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February 16, 2011

Network Processor: Advantech Samples ATCA Blade Based on TI's DSP Generation

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Advantech, which delivers industrial computing solutions that enable intelligent applications, has introduced its latest generation DSP blade in ATCA form factor based on Texas Instruments Incorporated’s (TI’s) TMS320C66x digital signal processor (DSP) generation.

Officials with Advantech (News - Alert) said that the ATCA node blade, DSPA-8901E with its 20 onboard TMS320C6678 DSPs running at 1.25 GHz core frequency provides 160 cores of processing power to reach the higher levels of performance density needed to build the highest capacity media gateways in the network.

Company officials claimed that the blade significantly reduces overall system cost and frees up valuable slots in gateway elements for additional subscriber capacity and throughput.

According to company officials, the new blade includes a high-performance Freescale (News - Alert) dual-core QorIQ P2020 processor managing a Broadcom BCM56321 4-port 10 GbE + 24-port gigabit Ethernet switch, which terminates the dual 10 gigabit Ethernet fabric interface connections and distributes gigabit Ethernet traffic to the 20 DSPs. This, coupled with the 64-bit wide DDR3 memory, gives the blade unrivaled packet and media processing capabilities.

Meanwhile, Media Excel, a transcoding company with a long history in delivering video encoding and transcoding solutions for content owners, aggregators and broadcasters, announced its intent to expand current product lines to include an ATCA form-factor product, leveraging Advantech’s high-density 64-bit DSPA-8901E DSP blades.

“We are excited to see products such as Advantech’s DSPA-8901E blade entering the market,” said Nikos Kyriopoulos, product director at Media Excel (News - Alert), in a statement.

“The new Advantech blade gives us the DSP density and performance we need to future-proof our product portfolio,” said Kyriopoulos.

He said that over the next six to 24 months, the company is launching some truly innovative products. Advantech’s experience in NEBS-compliant ATCA form factors and its ongoing success in service provider and telecom markets aligns with the company’s commitment to supply high-quality, carrier-grade transcoding solutions to those same markets.

“Our OEM customers building high density wireline and wireless media gateway equipment are eager to upgrade to the new ATCA blade to respond to the dramatic surge in bandwidth for voice and video services,” said Rt Lu, vice president at Advantech’s Embedded Media & Smart Technology Group.

Lu said that the company is also pleased to have been chosen by TI to design and manufacture two of TI’s Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) EVMs based on the C6678 and TCI6616 devices developed on their new KeyStone multicore architecture.

He said that 4G wireless infrastructure designers are keen to integrate them into MicroTCA (News - Alert) systems and ATCA carrier blades to evaluate and test the DSPs’ higher speed interfaces and new feature set.

“These timely advances by Advantech and Media Excel in the development of C66x-based multicore platforms should result in highly effective solutions for accelerating video traffic and responding to the increasing high capacity transcoding needs in the wireless network,” said Rajesh Pal, marketing manager, multicore and multimedia infrastructure business at Texas Instruments (News - Alert).

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf

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