EZchip samples network processors for carrier access applications

AUGUST 12, 2009 -- With the NPA family, EZchip is targeting a common architecture for network equipment vendors and a path to reuse their designs across all their edge, metro, and access systems.

AUGUST 12, 2009 -- EZchip Semiconductor Ltd. (search Lightwave for EZChip), a fabless semiconductor company providing Ethernet network processors, is sampling to customers the NPA family of network processors targeting Ethernet access applications. Several of the network processors are offered with combinations of 1-Gigabit Ethernet (1GbE) and 10GbE ports, at an aggregate throughput of 10 Gigabits, with power dissipation ranging from 6 to 10 W and at varying price points. The NPA provides high performance, a high level of integration, and programmability for access nodes with low power dissipation. It has already been selected for use by Tier 1 vendors in various applications.

The NPA is a scale-down of EZchip's high-speed network processors (NPUs) supporting Carrier Ethernet applications for the access market. The new processor family is software compatible with EZchip's high-speed network processors. With this latest addition to its product portfolio, EZchip is targeting a common architecture for network equipment vendors and an easy path to reuse their designs across all their edge, metro, and access systems. To complement the NPA, EZchip will soon make available to its customers production-level code for a variety of applications, designed to help them expedite time-to-market and simplify development efforts.

The NPA is manufactured in a 90-nm silicon process and is available in lead or lead-free packages (RoHS compliant), and commercial or industrial temperature grades.

The processor supports carrier access applications including GPON/EPON aggregation nodes (OLT) for optical access; wireless backhaul and base stations aggregation for mobile access; access routers; Ethernet demarcation, access, and aggregation nodes, and VDSL aggregation nodes (DSLAM) for copper access.

Integrated functions in the single chip include:

  • Programmable packet processing - Flexible packet processing to support current Carrier Ethernet requirements and to futureproof system designs to support new protocols and features through software updates
  • Hierarchical traffic manager â�� For assigning thousands of flows with specific quality-of-service (QoS) profiles and enforcing multilevel service-level agreements (SLAs) for applications, services, and subscribers
  • Operations, administration, and maintenance (OAM) processing offload â�� For generating and monitoring thousands of simultaneous OAM sessions to enable high-performance OAM support
  • Synchronous Ethernet and IEEE 1588v2 clock sync offload â�� For precise time synchronization among remote nodes and switches
  • Integrated TCAM â�� For fast lookups through tables with wildcards, such as access control lists (ACL)
  • On-chip fabric interface controller (FIC) â�� For chassis-based systems, allows use of standard low-cost Ethernet switches as the system backplane switch fabric, with direct connection from NPA on the line card to the backplane, and guaranteed system-wide end-to-end QoS

The NPA is offered in three footprint and software compatible models: NPA-1, with eight 1GbE ports; NPA-2, with 16 1GbE ports; and NPA-3, which is configurable to a combination of up to four 10GbE ports, or combinations of 10GbE and 1GbE ports.

"The NPA addresses the transition of carrier access networks from ATM/TDM to Ethernet, along with the ever-increasing demand for bandwidth at the access," says Eli Fruchter, president and chief executive officer of EZchip Technologies. "EZchip is the only chip vendor to offer a complete line of network processors, with throughputs ranging from 1 Gigabit to 100 Gigabits, and having a common architecture and software for the carrier edge, metro, and access markets. The NPA effectively doubles our addressable market and we believe that it will evolve to be another major growth driver for us in the coming years."

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