Most major communications carriers are transitioning from traditional telecom networks that use T1/E1, ATM, SONET, or a wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) variation to Carrier Ethernet (CE) networks. It’s found in access/edge, metro, and core networks.
A chip that’s likely to speed the transition to an end-to-end CE is Vitesse Semiconductor’s Tiger (VSC7480) (see the figure), a Layer 3 (L3) routing, virtual private network (VPN), and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) switch engine.
Complementing Vitesse’s previously announced Jaguar, LynX, and Caracal switch-engine solutions for Carrier access and mobile edge applications, Tiger is intended for scalable service and backhaul aggregation, cloud computing, video, smart-grid, Internet Protocol television (IPTV), IP routing, optical line termination, and gateway applications.
Tiger includes a 100G bidirectional advanced packet processing engine, which supports IPv4/v6 L3 routing, MPLS switching, advanced multicasting, and tunneling protocols. This enables delivery of Layer 2 (L2) and L3 VPN services over a Carrier network.
The new switch engine also offers hierarchical quality of service (HQoS), as well as scalable, flexible forwarding and routing profile management for different applications. This amounts to a lower-power and more cost-effective alternative to network processing units (NPUs) for scalable network equipment design.
As the protocol infrastructure of wireless and wireline networks converges to a unified Ethernet packet-based system, heavy network loads and complex traffic mixes compound demand on these networks. Essential to enabling applications such as streaming multimedia are scalable and cost-effective L2 and L3 switch solutions at various points in the network. To enable the service level agreements (SLAs) required by service providers, these switch engines must be able to provide reliable priority to real-time traffic flows and HQoS traffic.
Tiger augments Vitesse’s entire line of CE products specifically designed to address service provider features, such as Synchronous Ethernet, IEEE 1588v2 precision timing protocol (PTP), protection switching, hierarchical traffic management, and operations administration and maintenance (OAM) functions like Y.1731 Performance and Fault Management.
The VSC7480 offers functions critical for L3 networks, including HQoS through flow policing of up to 64k independent traffic flows. It also delivers the low latency and low jitter necessary for the creation of guaranteed SLAs needed in Carrier applications.
Tiger offers as many as 48 1G ports and eight 10G ports, which can be configured as 48 x 1G +4 x 10G, 8 x 10G, or other combinations. With its optional external SRAM and ternary content addressable memory (TCAM), the switch engine supports up to a million MPLS labels and IP routes.
Samples of the VSC7480 are available. Volume production is scheduled for the second quarter of 2011. A complete reference design also is available.