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Solarflare Reinforces Technology Leadership With Newly-Granted Patent for Low-Power 10GBASE-T Silicon

Monday, December 15, 2008

Invention Reduces Power Consumption, Improves Performance and Rejection of Electromagnetic Interference

Irvine, CA -- Solarflare Communications, the leading provider of standards-compliant 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) silicon, today announced it has been granted Patent #7,460,662 by the United States Patent and Trade Office (USPTO). The patent adds value and robustness to Solarflare’s 10GBASE-T transceiver by improving rejection of electromagnetic interference from cell phones and Wi-Fi access points, while enabling lower power silicon.

Solarflare’s invention is an instantiation of a hybrid circuit, which isolates transmit and receive signals transferred simultaneously over the same twisted wire pairs. While many full duplex systems, such as 100BASE-TX or fast Ethernet, use two pairs for the transmission link, there is no hybrid in such systems since transmission and reception occur on dedicated wires.

In contrast to the implementation of hybrid circuitry by prior generation 1000BASE-T systems, Solarflare’s design is different because it is completely passive. Solarflare’s invention replaces active, power-consuming components, such as replica digital to analog converters (DACs), by passive board traces, dramatically reducing transceiver power consumption by hundreds of milliwatts.

The hybrid not only isolates the transmit and receive signals but also acts as a well-controlled receive filter, providing improved immunity to electromagnetic interference from sources such as mobile phones and wireless access points. The filtering hybrid therefore provides an additional benefit and reduces the complexity of the receiver design. While other, more traditional designs require either external filtering components, which consume precious board space, or shielded cabling, Solarflare’s design integrates robustness with a low-power architecture.

"Solarflare continues to strive for technical excellence, creating a culture that encourages engineers to actively solve problems for customers," said George Zimmerman, chief technology officer at Solarflare. "We’re solving problems differently and our patents go one step further than simply reducing power consumption. As a result, our customers have a product that consumes less power, has greater reach and better performance, particularly in the presence of electromagnetic noise."

Authored by Chris Pagnanelli, the patent is one of 12 granted to Solarflare for the company’s implementation of 10GBASE-T. Solarflare continues to pursue state-of-the-art innovations to reduce power and increase performance. To safeguard its intellectual property and drive innovation in the industry, Solarflare has filed more than 100 patent applications since 2001.

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About Solarflare® 10 Gigabit Products

Solarflare designs and develops the highest-performing, lowest-power, standards-compliant 10GbE controllers and 10GBASE-T transceivers on the market. Optimized for all key virtualization platforms including Citrix XenEnterprise, Microsoft’s Hyper-V and VMware’s ESX server, Solarflare’s Solarstorm® Ethernet controller consumes less than 1.9 watts at full line-rate performance delivering the optimal balance in performance and power efficiency. Solarflare’s 10Xpress® 10GBASE-T PHY supports distances of greater than 100 meters on UTP Category 6A cabling, 100 meters on STP Category 6, 55 meters on UTP Category 6, and 45 meters on UTP Category 5E cabling. When combined on a server adapter, Solarflare’s 10Xpress 10GBASE-T PHY and Solarstorm 10GbE controller deliver 10 times the performance of a 1 Gigabit NIC at half the power consumption of previous 10GbE server adapters. For additional product information and pricing, send a request to

About Solarflare Communications, Inc.

Solarflare Communications is a semiconductor company delivering the next level of high-performance 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE). As the leading provider of standards-compliant 10GbE silicon, Solarflare’s robust and power-efficient solutions are cost effective and easy to deploy. Now real and ready for primetime, Solarflare 10 Gigabit Ethernet makes possible next-generation applications such as streaming rich media, Web 2.0, server virtualization and network convergence. Solarflare is working with key industry partners and customers to ensure interoperability and drive a complete 10GBASE-T ecosystem. The privately held company is headquartered in Irvine, California, with a development center in Cambridge, UK, and has announced relationships with Accton, Citrix, CommScope, Delta, Ixia, Panduit, SMC and VMware.

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