Electronic Design

Network Processors And Software Trim System Development Time And Cost

The TrueAdvantage portfolio from Agere Systems includes two network processor chips for wireline and wireless service providers. The portfolio also includes robust software development tools, integrated hardware development systems, proven reference designs, and turnkey application software packages.

With the Advanced Payload Plus 300 (APP300) network processor and the Link Layer Processor (LLP), designers can rapidly implement high-performance, lower-cost converged access equipment and services. These chips classify processing protocols such as asynchronous transfer mode (ATM), Ethernet, and Internet Protocol (IP) as well as policing/metering and statistics functions to enable flexible billing and accounting metrics for both ATM cells and IP/Ethernet packets.

The APP300 single-chip programmable network processor includes programmable classification and traffic-management features that can enable new value-added services for DSL, broadband, and wireless applications. It lets designers develop programmable solutions with up to 2 Gbits/s of classification and traffic-management throughput. Integrated on the APP300 are two 1-Gbit and up to 16 10/100-Mbit Ethernet media access controllers, as well as an ARM processor for control-plane operations. About 750 kbytes of embedded memory, multiple memory interfaces, and multiple compute engines that handle buffer management, traffic shaping, data modifications, and policing are also on the chip.

The LLP offers a bidirectional bandwidth of 155 Mbits/s. It provides channellized OC3 (STM-1) support through three NSMI ports (51.84 Mbits each) and support for 84 DS1/J1 links or 63 E1 links (the full payload of a Sonet OC3/STM-1 frame). Additionally, the LLP performs AAL1 SAR processing (up to 672 virtual circuits), ML/MC/PPP HDLC processing (HDLC framing and deframing for up to 672 HDLC channels), frame relay support, and transcoding.

The TrueAdvantage hardware development system supports the chips. It provides a low-cost standalone multi-application system board with a variety of plug-in, application-specific interfaces that support DSL wireline access and wireless Node B and RNC. Agere's converged access solution software packages provide a full development framework and tools. Proven software applications to speed products to market round out the offerings.

In volume, the APP300 ranges from $35 to $200 based on speed grade and port options. The LLP-W for wireless applications ranges from $50 to $150, and the LLP version targeted at higher-capacity multiservice switching and routing costs $150 to $400.

Agere Systems Inc.

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