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Electronic Design

Ethernet Chips Prep Networks For Voice, Video, And Metro Services

Most new PCs and laptops hooked up to local-area networks (LANs) have one-gigabit Ethernet (1GE) ports. Enterprises soon will be able to aggregate these devices with 10GE backbones and switches. Meanwhile, companies are straining existing systems with voice- and video-over-IP. And, demand for metro services, IPv6 software, wireless LAN (WLAN), and advanced security is exploding.

The Packetry line of Ethernet chips answers these demands. These chips from Greenfield Networks should speed the design of new edge and metro boxes for LANs, metro-area networks (MANs), and WLANs. They combine low-cost Ethernet connectivity with full IPv6 routing in hardware, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), scalable packet buffering, media-access control (MAC), and routing and classification tables.

The chips deliver robust layer 2/3/4 packet processing and extensive quality of service. Their classification and traffic-management functions enable voice-over-IP and other converged applications that require flow-based priority and bandwidth distribution across the network. To enable the next generation of metro edge deployments, the chips support valuable service-provider features like MPLS switching, stacked virtual LANs, layer 2 VPN, layer 3 VPN, and IP tunneling.

The Packetry chip set consists of the G525 Packet Engine, the G750 Shared Memory Fabric, and the G120 Intelligent Multiplexer. The G525 handles wire-speed operation of 16 1GE ports or one 10GE (or OC-192) port. It interfaces to an external tertiary content-addressable memory (TCAM) to provide scalable MAC, IPv4/IPv6 routing tables, and classification/filtering tables. The G750 is a single-chip 32G shared-memory switch-fabric and traffic manager. It can handle scalable external packet buffering up to 256 Mbytes. The G120 is an intelligent multiplexer used to create high-density, low-cost 1 GE line cards for an edge chassis. It supports advanced classification, policing, and class-based queuing to guarantee bandwidth for high-priority traffic. Additionally, it can interface with up to 128 Mbytes of external packet buffer memory to absorb short-term congestion in the network.

To help speed up new designs, Greenfield also offers the GH3032 reference platform in a standard 19-in., 1RU enclosure (see the figure). It gives designers a complete evaluation system to reduce the development cycle.

The G525 and G750 are priced at $495 in small quantities. The G120 goes for $49 in low volume. Samples and production lots are available now.

Greenfield Networks

TAGS: Intel
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