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Rivet to Support 10gbps Controllers

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Rivet to Support 10gbps Controllers

June 01, 2017
By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC

Rivet Networks, a company that powers gigabit Ethernet for many gaming motherboards and laptops, has been focusing more on software for the past couple of years. And now the company, which is known for its Killer brand solutions, is coming out with software support for 10gbps platforms based on multi-gigabit technology.

Ian Cutress of AnandTech reported this news earlier this week, saying, “In order to propagate the Killer networking infrastructure moving forward, Rivet is working with their motherboard partners to offer Killer-based software solutions on top of these new multi-gigabit controllers. To start, this is a fully software-enabled enterprise tightly coupled to the motherboard vendors and certain multi-gigabit chipsets, but we were told to expect hardware solutions from Killer in the future (time-scale is TBD).”

That software, which was designed to work with such solutions as Aquantia’s AQtion Ethernet controller, will enable users to prioritize traffic and lessen the incidence of network freezes on heavy use machines, Cutress indicated. And Anandtech suggested this is a step toward Rivet Networks doing its own silicon.

This news is expected to be formally unveiled this week at Computex. The event is taking place this week in Taipei.

Many gaming boards and laptops include gigabit Ethernet powered by Killer.  While Rivet Networks now owns this brand, Killer started out under a company called Bigfoot Networks, which came to market in 2006 and introduced the Killer NIC. The company was later acquired by Qualcomm (News - Alert).

But today Killer is part of Rivet Networks, an entirely separate organization from Qualcomm but one with close ties to its former parent company. Qualcomm’s Atheros (News - Alert) division provides the gigabit Ethernet controllers that serve as the foundation for current Killer solutions, according to an October 2015 story by The Tech Report.

 “The pivotal moment in the life of Killer's tech, I'm told, came about with the release of Intel (News - Alert)'s Nehalem-based Core i7 processors in 2008,” wrote Mark Nelson of The Tech Report. “Suddenly, the performance of the dedicated hardware solution could be matched by moving Killer's network processing to the host CPU. At this point, Bigfoot began turning the Killer technology into an intelligent software layer focused on traffic classification and prioritization, built on top of a network driver tweaked for low latency. Using hardware to bypass the operating system's network stack reverted to the realm of high-frequency traders.”

Edited by Alicia Young

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