The First Ethernet Silicon Supplier to Deliver Energy Saving Features of up to 80 Percent

Networking equipment suppliers promoting green electronics portfolios can activate compelling, energy-efficient functionality within their Ethernet-based electronics via a simple software upgrade available today from Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation. Vitesse is the first Ethernet silicon supplier to deliver energy saving features of up to 80-percent when fully linked-down using its widely-adopted SimpliPHY, SparX, and G-RocX IC solutions.

Delivering green savings equivalent to over 400mW per port, all three of Vitesse’s Ethernet IC product families are enhanced with two advanced, energy savings technologies. The first, ActiPHY™, is an automatic power savings mode that can detect unused Ethernet ports on network devices and power them down or place them in stand-by mode. The second, PerfectReach™, is an intelligent algorithm that actively adjusts the power level needed based on cable length. Both of these features are already integrated into all SimpliPHY, SparX, and G-RocX devices currently in mass production and can be enabled via an eco-friendly software upgrade.

New Functionality Bridges Industry Specifications

The IEEE802.3 Ethernet specification does not specify a standby power level whenever a link is not established. Vitesse’s ActiPHY, however, enables a physical layer Ethernet port to detect link loss and put the port into a sleep state, thereby reducing the port’s power in existing devices by well over 400mW. Using a proprietary energy detection circuit to filter random cable noise, ActiPHY detects the presence of link pulses, restores active power and puts the port back into normal operation. To ensure maximum interoperability when plugged into another Ethernet PHY with sleep capability, the device will wake up at a programmable rate and send a few link pulses to allow another sleeping device the opportunity to wake-up.

PerfectReach is an intelligent algorithm that actively adjusts the power level needed based on cable length. IEEE802.3 Ethernet specifies 10/100/1000BASE-T copper PHYs to operate at 100 meters. The standard also expects these same PHYs to communicate at its maximum power cable reach even if it is plugged into a cable that can be as short as a single meter. PerfectReach detects the presence of a shorter cable and then adaptively lowers the power level, saving energy for links shorter than the full 100 meters of cable length specified by IEEE standards.

Ethernet OEMs Promoting Green Technology

Broadening public awareness, surging network usage and adopting of global legislation has increased demand for network equipment that operates more efficiently and delivers a positive impact for businesses, consumers and the environment. OEMs are now answering the call by delivering products to this emerging green-conscious customer segment by incorporating Vitesse’s ActiPHY and PerfectReach technology.

D-Link Systems, Inc. (D-LINK- TSEC) now offers Gigabit Home/SOHO switch products that not only comply with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), but are the first to achieve energy efficiency. “Our environmentally friendly products have enabled eco-conscious customers to embrace and benefit from green concepts with regard to their connectivity,” said A.J. Wang, CTO for D-Link Systems, Inc. “In a standard workday scenario, PCs are used for 10 hours a day, powered off for 14, and connected to a switch using 20 meter cables. D-Link’s Green Ethernet™ on 8-, 16-, and 24-port switch products, powered by Vitesse’s SparX products with ActiPHY and PerfectReach technologies, helped us bring to market the industry’s first Green Ethernet 8-port 10/100/1000BASE-T desktop switch that achieves power savings of up to 80-percent.”

Corega, a global computer networking manufacturer based in Japan, promotes greener practices as an organization and within the solutions it delivers. “In our original switching products, an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet-compliant device that had no ports connected to a link still consumed nearly the comparable amount of power as a fully-utilized switch,” said Sho Katoh, president of Corega. “By simply enabling Vitesse’s ActiPHY automatic link down power savings technology via software, we are now able to save our customers a maximum of 65.8% of electric power in the presence of unused Ethernet ports.”

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