9 February 1993 The other fiber, the other fabric, the other way
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Coaxial cable and distributed switches provide a way to configure high-speed Fiber Channel fabrics. This type of fabric provides a cost-effective alternative to a fabric of optical fibers and centralized cross-point switches. The fabric topology is a simple tree. Products using parallel busses require a significant change to migrate to a serial bus. Coaxial cables and distributed switches require a smaller technology shift for these device manufacturers. Each distributed switch permits both medium type and speed changes. The fabric can grow and bridge to optical fibers as the needs expand. A distributed fabric permits earlier entry into high-speed serial operations. For very low-cost fabrics, a distributed switch may permit a link configured as a loop. The loop eliminates half of the ports when compared to a switched point-to-point fabric. A fabric of distributed switches can interface to a cross-point switch fabric. The expected sequence of migration is: closed loops, small closed fabrics, and, finally, bridges, to connect optical cross-point switch fabrics. This paper presents the concept of distributed fabrics, including address assignment, frame routing, and general operation.
© (1993) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Gary R. Stephens, Gary R. Stephens, "The other fiber, the other fabric, the other way", Proc. SPIE 1784, High-Speed Fiber Networks and Channels II, (9 February 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.141093; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.141093


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