JANUARY 28, 2008 -- TPACK (search for TPACK) today announced the introduction of SOFTSILICON, a concept for development of standard telecom chips with built-in flexibility, says the company. By using SOFTSILICON solutions, telecom equipment manufacturers can not only accelerate system development, but they can also introduce critical, competitive features and accommodate the continuous introduction of new standards, technologies, and customer demands, says TPACK.
SOFTSILICON is provided as a standard chip similar to Application Specific Standard Products (ASSPs) with a comprehensive feature list targeting a specific application, such as carrier-class packet switching and traffic management or packet mapping. However, since SOFTSILICON is based on off-the-shelf programmable chips, specifically Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), the features and interfaces can be changed to fit telecom equipment manufacturers' needs for differentiation both under development and once the system has been deployed, explain company representatives.
"SOFTSILICON is coming at the right time for packet transport applications", contends Michael Howard, principal analyst & co-founder at Infonetics Research. "Many new technologies, concepts, and architectures must be supported now and undoubtedly more in the future. It is difficult to say at this time which will win, but it is certain that there is a real opportunity here for telecom equipment manufacturers that can react quickly and adapt fast to the dynamics of this market," he says.
"Telecom equipment manufacturers have realized that ASIC- and even ASSP-based system development does not provide them with the flexibility that they need to accommodate new requirements, such as hardware-based OAM and fast protection switching," adds Peter Viereck, CEO of TPACK.
"NPUs and FPGAs are increasingly being used to introduce this flexibility, but require in-house expertise and time to program. By utilizing SOFTSILICON products, telecom equipment manufacturers can have the best of both worlds--an ASSP-like standard product to get their system development off to a flying start, but also the flexibility to accommodate adaptations, customizations, and future requirements," he maintains.
TPACK says its SMARTPACK line of SOFTSILICON products targets Packet Transport applications supporting packet switching, traffic management, and packet mapping of Ethernet, IP/MPLS, VPLS/PWE3, PBB-TE/PBT, and T-MPLS packet data over fiber, PDH, SONET/SDH, and WDM/OTN. With well over 100 design-ins with eight of the top 10 optical telecom equipment manufacturers, TPACK's SOFTSILICON devices have a proven track record in supporting high performance, flexible system applications, claim company representatives.