Zeptonics Splits Switch in Half to Lower Latency

Although most of my discussions during this week’s SIFMA Tech Leadership Forum and Expo center around middle- and back-office operations, I had a quick meeting with Australian network equipment provider Zeptonics, which announced the second its 50-port low-latency Layer-1 ZeptoLink networking device, which can be paired with its 24-port 10 Gbps Ethernet layer-2 ZeptoMux multiplexing switch that it announced a few weeks ago

According to David Snowdon, a hardware principal at Zeptonics, high-performance layer-2 switches offer similar performance whether the traffic is “fanning up” from multiple links into a single exchange link or “fanning down” from an exchange link to multiple consumers.

To address fanning-up performance, Zeptonics built the ZeptoMux using FPGAs that provides a reported fibre-to-fibre latency of about 130 nanoseconds.

To improve the fanning-down performance, the company decided to use ASICs rather than FPGAs in the ZepoLink and bit streaming rather than packet streaming, which delivers a latency of approximately 5 nanosecond.  The ZepoLink also acts as an intelligent patch panel allowing multiple 1-to-1 and 1-to-n connection within the same device.

Zeptonics should have 50 ZeptoMux units to beta clients in the coming weeks and plans to deliver ZeptoLink units to beta users sometime in the third quarter.