Marvell Delivers Switching With An IQ At Scale Which Is Likely Bad News For Broadcom

Marvell’s end-to-end enterprise portfolio

I have been following Marvell for quite some time now and as our principal Patrick Moorhead expressed earlier today, the company “is on a roll.” This year, I provided my insights into an announcement that spanned its 5G solution set and significant wins with Samsung and Nokia. If interested, you can find that article here. This week, Marvell extended its capabilities in enterprise switching with some new enhancements. I want to share my insights into what I believe is most compelling.

A complete portfolio

I recently had the opportunity to be briefed by Marvell executives and was surprised to learn about the depth of its data infrastructure portfolio. The company holds a #1 market position in baseband and data plane processors, security processors, hard drive, and solid-state drive controllers and fibre channel. Marvell holds a #2 market position in networking switches and physical layer (PHY) integrated circuits concerning my coverage area as an analyst. That is all very impressive and leads to my analysis of the latter. The company announced its 2K, 3K, 4K, and 5K series switches and PHYs that scale in performance from 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100Gbps. I will examine both further.    

Prestera switch and Alaska PHY families 

What impresses me the most with the recent Marvell announcement is its capability for its unified switch and PHY architecture to scale, integrate security, provide telemetry, and deliver subsequent actionable insights to better manage networking infrastructure. It is a tall order for many reasons. First, the pandemic has dramatically shifted work to home, and the need to bring connectivity resiliency and performance to the edge is placing incredible pressure on infrastructure. Secondly, there is a wide variety of network architectures that drive different support requirements. Lastly, security threats are increasing exponentially, and it is a constant battle for IT professionals to keep up with their ever-changing, dynamic nature. From my perspective, the Marvell announcement addresses these key challenges. It also paves the way for enterprises to have solid investment protection as many ready the transition to Wi-Fi 6 and 5G in private networking scenarios.  

Silicon with an IQ 

I am equally impressed with three discrete technology building blocks that Marvell delivers from an architectural perspective. TrackIQ provides analytics and insight through real-time telemetry flows and helps detect device health and network issues. NetIQ serves as the data processing engine and employs artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for automatic remediation. Finally, SecureIQ delivers zero-trust security through a secure boot and media access control for a hardened, cryptography-based platform. That is a high IQ by any account!  

Wrapping up

I believe the new Marvell switch and PHY portfolio provides scale, security, analytics, and performance that extends from the campus to the network edge. Some competitors count ports; others focus on cost, such as Broadcom in the white box space. What I find compelling about Marvell is its broad performance support from low to high-end software capabilities that deliver meaningful insights, automation, and self-healing enabled through AI, and rock-solid security capabilities. Marvell’s gain could very well be Broadcom’s pain and I’m breaking out the popcorn as this folds out.  

Note: Moor Insights & Strategy writers and editors may have contributed to this article.