AMSTERDAM -- At the European version of the Intel Developers Forum (IDF) here today, Intel Corp. announced its latest network-processor line and related products that promise to accelerate the design cycles for system manufacturers.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant also rolled out a development platform for equipment makers, a reference design kit, and new software supporting its family of network processors.
The new offerings will enable system manufacturers to accelerate product designs and introductions by more than six months, predicted Rajiv Khemani, director of product marketing at Intel's Network Processor Division. "Our products will also allow faster implementation of next-generation networking services," Khemani said in an interview with SBN.
Originally introduced about two years ago, Intel's so-called IXP1200 network-processor line embeds seven RISC engines within a processor core based on the company's StrongARM architecture.
Each RISC engine runs at speeds up to 232-MHz, enabling a theoretical throughput of 1,624 millions of instructions per second (Mips). Targeted for systems at the access or edge portion of the network, the IXP1200 is geared for 2.5-gigabits-per-second (OC-48) bandwidth applications.
At this time, Intel is not offering faster versions of the IXP1200. The new chips--designated IXP1240 and IXP1250--come in three speed grades: 166, 200, and 232 MHz.
Unlike previous versions, the IXP1240 includes ATM-based segmentation and reassembly, cyclic redundancy checking, and other functions on the device. This improves the performance of chip in ATM-based OC-12 (622-megabits-per-second) applications by up to 20%, according to Intel.
The IXP1250 also incorporates ATM-based features, but it also includes error correcting code and other wide-area networking functions. Applications for both chips include Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) equipment, digital loop carriers, gateways, routers, switches, and wireless base stations.
The 200-MHz versions of the IXP1240 and IXP1250 are $275 and $285, respectively, in 1,000-unit lots. They will be available in the third quarter of this year.
The company also announced a development platform that will also enable OEMs to design a product more rapidly. Called the IXDP1200, the system enables equipment manufacturers to design and develop a system based on the IXP2000. The IXDP1200 is $14,000.
It is also offering a software development kit, which supports both Linux and Wind River's VxWork real-time software. The so-called Intel Linux Integrated Development Environment is $5,000 per seat.
--Mark LaPedus reporting from Silicon Valley in the U.S.