Xelerated, Dune Networks join for high-speed equipment designs

OCTOBER 17, 2008 By Stephen Hardy -- Chip vendors Xelerated and Dune Networks say that equipment engineers will soon be able to use their devices to build service routers and other platforms capable of handling 40 and 100 Gbits/sec of Ethernet traffic ahead of the IEEE's 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet standards. Specifically, the company's announced compatibility between Xelerated's upcoming HX300 family of network processors with Dune's Petra traffic management and fabric access devices.

OCTOBER 17, 2008 By Stephen Hardy -- Chip vendors Xelerated and Dune Networks say that equipment engineers will soon be able to use their devices to build service routers and other platforms capable of handling 40 and 100 Gbits/sec of Ethernet traffic ahead of the IEEE's 40- and 100-Gigabit Ethernet standards. Specifically, the company's announced compatibility between Xelerated's upcoming HX300 family of network processors with Dune's Petra traffic management and fabric access devices.

According to Thomas Eklund, vice president of marketing and business development at Xelerated, and Michal Kahan, Dune's vice president of international sales and product marketing, a key enabler of this interoperability is Dune's new SPAUI interface. SPAUI, which Dune developed, is designed to combine elements of XAUI and SPI4.2. It features overclocked XAUI performance that supports per-packet headers, full rate 12-Gbit/sec Ethernet, channelization, packet interleaving, and out-of-band flow control while maintaining backwards compatibility with standard XAUI.

In practice, the interface between the Xelerated and Dune devices would be 1x to 4x4-lane SPAUI, with a recommended lane of out-of-band flow control. The use of the interface enables both dense 10-Gigabit Ethernet line card designs as well as a path toward 40 and 100 Gbit/sec, the company spokespeople assert.

Xelerated announced its HX300 family this past June. The link up with Dune pertains most directly to two of the family's three elements, the HX320 and HX330. The HX320 Series is an NPU for CESR, service routers, legacy systems, 100-GbE, 40-GbE, and OC-768 applications. The HX330 is an NPU with integrated traffic manager for CESR, service routers, GPON/EPON line cards, and xDSL aggregation. The The final member of the family , the HX310, features programmable Ethernet switches for fiber access aggregation switch applications, GPON/EPON linecards, and EADs. According to Eklund, the chips should begin sampling in the first quarter of next year.

Dune's Petra line debuted at the end of last month. The work with Xelerated involves the Petra P220 and 230 fabric access devices; the former provides 40 Gbits/sec and the latter 80 Gbits/sec of full-duplex traffic management and fabric access functionality. By linking several devices together, engineers can design small chassis, half-rack, and multiple-chassis platforms. The devices are sampling now, Kahan said.

This is the third Xelerated/Dune interoperability pairing. Eklund says that in the past, reference designs featuring devices from the two companies came in both pizza box and chassis-based formats. He said that similar offerings can be expected once the HX300 chips are available.

The new pairing received kudos from Bob Wheeler, senior analyst at The Linley Group. "With the combination of the Petra and HX300 products, Dune and Xelerated have set the industry standard for integration and scalability in Carrier Ethernet designs," said Wheeler. "This solution offers both new and existing customers a path to dense GE/10GE line cards as well as 40GE and 100GE solutions."

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