ATLANTA -- Semiconductor giant Intel Corp. today introduced seven new optical networking ICs for voice and data applications as part of its year-old campaign to become the world's largest supplier of communications chips. The optical networking chips cover applications ranging from the basic 64-kilobit-per-second signals delivered by standard phone lines to OC192 10 gigabit/sec. systems.
"There is a massive build-out of optical networking infrastructure taking place today," said Deepak Rana, senior director of Intel's Optical Networking Operations. "The exponential growth of voice and data traffic on these networks is driving this build-out. However, our focus is not on simply pushing bits of information.
"Intel's optical networking chips are designed to help customers develop new multiservicenetwork equipment," added the Intel vice president.
At the Supercomm 2000 trade show in Alanta, Intel announced new optical networking building blocks for existing applications, such as voice, data traffic over local area networks (LANs) and wide area networks (WANs), storage area networks (SANs), and virtual private networks (VPNs). New applications are also being targeted by the Santa Clara, Calif., company, including metropolitan area
networks (MAN), which can be supported on the same network equipment, said Intel.
The company said the new optical networking components are part of the Intel Internet Exchange architecture, which is a framework for designing flexible networking and telecom systems using reprogrammable silicon. Intel said the new devices are a result of its acquisitions of optical communications IC supplier GIGA A/S of Denmark (see March 15 story) and Level One Communications Inc. in Sacramento, Calif., last year (see March 4, 1999, story).
Intel's GD16556/GD16557 is a chip set for interconnect applications, such as bridges and gateways that serve as the "on and off ramps" to optical networks. Intel said the chip set improves the reliability of data transfer on optical networks through a process called "digital wrapping," which combines each data cell with bits of information that identify the type of data the cell is carrying. Consequently, the technology eliminates the need to decode the information in the cell to determine how it should be handled, according to Intel. This chip set sells for $110 each in 1,000-piece quantities.
The IXF30001is Intel's single-chip OC192 Forward Error Correction (FEC) device that enables system designers to enhance the performance of their optical transmission systems by improving the signal-to-noise ratio of their transmission link, according to the Santa Clara company. The FEC chip will be available in July.
Intel said its IXF32003 is a multiplexer that enables an OC192 fiber optic line to be divided into four separate OC48 lines while handling all of the section and line termination and performance monitoring requirements associated with both worldwide standards for optical networking -- the synchronous optical network (SONET) standard for North America and the synchronous digital hierarchy (SDH) standard for Europe and Asia. Samples of the multiplexer will become available in third quarter.
The IXF6012/IXF6048 are two multi-rate, multi-service framers capable of handling both packet and cell data running on ATM, Frame Relay or Ethernet protocols, according to Intel. The IXF6012 works at speeds ranging from OC-1 to OC-12, and the IXF6048 performs at speeds ranging from OC-1 to OC-48. In quantities of 1,000, the IXF6012 sells for $130 each, and the IXF6048 for $250.
Intel said its IXF6151is a 28-channel mapper that addresses both SONET and SDH industry standards. The company said this IC has the unique ability to map data from T1 and E1 networks running on copper wiring to SONET and SDH networks running on fiber optic lines. Consequently, this approach protects the investments that service providers have made in their global networks, Intel said. The mapper chip is priced at $99 each in 1,000-piece quantities.