CAMARILLO, Calif. -- Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. here and Power X Ltd. of Manchester, England, plan to create a joint hardware reference platform that will demonstrate the interoperation of their respective Internet switches and router chips.
Based around a 19-inch chassis employing Power X's TeraChannel as the interconnect fabric, the reference platform will incorporate a number of Vitesse's TeraPower-CL powered line cards connected through a midplane to the central high-performance switch fabric. The platform has been designed both to prove the plug-and-play interoperability of the chips, and to provide network system customers with a quick start in developing systems.
Vitesse's TeraPower-CL communications processor IC is based on technology from XaQti, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based maker of network processors that Vitesse recently acquired (see May 24 story). Before the acquisition, Power X had been working working with XaQti to ensure interoperability of their devices.
At a logical design level, the companies have shared hardware description language (HDL) models to enable system-level co-simulation and verification. This ensures the highest levels of design interoperability, promoting "plug and play" silicon building blocks to network system designers.
"Power X and Vitesse have spent many man months of effort developing the CSIX Common Switch Interface specifications to promote plug and play silicon solutions for network switch and router applications," said Barry Sandefur, vice president of advanced networking products at Vitesse. "Our joint initiative to provide the hardware reference platform is intended to provide our network customers with a convenient interoperability verification and development platform for their switch and router designs. This is an important step toward satisfying our customers' time to market goals."
TeraPower is a highly programmable architecture that implements a network application-specific instruction set. The plug and play solution of the TeraPower-CL network processor with the TeraChannel switch fabric enables a scalable network platform with user-programmable features, according to the companies.
"The TeraPower network processor provides users with an elegant way to handle the complexity of packet-based networks," said Phil Mercer, chief executive office of Power X.. "Together, TeraPower and the TeraChannel switch fabric provide customers with a superior platform for creating high-performance, highly scalable switching systems."