XE201 I/O Controller

Gen 5 (16/8Gb) Fibre Channel/ Converged Fabric I/O Controller

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One Product, One SKU, Multiple I/O Connectivity Options
In a market landscape that has more I/O options to choose from than ever before, the XE201 PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 I/O controller provides best-of breed Fibre Channel connectivity, along with Ethernet and multiple protocols, providing unique connectivity combinations on a single ASIC.

The XE201 delivers the industry’s first native 16Gb Fibre Channel (16GFC) and 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) product that enables you to choose a combination of up to four ports of native 8GFC and 16GFC, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, RDMA* over Converged Ethernet (RoCE*), 10GbE and 40GbE for the ultimate in design flexibility. The XE201 delivers a low-power, single-chip solution that may be incorporated into industry-standard PCI Express expansion cards, custom format mezzanine cards, special-purpose storage target controllers, daughter cards or integrated directly into a system motherboard (e.g., LOM).

Breakthrough Scalability Powers More Virtual Machines, More Workload
With its unique eight processor core architecture, the XE201 takes convergence and scalability to a new level, supporting ever expanding virtualization and cloud initiatives. The XE201 implements in hardware what was previously designed into firmware to deliver optimum performance. The controller design took a holistic system approach with Emulex vEngine™ technology, offloading more I/O onto the XE201 ASIC, thereby lowering the CPU burden on the host server. In terms of scalability, the XE201 supports up to 255 Virtual Functions (VFs),* 1024 Message Signal Interrupts (MSI-X), 8192 concurrent logins and open exchanges for Fibre Channel and FCoE, and 2048 queue pairs for Ethernet. Emulex vScale™ dynamic resource pooling enables unmatched workload scalability across protocols.

Key Benefits

  • Attain the ultimate in connectivity flexibility with multi-network protocol options— Fibre Channel, FCoE, iSCSI, RoCE* and Ethernet connectivity
  • Achieve extreme performance for Fibre Channel with over 1.2 Million Input/Output Operations per Second (IOPS), as well as dramatic improvements in application response times, plus MSI-X support, enabling multithreaded interrupt support for multicore servers
  • PCIe 3.0 bus interface provides increased performance to match the capabilities of PCIe 3.0 capable servers
  • Unique quad-port density and high-availability combo configurations
  • Advanced data integrity protects against silent data corruption
  • Lower overall capital expense (CapEx) and operational expense (OpEx) costs by 50% through support of new network convergence strategies
  • Meet slot and board real estate constraints with feature-rich multi-fabric Fibre Channel and Ethernet support
  • Differentiate in virtualization and cloud markets with support for leading-edge virtualization features, such as support for NPIV, SR-IOV, VMQ, Netqueue and the ability to assign quality of service (QoS) at the virtual machine (VM) level

* Represents the underlying functionality of the Emulex I/O Controller. It does not guarantee feature enablement through firmware and drivers. Please contact your Emulex sales representative for details on your particular feature requirements.

Breakthrough Features for Unique Product Differentiation
Beyond unmatched multi-protocol functionality and performance, XE201 supports a wide range of new features for both server initiator and storage target modes, including:

  • End-to-end data integrity with BlockGuard™ T10 Protection Information (T10 PI) offload eliminates silent data corruption as data traverses the system from the O/S all the way to the disk array. The XE201 features high performance, hardware offload of data integrity checks, eliminating the performance penalty of software enabled T10 PI implementations
  • Virtualization and Cloud Scalability::
    • vScale™ workload-based performance and scalability—multicore ASIC engine with eight cores, running a combination of standard protocols and specialized functions
      • Eight independent processing cores enable dramatic improvement in application response time, accelerating most applications by over 50% through the IOC
      • All eight cores can work with each port. The XE201 will automatically apply all required processing power and cores to any port, which can significantly improve the performance of single port implementations
    • vScale resource pooling—dynamically allocates resources to multiple protocols, enabling scale-up of up to 255 virtual functions (VF)* + 1 physical function (PF) per ASIC
    • vEngine™—I/O offload lowers CPU burden on host server, enabling support for more VMs
    • vPath™—supports emerging I/O standards including Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV), Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) and Virtual Ethernet Bridge (VEB), all of which are supported by an internal Emulex Ethernet switch that allows data to be forwarded between VMs, which are collocated on same adapter, without travelling to an external switch, for higher performance and ensuring traffic isolation
  • Comprehensive management support:
    • Internal thermal and power instrumentation
    • Administer multiple protocols from a single, integrated interface with OneCommand Manager
    • Common driver architecture—the same device drivers work across all generations of Emulex Fibre Channel and networking adapters and ensures in-box and in-distribution driver support with leading OS vendors

Key Features

  • Combinations of 16GFC and 8GFC and/or 10GbE, or a single 40GbE port
  • PCIe 3.0 bus interface
  • Virtualization and cloud scalability features to support up to 255 VFs,* 2048 queue pairs for Ethernet and lower CPU overhead
  • End-to-end enhanced data integrity with ECC, parity and support of Emulex-patented BlockGuard® offload implements the T10 PI standard to prevent silent data corruption
  • GreenState™ power efficiency—4 times better IOPS performance per watt
  • Compatible with short- and long-wave optics
  • Supports Emulex Service Level Interface (SLI 4) to enable driver compatibility with standard Emulex Common Drivers
  • FC/FCoE Linux Target mode driver software development kit to speed deployment
  • Extensive boot code, such as support for network boot, FCoE Boot and Universal Boot
  • Supports both initiator and target modes

* RoCE/RDMA functionality is only available as a technical preview and is not intended for a production environment

Lifecycle Status


Specification Value
Lifecycle Active
Distrib. Inventory No
Power Supply 1.8V, 1.2V, 0.9V
Package Type 29mm x 29mm 762-ball grid array; 563-ball Flip Chip Ball Grid Array (FCBGA), 27 mm x 27 mm package size
Industry Standards 1000BASE-KX (1GbE copper connection), 10GBASE-KR (10GbE over 1 copper lane), 10GBASE-KX4 (10GbE over 4 lanes), 40GBASE KR4 (40GbE over 4 lanes), Current ANSI/IETF Standards: FC-PI-4, IEEE 802.1Qbg Edge Virtual Bridging, IEEE 802.1p QoS tagging, IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP), IEEE 802.3ae 10GBASE Ethernet ports (10GBASE-KR/10GBASE-KX4/XAUI), IEEE 802.3ba 40GBASE Ethernet ports (40GBASE-KR4/40GBASE-CR4), IEEE 802.3boot 1000BASE Ethernet ports (1000BASE-KX/SGMII), IEEE 802.3x Flow control with Pause frames, IEEE 8021Qbh Bridge Port Extension, IEEE-802.3ap Backplane Ethernet Interfaces, Legacy ANSI/IETF standards: FC-PH
Regulatory Certifications RoHS (lead free) compliant, including China RoHS
Operating Temperature 0°C to 70°C
Data Sheet1 i
Errata1 i
White Papers1 i
Solution Brief2 i