Thursday, November 8, 2012

Emerson 40G ATCA blade enables cost and efficiency benefits

HONG KONG: The latest 40G AdvancedTCA (ATCA) packet processing blade announced by Emerson Network Power promises to enable network operators to gain the cost and efficiency benefits of ‘workload consolidation’ with simpler and faster network security.

The ATCA-7470 is designed to utilize the full capabilities of the Intel platform for communications infrastructure, formerly codenamed “Crystal Forest,” with an optimized balance of processing, memory, I/O, data movement, and interfaces.

Stephen Dow, president of Emerson Network Power’s Embedded Computing business, said: “To gain the full benefit of workload consolidation demands a board that can deliver the highest packet processing performance, as well as the flexibility to perform well in control plane applications. The ATCA-7470 was designed with this in mind, combining the fastest possible memory subsystem, with balanced high-performance offload engines, and full bandwidth active/active 40G fabric interfaces. As part of our market-leading ATCA systems portfolio, this new blade will offer greater flexibility in telecom equipment deployments, enabling the provision of more, and more valuable, subscriber services at lower cost.”

Steve Price, general manager, Intel Communications Infrastructure Division, said: “Through workload consolidation, implemented on the Intel platform for the communications infrastructure, operators will be able to make efficient use of network infrastructure and reduce commissioning and operating expenses, at the same time as expanding network capacity to handle consumer demand for multimedia and other rich content types. The consolidation of packet, application and control processing functions in one blade is an important benefit enabling such high performance from a single blade.”

The Emerson Network Power ATCA-7470 blade features a variety of high-speed interfaces for both ATCA fabric and direct connections. The highest performance Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 family is supported by balanced offload acceleration provided by the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx Series. Combined, these provide system support to enable very high throughput of both packet-processing and control plane workloads.

A key feature enabling this consolidation is the Intel Data Plane Development Kit (Intel DPDK), which is fully supported by the ATCA-7470. The optimized libraries included in the Intel DPDK enable fast packet movement in the data plane using multi-core Intel processors, and the Intel DPDK thus enables the faster execution of packet processing workloads across the network without sacrificing security.

By implementing packet processing together with other data plane and control plane functions on a single, Intel platform, telecom equipment manufacturers can benefit from lower development costs and the use of common tool suites, helping enable faster time to market, as well as the ability to balance workloads efficiently across the available hardware resources.

The ATCA-7470 is optimized to work with Emerson Network Power’s range of ATCA system platforms which cover two-slot, six-slot and 14-slot variants that are designed to meet the need of both telecom central office and network data center environments.

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