OCP officials had noted Mellanox’s submissions back in March, so today’s news is not a huge surprise. But it shows that OCP will offer a range of chip options.
That matters because Broadcom’s Trident and Trident II chips have dominated Ethernet switching, and the company aims to continue that reign with the recently released Tomahawk line. Cavium has emerged as a challenger with its XPliant line, which is at the heart of a recently announced 100-Gb/s OCP switch built by Accton. Now Mellanox, with its SwitchX-2 chips, has an OCP entry as well.
Both of the upstarts are targeting the data center market, seeing particular promise in hyperscale environments. Cavium, better known for security chips and multicore processors, got into the Ethernet game by acquiring the XPliant line. Mellanox has long offered Ethernet chips and adapter cards but is working on becoming more of a player in Ethernet switches and switch chips.
Mellanox is also stretching into higher layers of packet processing with the pending acquisition of network processor vendor EZchip, a $620 million deal due to close early next year.
The two Mellanox switches accepted by the OCP are 10- and 40-Gb/s designs: the MSX1710OCP spine switch and the MSX1410OCP leaf and top-of-rack switch.