MANHASSET, N.Y. Analog Devices Inc. has let loose its AD6x89 family of WAN-independent communications processors featuring scalable security and the company's proprietary Fast Path quality-of-service (QoS) technology, combining flow switching and bandwidth management.
Targeting routers, integrated access devices (IADs), small-enterprise and residential gateways, the devices are a hardware/software solution designed to get telecom developers quickly off the ground in multiple market segments.
The family comprises the AD6489 and AD6689, both highly integrated system-on-chip devices with a scalable security engine, a wide-area network (WAN) processing engine and a control processing engine each of which has its own 125-MHz RISC processor and memory. All communicate over a 125-MHz, 32-bit Exchange Bus.
Peripheral and I/O support includes two Ethernet interfaces and Utopia, PCI and USB interfaces. Both processors target data and security processing and WAN applications. However, the 6689 comes with a voice-processing engine based on an ADI219x DSP running at 250 MHz.
"The AD6489 targets routers from the basic to the more highly featured, second-generation devices, as well as security gateways or specific application gateways," said Nava Akkineni, marketing director for Analog Devices Inc.'s (ADI's) communications processor group (Santa Clara, Calif.). "The AD6689 primarily targets IADs."
Strong at Layer 2
The Santa Clara outfit was originally Chiplogic, an intellectual-property company that developed the Fast Path QoS algorithm, as well as other voice-processing and video-processing algorithms for the communications market. ADI (Norwood, Mass.) purchased it last November.
"Chiplogic brought very strong system and software and expertise in multiservice technologies at Layer 2 and above," noted Akkineni, who said ADI bought the company to complement its own strengths in analog, DSP, RF and other Layer 1 technologies and thus "obtain a leadership role in communications by leveraging Chiplogic's Layer 2 competencies."
To help in product definition, the team at Chiplogic identified a number of key trends: a shift from simple modem bridges to gateways and routers, a rise in packet voice and security needs, a demand for service-level agreements from carriers and the migration of Ethernet into the metropolitan and wide-area networks under the umbrella term "Ethernet over the first mile."
"To address all these," said Akkineni, "you have to have a very highly integrated and cost-effective silicon solution and also very powerful software." Such a solution requires flexibility and scalability, QoS, Internet Protocol services and bandwidth management, security at wire speed, bundled voice and data services, and video in the near future.
Also needed, said Akkineni, is PHY integration, "to make the solution independent of the physical-layer interface, whether it be cable, DSL or wireless. We should be able to integrate the WAN interface into the communication processor itself."
The wire-speed security (DES and 3DES, IPsec, SHA-1, MDS) stems mainly from the dedicated RISC processor. However, the chip also enlists the services of the control processor to do hardware acceleration of the encryption and authentication algorithms.
For development purposes, ADI is supplying a system-level implementation, the Convergence Exchange Platform, that allows development to commence right away, since the processors won't be available until the fourth quarter.
"What the integrator can do is select modules and then group the modules to target a particular application and package the software to meet the requirements of the application," said Akkineni. "With the platform, they can address DSL, cable, wireless, T1/E1 and ATM applications for multiple market segments and can come quickly to market. We guarantee that the application software will work straightaway on the board they don't have to spend time porting to that board."
The AD6489 is priced at $25 each in quantities of 10,000 and will be made in an 0.18-micron process. The voice-integrated AD6689 is $45 each in similar quantities and will be available in a 0.13-micron process.