Intel targets data plane with comms SoC
February 15, 2012 // Rick Merritt
Intel tipped plans for a communications systems SoC, aiming to compete with the likes of Cavium, Freescale and OEM ASICs for high-end packet processing. Crystal Forest will have up to 16 x86 cores and be capable of handling up to 160 million packets per second of Layer 3 traffic.
The chip marks an attempt by Intel to shift up into handling jobs in the so-called data plane, focused on moving bulk packets quickly. To date, the x86 has made significant inroads as a control-plane processor handling less demanding tasks supervising the operations of a communications system.
Intel said Crystal Forest will be available before the end of the year. It targets a broad range of comms systems from “small- to medium-sized business firewalls to high-end routers,” Intel said in a press statement.
The chip is part of a three-step expansion for Intel in comms. Crystal Forest adds jobs typically handled by network processors to the control tasks addressed by current Intel Xeon processors and the company's Jasper Forest SoC.
Following Crystal Forest, Intel plans an SoC that also will address signal processing tasks presumably for systems such as wireless base stations. The future chip will come with new Intel signal processing libraries and tools now in the works.
Few details were available about the Crystal Forest except that it supports up to two-way processing and has interfaces for Ethernet, serial ATA and USB. As for supporting software, Intel said it will release a set of software libraries and algorithms called the Intel Data Plane Development Kit to help accelerate use of the x86 in high-end packet processing. Intel promised the software will deliver five-fold performance increases in x86-based packet processing.
In addition, Crystal Forest will also use Intel’s QuickAssist technology to accelerate specific jobs such in cryptography, compression and deep packet inspection.
Besides high-end embedded processors such as the Cavium Octeon and Freescale QorIQ, Crystal Forest will also be an alternative to some in-house ASICs developed by comms OEMs. The top router makers including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Cisco, Huawei and Juniper all develop their own data plane ASICs in Silicon Valley offices.
Intel’s Wind River division will make available a Simics model of Crystal Forest. The model aims to help users test various configurations of the chip and start software development for it.
Machine learning for every app
October 02, 2015
Startup company Dato wants to make a splash in the consumer market by making it easier for developers to integrate machine-learning ...
Cyber threats against cars are here to stay, experts say
BAIC launches R&D centre in Aachen
NXP-Freescale: merger of 'compatible' giants on track
TSMC turns logic FinFET into ReRAM
Invisibility cloak focuses on enhancing solar cell efficiency
October 01, 2015
Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have discovered an unconventional approach to increasing the efficiency ...
Measuring the most stable light source in the world
3D memory chips may beat 3D hybrid memory cube
Are mushrooms the answer to lithium-ion battery degradation?
- Determine Balancing Current for the LTC3305 Lead-Acid Battery Balancer
- 3 Ways to Simplify Medical Device Testing
- Thread Networking Protocol Simplifies Connecting “Things” in the Home and Beyond
- High Voltage CMOS Amplifier Enables High Impedance Sensing with a Single IC
InterviewCEO interview: Ambiq sees broader options for low voltage
Mike Noonen, recently appointed interim CEO at microcontroller startup Ambiq Micro, discusses the focus and opportunities for this pioneering company designing circuits that can operate below the threshold ...
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, LabNation is giving away three of its SmartScope open source USB oscilloscopes, worth 229 Euros each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.
Successfully funded through Kickstarter last year, the SmartScope is claimed to be the world's first test equipment designed to run on multiple operating systems and platforms such as smartphones, tablets and PCs. It is powered directly from... MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.