SANTA CLARA, Calif. – November 8, 2022 – Marvell Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVL), a leader in data infrastructure semiconductor solutions, today announced the extension of its campus networking portfolio into the operational technology (OT) networks common to industrial and critical infrastructure organizations. Marvell’s Secure Deterministic Ethernet solution, comprised of Prestera® switches and Alaska® PHYs, is designed for switch appliances used in these often-harsh environments. By enabling the more widespread use of Ethernet in the OT environment, the new solution facilitates the adoption of modern IT tools and security methods in OT networks, enabling a common management and automation approach from the cloud to the OT network edge. According to 650 Group, the shift to Ethernet is driving double-digit growth in this sub-segment, increasing Marvell’s addressable market.
The OT networks in which these switches operate require precision timing and predictable latency—attributes not typically required in corporate IT networks. Traditionally, proprietary protocols have been required to meet these needs, known collectively as deterministic networking. The new solution addresses these deterministic networking requirements with a set of Ethernet standards known as time-sensitive networking (TSN). With TSN, virtually any kind of Ethernet traffic can share a network, allowing siloed IT and OT networks to converge, thus reducing costs and facilitating in OT networks the analytics, automation and intelligence that are transforming IT networks.
In addition to being characterized by harsh physical environments, networks in manufacturing and critical infrastructure industries such as electric utilities, railways, and energy production are at heightened risk of cyberattack. Risks are further increased due to the location of some networking equipment, which places it at relatively greater risk of physical security breach. To better protect these networks, the new Prestera industrial-grade switches with TSN offer industry-first device- and link-level security, in the form of Secure Boot and MACsec.
For OEMs, semiconductor power, footprint and design complexity are critical considerations. Unlike alternative approaches that require a separate field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to process TSN flows, the new switches integrate TSN functionality without requiring an FPGA. A complete industrial networking solution requires only a switch and one or more PHYs and, in some cases, only a single, integrated chip. This architectural approach dramatically reduces power, board space and device design complexity.
The new Marvell® Secure Deterministic Ethernet solution includes a family of ruggedized Prestera switches, offering a comprehensive TSN feature set, and Alaska Ethernet PHYs. The TSN standards enable reliable, deterministic real-time communications over Ethernet by offering bounded latency, low delay variation and extremely low packet loss. The Prestera DX1500 switch family scales from eight ports to 54 ports and is designed to be paired with the Alaska E1781 series of 10/100/1000Base-T, octal-port copper transceivers. In the case of the 8-port switch, the PHY is integrated.
“Ethernet-based communications technologies are increasingly being adopted for industrial applications and devices, enabling integration with IT. Real-time determinism and time-sensitive networking technology, however, remain important requirements and not features that are historically part of Ethernet,” said Anna Ahrens, senior research analyst, Manufacturing Technology, at Omdia.
Deterministic Ethernet-based systems are expected to grow from less than 15 percent of the Ethernet switches sold for industrial use to nearly half by 2026, with the total industrial Ethernet market climbing to approximately $1.7 billion, according to 650 Group.
“This new solution enables us to offer the most complete portfolio of highly secure, TSN-capable industrial switches that will help our customers accelerate their customers’ digital transformation and network convergence initiatives,” said John DaCosta, vice president of marketing for the Switch Business Unit at Marvell. “As standards-based deterministic networking gains traction, there’s new opportunity for traditional IT networking vendors to enter this rapidly growing market.”
Features and Benefits
The Secure Deterministic Ethernet solution offers the following features and benefits:
The Prestera DX1500 and Alaska E1781 product families are sampling now.
For more information about Marvell’s new enterprise networking solutions portfolio, please visit the Marvell industrial switching and Ethernet PHY web pages.
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