of transmit and receive latency was less than 400ns across the entire range, as shown below.

Figure3-Lessthan400ns

The small latency variation observed (from min to max) is due to the presence of synchronization circuits in the transmit path. Typically a FIFO (first in, first out queue) is used in the transmit path to compensate for any PPM (parts-per-million) differences between the transmit circuits and receiving circuits. Depending on packet size and the number of entries in the FIFO, a small variation in latency can be observed.

(Note: When the PHY is used for precision-time protocol- (PTP-) based timestamping applications, the presence of the FIFO does not affect the accuracy of the timestamps. The timestamps are taken closest to the wire, eliminating the FIFO uncertainty).

Future Proof with 1000BASE-T

While 100BASE-TX speeds are sufficient for the majority of factory applications today, there is a growing need to support 1000BASE-T. Since the installation of industrial equipment and networks is capital-intensive, it is prudent to use a PHY device that can future-proof network speed requirements up to 1000BASE-T. The Marvell 88E1510P/1512P/1510Q family of PHY products supports 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, and 1000BASE-T. The low latency ranges observed in 1000BASE-T mode is shown below.

Figure4-Lessthan400ns

Extended Temperature Operation and ESD support

In an industrial environment, it is difficult to control temperatures on the plant floor, where surrounding equipment may operate at high temperatures and where it can be difficult to provide good ventilation. Industrial motors and robots connected by an Ethernet network often have to weld metals at very high temperatures.

Figure5-Ethernetcomponents-
This requires the PHY to operate in environments where the ambient temperature remains high throughout the entire duration of operation (for more than several hours). The Marvell 88E1510P/1512P/1510Q family of PHY products was designed to operate in ambient operating temperature ranges of minus -40 0C to 85 0C degrees (or 125 0C maximum junction temperature.)

In addition to high temperature, industrial environments can also lead to accumulation of electric charge within the machinery. To shield against high voltage surges, the Marvell PHY has enhanced ESD protection circuits. We tested the Marvell PHY in the robust testing environments of some of the largest industrial electronics OEMs who approved the device from an ESD perspective.

Packaging and Interface Options

The Marvell 88E1510P/1512P/1510Q family of PHYs is offered in 48-pin or 56-pin QFN packages. It also offers a variety of host interface options such as RGMII, MII and SGMII. For information on specific features, please review the attached product selector guide.

In conclusion, connectivity hardware that can offer enhanced ESD protection, low-latency and operate under extended temperature ranges is gaining popularity in industrial networks. The Marvell 88E1510P/1512P/1510Q family of PHYs offers these key benefits to implement in any real-time industrial Ethernet network.

August 2nd, 2016

Marvell Delivers Industry’s First IEEE Gigabit Ethernet For Automotive

By Anil Gercekci, Director of Technical Marketing of Automotive Solutions Group at Marvell

High-Speed Networking Becomes a Reality For Automotive
Creating New Consumer Features

Marvell First to Deliver Samples to Auto Manufacturers

With the availability of high-speed LTE networks and the thrust toward autonomous driving, car companies are working on a structured approach to high-speed data distribution to and within vehicles. Today, Gigabit Ethernet over a single pair of twisted-pair copper wire has become a reality for the automotive industry paving the way for high-speed networking within a vehicle. In November of last year, Marvell delivered the first samples based on the IEEE 1000BASE-T1 pre-standard specification for verification of performance in vehicles. The 1000BASE-T1 standard allows high-speed and bi-directional data traffic over light-weight, low-cost, single-pair cable harnesses. This enables car companies to create a whole new array of exciting automotive features and benefits. Early chip samples from Marvell allow auto makers the ability to evaluate the performance of this new standard and identify possible issues early in the application development process, prior to production, to accelerate time to market.

 

Gigabit-Ethernet-Chart

 

Industry Standards Organizations Paving the Way to Seamless Automotive Wireless Communications

Simultaneously, a number of industry standards organizations are working on automotive-specific wireless standards that will enable seamless internal and external communications with vehicles to enable cloud-based applications. With LTE standards enabling higher than 100Mbps data capability, LTE connectivity will require high-speed links in line with 100BASE-T1 or 1000BASE-T1 Ethernet capabilities within the vehicle, depending on the actual real throughput available to the user from the network. As carrier network coverage and data billing rates become accepted by consumers, cloud-based applications for automotive will allow large data transfers that will enable not only wider infotainment, but concierge and navigation applications, plus remote diagnostics with secure over-the-air (OTA) updates. (Won’t it be nice to know when you’re pulled over on the side of the highway on vacation, exactly what is wrong with your car?) Such mechanisms will also enable security and accelerated fleet management for business and commercial enterprises that can help lower the cost of maintenance, while increasing customer satisfaction by keeping drivers up-to-date with the latest cloud-based data services.

A History of Firsts

Marvell has a history of actively participating in the IEEE standards development process. In 2011, Marvell was a key driver in the Call For Interest (CFI) at IEEE for an Automotive-specific Gigabit Ethernet PHY. This CFI received unanimous support (a relatively rare event in IEEE) and now the new IEEE 802.1bp standard is set to be ratified in 2016. In the meantime, Marvell has already begun sampling pre-standard parts to the industry for testing. The availability of parts has sparked remarkable interest and activity in testing and developing new applications for high-speed Ethernet.

Will Automotive Become the Largest IT Employer In the Near Future?

The introduction of Automotive-specific Gigabit Ethernet can provide the backbone for enhanced connectivity applications. The automotive industry is rapidly adopting Ethernet as a key enabler, not only for its superior price/performance, but also because it supports the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model. The OSI model allows for the rapid deployment of applications and services. Using this layered approach, a specific PHY technology, which met both the light weight and low EMC requirements, had to be developed that was consistent with all the existing upper layers of the OSI model. This gives the benefits of being able to leverage and reuse existing developments in layers above the PHY level. It is amazing to think that with this unprecedented potential expansion of automotive connectivity and its applications, it is conceivable that the automotive industry could become the world’s largest employer of IT experts in the coming years.

More to Come
In addition to a long history of WiFi and Bluetooth combo products in automotive, Marvell is enabling WiFi technology to become part of this external connectivity by developing 802.11ai technology that allows for Fast Initial Link Setup (FILS) that provides opportunistic access to base stations whenever they become available as the car drives at high speed. In addition, 802.11p products will enable short-range wireless connectivity for collision avoidance or pedestrian/cyclist detection, applications that demand quick response and are not possible via current Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and LTE technologies. With these wireless technologies placed in the roof of the car, Ethernet plays an important role for high-speed communication to and within the vehicle. By delivering early samples based on the latest developing industry standards, Marvell is helping to “drive” new applications in automotive connectivity technology.