Aquantia Brings 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet to Dell Workstations

Wednesday Aug 16th 2017 by Sean Michael Kerner
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Multi-Gig Network Interface Cards enable organizations to use existing Cat 5e and Cat 6 copper cables to deliver faster speeds.

For many enterprise workstations, 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NICs) represent the normal top end. Dell is now set to change that situation by adopting Aquantia AQtion NICs that can deliver Multi-Gig capabilities.

Dell's OptiPlex 7050 series workstations are now shipping with the Aquantia Multi-gig NICs. Among the configurable options for Dell customers is the option to add an AQtion AQN-108 NIC, which supports up to 5 Gbps Ethernet that will run over an enterprise's existing Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling.

"With the OptiPlex 7050 configured with the AQN-108, users of modern applications such as high-resolution communications, collaboration and data intensive workloads, will see immediate benefits of Aquantia Multi-Gig capabilities," Aquantia claims in a blog post announcing the new integration. "Users can also expect instant conferencing capabilities and enhanced collaboration better communication among teams, including real-time sharing, annotation and file transfers."

Aquantia announced its new AQtion NICs back on May 15, including both the AQN-107 and AQN-108. The AQN-107 enables up to 10 Gbps Ethernet while the AQN-105 provides support for up to 5 Gbps.

"For the past 17 years, that Ethernet port has stagnated at 1 Gigabit, and become a bottleneck for IT professionals, gamers, and performance users at large," Linn Huang, IDC Research Director, stated. "With data workloads increasing rapidly and with PC gaming rising in popularity, breaking the gigabit plane and moving to multi-gigabit PC Ethernet speeds should be a game changer for high-performance users."

The Multi-Gig support is enabled by way of the IEEE 802.3bz standard that was finalized in September 2016. Work on Multi-Gig has also been pushed forward by the NBASE-T Alliance of which Aquantia is a member.

"Aquantia expects to see a strong ramp in demand for Multi-Gig Ethernet LAN for client platforms used by power-users, professionals, gamers, prosumers and any individual who wants to enjoy fast data-transfer and quick response-times," Kamal Dalmia, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Aquantia Corp, said in a statement. "Proliferation of Mulit-Gig Ethernet is the logical next step as Enterprise and home networks get upgraded from legacy Gigabit technology."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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