CPUs: Netronome ships its X86-compatible multicore network flow engine - Embedded.com

CPUs: Netronome ships its X86-compatible multicore network flow engine

Santa Clara, Ca. – Netronome is now shipping its NFP-3240 network flow processor, a follow-on to Intel's IXP28XX line of network processors, specifically designed for tight coupling with general purpose X-86-based multicore Intel processors to accelerate network, security and content performance up to 40 and 100 Gbps.

According to Niel Viljoen, founder and CEO of Netronome, aAt the heart of the NFP-3240 is a powerful array of 40 1.4GHz microengine RISC processors. Each microengine core supports eight simultaneous computing threads, enabling the NFP-3240 to deliver 56 billion instructions per second (BIPS).

Additional hardware acceleration engines provide line-rate processing for PKI, bulk cryptography and deep packet inspection. Unique to the NFP-3240 memory architecture are hardware accelerators for queues, atomic operations and CAMs.

By minimizing the effects of memory stalls, he said, an intelligent memory management system delivers over 80 percent effective utilization of dual DDR3 1333MHz and dual QDR SRAM channels that operate at up to 350MHz. This unmatched processing power and memory performance is required for critical L4-L7 networking applications designed for 40 to 100 gigabit networks.

Over 100 Gbps of I/O options unlock the massive flow processing power of the 40 microengines. The NFP-3240 features an 8 lane PCIe 2.0 interface, dual 25 Gbps Interlaken, dual 10GigE and 8×1 GigE MACs, dual 10 Gbps XAUI, and SPI 4.2. Enhanced PCIe I/O virtualization support makes the NFP-3240 the only processor to seamlessly integrate with best-in-class multicore Intel Architecture processors. This allows heterogeneous processing designs to be realized simply and cost effectively.

The NFP-3240's microengine cores are designed specifically for flow-based network and security processing. Vilojoen said microengines are not burdened with the overhead found in general-purpose processors that limits effective throughput to a few Gbps, even when adding cores and increasing clock rates.

These optimizations for network processing, he claims, enable the industry's highest BIPS per watt when operating under full load at 30W. The NFP-3240's microengine cores also offer the only source-code compatibility with Intel's IXP28XX network processors.

The NFP-3240 is supported by a comprehensive tools that includes a C-compiler, a powerful simulation environment, a complete hardware development platform and a library of hundreds of software flow processing functions.

The NFP-32xx family is available in a range of price and performance options for 10, 40 and 100 Gbps designs. Configuration options span from 16 to 40 cores, operating at 1.0 or 1.4GHz, with optional cryptography support. With prices starting at $275, the NFP-32xx family of network flow processors are sampling now with general availability in mid-2010.

To learn more, go to www.netronome.com.

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