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Software-compatible network processors

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MINDSPEED Technologies has launched a new family of four programmable traffic management and Layer 2 internetworking processors, available from Caelera , offering a broad range of software-compatible network processing solutions.

The new TSP3 family offers equipment manufacturers the ability to use one system design across multiple port speeds for a wide range of applications in enterprise, access and metropolitan networks. This helps protect engineering investments and allows quick addition of new features with downloadable software upgrades.

The OC-3 (155Mbps) M27480, 2xOC-3 (310Mbps) M27481, OC-12 (622Mbps) M27482, and OC-48 (2.5Gbps) M27483 TSP3 devices and companion Ethernet-enabled PortMakerIII firmware applications are the third-generation of an architecture deployed and thoroughly tested in the field by service providers since 1999.

PortMakerIII applications include Ethernet-enabled packet and cell traffic management, and Ethernet-to-asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) bridging.

The first binary application package features AAL5 with ATM-to-multi protocol label switching (MPLS) interworking, which enables bandwidth-efficient transport of legacy ATM cell traffic over next-generation MPLS networks.

The TSP3 family enables the fine-grained quality of service (QoS) required to provision new services across a full range of packet and cell based networks such as ATM, next-generation synchronous optical networking (SONET), packet-over-SONET (POS), Ethernet, Ethernet over SONET (EoS), and frame relay designs.

"Collapsing multiple data networks into a single network offers service providers the promise of dramatically reduced operating and capital expenses," said Allan Armstrong, program director at telecommunications industry analysis firm RHK.

"By bridging legacy ATM networks with next-generation MPLS and Internet-protocol networks, Mindspeed's new TSP3 family offers equipment manufacturers a flexible and cost-effective solution to merging multiple disparate networks with one system design."

The new family of TSP3 devices is designed for a variety of broadband aggregation and multi-service switching equipment in enterprise, access and metropolitan-area networks, such as digital subscriber line access multiplexers (DSLAMs), next-generation digital loop carriers (DLCs), cable head ends, and fixed and mobile wireless gateways.

Each device in the family is cost, performance, and feature optimised for target applications, and offers a wide range of data path interfaces including Ethernet, POS, UTOPIA, and PCI.

To speed time-to-market, equipment manufacturers can use binary PortMakerIII firmware applications, or develop their own customised applications.

The OC-48 M27483 device architecture is based on two programmable Octave microprocessor cores with multiple co-processing engines designed to manage packets and cells at up to 2.5Gbps in single-service or multi-service applications.

The 32-bit RISC Octave processors include specialised instructions for interworking and traffic management, providing efficient dispatching of parallel hardware operations while performing traffic stream processing functions.

The integrated co-processing engines enable the M27483 to achieve optical wire-speed performance.

PortMakerIII firmware provides fine-grained traffic management capabilities including queuing, hierarchical shaping, scheduling, policing, congestion management, and switching up to 256K packet or cell streams.

The firmware manages Layer 2 protocol interworking by transporting Layer 2 frames over MPLS, IP-to-ATM (AAL2 and AAL5 segmentation and reassembly), Ethernet-to-ATM, frame relay-to-ATM, and IMA. It is also available with a source-code license for product differentiation and operation with other PortMakerIII or custom applications.

Mindspeed also supplies a PCI-based evaluation board and system development tools with both the binary and source-code versions of PortMakerIII.

For customers using an off-the-shelf PortMakerIII application, the TSP3 board development kit (BDK) provides a complete reference design for system simulation, including a chip model, test bench, and diagnostic code for hardware design verifications.

The software development kit (SDK) is a powerful development environment for customers modifying PortMakerIII source code or developing custom applications. It includes all of the contents of the BDK, as well as a code-generation tool chain and a hardware and software co-simulator.

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