Intel is preparing a next-generation network controller called the Foxville i225-V, which is set to become the first 2.5 Gb / s controller for mass-market client products.
The novelty is not the first 2.5-gigabit client network controller – such solutions are in the assortment of Realtek and Broadcom. However, the Intel solution should be cheaper, and therefore has every chance of becoming a kind of standard in the mass consumer segment of the market, like the most popular gigabit Intel i219-V and i218-V controllers now. The novelty should start the process of mass distribution of 2.5-gigabit controllers after the 15-year dominance of 1-gigabit controllers.
The first motherboards with an Intel i225-V controller should be new motherboards based on the Intel X299 chipset with an LGA 2066 processor socket, which will be designed for Cascade Lake-X HEDT processors. Later, motherboards based on Intel 400 series chipsets designed for Comet Lake-S mass processors will join them.
Like the current Intel i219-V, the new Intel i225-V will be a low-cost controller that uses the Ethernet MAC of the motherboard and connects via a proprietary PCIe bus using half the PCIe bandwidth. That is why the i219-V is not represented on AMD motherboards, but instead the more expensive i211-AT is used, which has an integrated MAC and a standard PCIe interface. The Intel i225-V is expected to be sold in bulk at about the same price as the i219-V – about 1.5 per chip. For comparison, Intel i211-AT costs almost 3.25 apiece.
Intel has not yet published documentation that details i225-V software features, but according to Phoronix, a driver for Linux is already being developed for the new product. Note that 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet has the same Cat5E and Cat6 network cabling requirements as the 1 Gigabit interface. Therefore, it has a better chance of mass distribution than the more “picky” 10 Gb / s Ethernet interface.