By Dave Simpson
Next week, Interphase Corp. is expected to ship a dual-port adapter that combines Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet ports on one card. Part of the company's family of PowerSAN host bus adapters (HBAs), the card doubles as a network interface card (NIC) via the Gigabit Ethernet connection.
According to Roger Woolley, senior director of marketing at Interphase, the two key advantages of combining Fibre Channel and Gigabit Ethernet on the same card are that it saves a PCI slot, and it reduces costs. The PowerSAN 5570 is priced at $1,895 list. In contrast, separate cards would cost about $2,300. Interphase officials claim the card provides "almost" equal performance compared with standalone adapters.
The card was developed in conjunction with Alteon WebSystems, a leading provider of Gigabit Ethernet adapters, and is based on Alteon's Tigon2 ASIC technology. The ASICs are used in Alteon's ACEnic Gigabit Ethernet adapters. The two independent ports on the card share the PCI bus through the use of a bridge chip that sits between the two protocol chips.
Interphase is targeting W eb servers and "rack-optimized" servers with limited PCI slots. Alteon and Interphase will co-brand the cards, which will be sold through Interphase's distribution channels.