Controller and adapter shipments surge as vendors stockpile

Intel has been a major beneficiary as system vendors rush to stockpile inventory as a hedge against future pandemic-driven shortages.

This was one of the findings of a new report from analyst firm Dell’Oro Group. The report revealed that a total of 16 million Ethernet controller and adapter ports were shipped in 1Q 2020, surpassing figures from the prior quarter. Dell’Oro identified that ports at 10 Gbps comprised a record 40% share of total port shipments, largely driven by shipments of Intel Ethernet controller ports.

“The growth of controller and adapter shipments, for 10 Gbps ports, in particular, outpaced the growth of server units by a considerable amount for the past two quarters,” said Baron Fung, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “System vendors have been increasing their inventory of Intel processors, a portion of which have integrated Ethernet ports, and discrete Ethernet controllers in light of on-going disruptions from the global pandemic. Furthermore, Chinese system vendors, with Huawei in particular, are likely to face additional bans in sourcing components from US suppliers and are increasing their stock of these essential components on hand to meet near-term demand.”
Dell’Oro found that total controller and adapter port shipments increased 31% year-over-year, with Microsoft, Google and Facebook accounting for 91% of the 50 Gbps controller and adapter port shipment market.

Amazon, a relatively recent entrant, commanded an 85% share of the Smart NIC market based on ports shipped in 1Q 2020. In other Smart NIC news Mellanox, recently acquired by NVIDIA, launched its new ConnectX-6 Lx SmartNIC, a 25/50 Gbps product, designed to meet surging growth in enterprise and cloud scale-out workloads.

For further information on these topics, and for events where they will be the subject of discussion, please see the following:

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