Electronic Design

Ethernet Router Offers Carrier-Class Features

Many designers still see Ethernet as an enterprise local-area network (LAN). But as it gets faster and new features are added, it's becoming the next medium for implementing forthcoming Internet Protocol (IP) applications like video.

Broadcom's StrataXGS 600 series brings scalable, carrier-class performance and features to companies designing equipment for the metro edge and carrier access. This complete IP router on a chip implements carrier access equipment like cable head ends, DSLAMs, data concentrators, passive-optical-network products, core routers, and metro-edge routers and switches.

The 600 series lays the foundation for a new era of profitable services based on cost-effective, ubiquitous Ethernet. The chip contains the media-access controller, packet processor, traffic management, switching, and serializer/deserializer (SERDES). With these features, the chip can bring Ethernet to the telecom infrastructure.

Consider the work now under way to provide voice over IP, video over IP, data services, IPTV with video on demand, high-definition TV, interactive Internet gaming, and virtual private networks (VPNs) for business. This chip should go far toward simplifying and speeding up new infrastructure equipment development to supply these services.

Carrier-grade Ethernet meets and exceeds standard telecom requirements. Since such equipment must have a life of eight to 12 years, it must be easily scalable to more subscribers as required. Flexibility is another feature requiring scalability of applications. Five-digit resiliency, meaning 99.999% up-time, is assumed for carrier-class equipment.

Finally, performance must be good enough for carriers to meet guaranteed service level agreements that offer minimum wire speeds. The 600 series effectively addresses availability of service concerns by supporting automatic network healing through fast failover and hardware redundancy mechanisms.

The series includes the BCM56600, BCM56601, and BCM56602. The first device is designed for full carrier-level duty, while the others fit the edge router and switch market (see the figure). All three provide Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) interfaces. They also integrate the 12 GbE SERDES ports for resilient scaling across backplanes in modular systems.

Other features include IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), service provider bridging, stacked layer 2 services, layer 2 and layer 3 IPv6 tunneling, efficient multicast, point-to-point virtual private LAN services, and large-scale off-chip packet buffer memory.

The StrataXGS III 600 devices are sampling now. Contact Broadcom for pricing.

Broadcom Corp.

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