Gen 5 Fibre Channel

Gen 5 Fibre Channel is the marketing name for purpose-built, data center network infrastructure for storage that provides reliability, scalability and up to 16 Gbit/s performance adopted by Brocade, Emulex, and QLogic. The name was created to move away from speed-based naming to technology generation-based naming. Gen 5 Fibre Channel is based on the 5th generation of [1] (1, 2, 4, 8, 16 Gbit/s).

Brocade Gen 5 Fibre ChannelEdit

Brocade formally introduced the term "Gen 5 Fibre Channel" in a press release announcing Brocade Fabric Vision Technology.[2] Brocade has a broad range of Gen 5 Fibre Channel platforms spanning from director-class switches (Brocade DCX 8510), to fixed-port switches (Brocade 6520/6510/6505), to embedded switches, and adapters (Brocade 1860 Fabric Adapter).

Brocade platforms with Gen 5 Fibre Channel are positioned for high-density server virtualization, cloud architectures, and next generation flash and SSD storage.[3]

Emulex Gen 5 Fibre ChannelEdit

Emulex first introduced Gen 5 Fibre Channel in a press release announcing ecosystem and partner adoption of Gen 5 Fibre Channel HBAs for flash storage and SAN appliances.[4] In conjunction, the Emulex LightPulse LPe1600B HBAs were re-positioned as "The PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 LPe16000B Gen 5 Fibre Channel (16GFC/8GFC/4GFC) Host Bus Adapters" [5]

QLogic Gen 5 Fibre ChannelEdit

QLogic first introduced Gen 5 Fibre Channel in during the Q1 2013 earnings call on July 25, 2013.[6] In conjunction, the QLogic 2600 Series HBAs were repositioned as "2600 Series 16Gb Gen 5 Fibre Channel Adapters".[7]

Cisco Gen 5 Fibre ChannelEdit

Cisco has not adopted the Gen 5 Fibre Channel branding.

Other sources adopting the Gen 5 Fibre Channel nameEdit

In an IDC Link report from March 26, 2013, analyst Ashish Nadkarni provided an assessment of Brocade's March 25 product launch [8]

Dell'Oro Senior Analyst Casey Quillin started using Gen 5 Fibre Channel in his Fibre Channel Switch reports starting in March 2013.[9]

Gen 5 Fibre Channel ControversyEdit

There have been heated debates within the industry about the usage of Gen 5 Fibre Channel as the marketing name for 16 Gbit/s Fibre Channel. After Emulex launched their rebranded HBAs with the Gen 5 Fibre Channel branding, the Register's Chris Mellor captured this debate in an article about the controversy.[10] Since the article was posted, QLogic began using the Gen 5 Fibre Channel name as well.


  1. ^ Fibre Channel Industry Association Roadmap device speeds Archived 2012-11-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Brocade Advances Fibre Channel Innovation with New Fabric Vision Technology
  3. ^ The Benefits of Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel
  4. ^ Emulex Drives Gen 5 Fibre Channel Ecosystem with Partner Adoption
  5. ^ LightPulse LPe16000B Gen 5 Fibre Channel PCIe 3.0 Single-Port Host Bus Adapter
  6. ^ Q1 2014 QLogic Earnings Conference Call[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ QLogic 2600 Series HBAs
  8. ^ Brocade Launches Fabric Vision, Enhances Gen5 Portfolio — Tells the World Fibre Channel Is Still Hot March 26, 2013 - IDC Link
  9. ^ "SAN Market Posts Strong Fourth Quarter, According to Dell'Oro Group". Archived from the original on 2013-05-29. Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  10. ^ Brocade: People try to put us down, talkin' 'bout my (Fibre Chan) generation