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Telecom network processing is on the move

Today’s telecom applications are becoming more and more data intensive. The convergence of video, voice, data and mobility is driving demand for aggregation and security applications in the telecom networks. When supply meets demand, the design win activity is on the move. This is exactly what we are seeing in the world of telecom network processing.

Cavium Networks (News - Alert) ( is a leader in Multi-Core Processors for networking, wireless, storage and control plane applications. Cavium Networks offers a broad portfolio of integrated, software compatible processors and accelerator boards ranging in performance from 10 Mbps to 20+ Gbps. Several application developers are now leveraging these advanced embedded networking functions and the new Cavium Networks’ OCTEON™ 64-bit MIPS64® cores on a single chip with clock speeds up to 1 GHz. By teaming knowledge-based co-processors with these multi-core network processors, the acceleration of packet/content inspection, access control list (ACL) security, Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) routing and quality of service (QoS) are significantly improved.

Recognizing that reliability and time to market are key requirements for today’s Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs), the introduction of Cavium-based Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMC) comes at a very critical time. According to VP Prasannan, Senior Director Product Line Management at RadiSys (News - Alert) (NASDAQ:RSYS), “With the advent of ATCA (Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture) and AMC (Advanced Mezzanine Cards), system designers now have an excellent way to leverage industry standard off-the-shelf solutions for both hardware and software to get a head start in developing their network elements. For example, RadiSys’ ATCA and AMC solutions now include products based on the Cavium OCTEON Plus CN58XX processor, such as the RadiSys Promentum® ATCA-72xx Gigabit Ethernet Line card for ATCA systems.”

Achieving maximum performance from multi-core processors also requires developing software optimized to take advantage of the multiple cores. “RadiSys supports datapath software in multiple hardware configurations. The ATCA-72xx uses an AMC carrier card (ATCA-1200) and one or more AMC-7211 modules to enable a high-density Gigabit Ethernet Line card with powerful packet-processing capability.” (See Radisys AMC-7211 at

Final Score

The network processor AMC and ATCA blades offered today are well positioned to drive wire speed processing for the next wave of telecom applications. The MIPS64® family offers a very scalable multi-processor range from 4-16 cores. When we couple this network processor family with MicroTCA (News - Alert) and ATCA architectures, we end up with a delivery model that is uniquely designed to serve telecom data intensive applications in a very cost effective manner with rapid time to market. IT

Jeff Hudgins is VP of Engineering at Alliance Systems (

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