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Electronic Design

Traffic Manager For Ethernet Accelerates Triple-Play Delivery

If you think your morning commute is bad, imagine the backups on your company's Ethernet once triple-play services get in full swing. Or maybe not. Sandburst's TME-2000 traffic-management chip uses hardware-based quality of service (QoS) to deliver converged real-time voice, video, and data over carrier-grade Ethernet in metro networks.

Service providers have been eager to deliver triple-play services over metro networks via Ethernet because of its raw speed and low cost. But to do this reliably, service providers have to support the enhanced QoS characters that customers assume.

Designed for local-area networks, Ethernet lacks the QoS attributes of circuit-based time-division multiplexed or asynchronous transfer mode networks necessary for the scalable delivery of these new services. But the TME-2000 lets designers build a box that carriers can use to deliver the necessary traffic management per subscriber needed to use Ethernet in triple-play service.

This 20-Gbit/s line rate, packet-oriented traffic manager has an aggregate speed of 30 million packets per second. It fits right into line card designs that incorporate Sandburst's other HiBeam packet processing ICs. Key features include two full SPI 4.2 interfaces, a DDR2 SRAM buffer interface, and a 33/66-MHz PCI interface for control and statistics (see the figure).

Its 4k virtual ports provide a way to identify individual subscribers and allocate up to 16k queues. It features 8-kbit/s granularity shaping per queue, allowing fine-grained bandwidth allocation and rate limiting. The chip also implements the Internet Engineering Task Force's assured and expedited forwarding standards for voice and video.

And, the chip offers bandwidth partitioning, traffic shaping, and per service queuing on a per subscriber basis. As a result, it can deal with Voice over Internet Protocol and video services as well as the growing peer-to-peer traffic of games and Napster-like music downloads that congest networks or degrade performance.

The TME-2000 is made with 0.13-┬Ám CMOS. It's housed in a 1517 FC-BGA, and it consumes 9 W. Samples are available now to key customers. Full production is expected in the third quarter. The price is less than $1000 in small lots.

Sandburst Corp.

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