A Next-Gen Breakthrough: Broadcom Introduces NetGNT to Data Center Market

By Alex Passett November 30, 2023

With more than 60 years of innovation and engineering excellence under its belt, global infrastructure technology company Broadcom continues to design solutions that serve critical markets; cloud, data center, networking, broadband, wireless, storage, industrial automation, financial services, enterprise security and much more. Its solutions include service provider and enterprise networking and storage, mobile device and broadband connectivity, cybersecurity, and both private and hybrid cloud infrastructure (to name a few).

Actually, let’s add one more – new as of this morning, to boot.

Today, Broadcom officially announced a novel on-chip, neural-network inference engine called NetGNT in its new, software-programmable Trident (News - Alert) 5-X 12 chip.

NetGNT (Networking General-purpose Neural-network Traffic-analyzer) augments the standard packet-processing pipeline, which is one-packet/one-path. This means it looks at one packet as it takes a specific path through a chip’s ports and buffers.

However, as an ML inference engine that can be trained to look for different types of traffic patterns that span an entire chip, NetGNT goes beyond the usual standard.

Here’s a helpful example, per the official Broadcom (News - Alert) announcement: NetGNT can look for a traffic pattern common in AI/ML workloads called “incast” in which many packet flows all converge on the same port and buffer at roughly the same time, causing congestion. NetGNT is able to recognize this pattern in real-time and invoke congestion-control techniques to avoid degraded network performance (with no impact to throughput or latency, either).

“We continue to push the envelope and introduce brand-new technologies like NetGNT to the market. We also listen very closely to our customers who have made it clear that one size does not fit all. They rely on us to deliver a broad portfolio of chips, customized for different applications,” said Ram Velaga, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Core Switching Group, Broadcom.

In terms of availability, Broadcom is shipping Trident 5-X12 devices to qualified customers. That said, feedback has already been pouring in.

Take Steve Dorwart, Vice President of Service Provider Solutions at Celestica (News - Alert), an electronics manufacturing services company.

“Celestica is proud to continue our long-standing collaboration with Broadcom in bringing leading-edge Ethernet switching technology to market,” Dorwart said. “And with the introduction of Trident 5-X12, Broadcom yet again demonstrates its commitment to bringing innovative, power-efficient products to networking solutions.”

More praise came from Feng Luo, Head of Network Systems at massive technology company, ByteDance.

“ByteDance Network Infrastructure serves hundreds of millions of active daily users with unparalleled quality and stability,” Luo said. “So, we are excited to embrace the launch of Broadcom Trident 5-X12, a product that adapts seamlessly to a multitude of user scenarios, enhancing our operational flexibility and efficiency.”

Those interested in perusing plenty of additional technical Trident 5-X12 details can find them here.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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