Electronic Design

Chip Trio Packs All Line-Card And Switch-Fabric Logic

Streamlining the design of 10-Gbit/s line cards and switches, a three-chip set can process packets, manage traffic, and switch data at wire speed.

To create what's considered the highest-integration chip set for packet processing and switching, Internet Machines reduced the basic building blocks for 10-Gbit line cards to just two chips and the switch fabric to one chip. Protocol independent, the IMpower chip set performs all of the packet processing, traffic management, and data switching for next-generation network systems. It consists of the NPE10, a fully programmable 12.5-Gbit/s full-duplex network processor; the TMC10, an OC-192C 10-Gbit/s full-duplex traffic management coprocessor; and the SE200, a 200-Gbit/s full-duplex, expandable, switch fabric.

To achieve the wire-speed throughput that can sustain 25 Gbits/s and 60 million packets/s, the NPE10 combines 64 RISC processors on a single chip. The engines enable the chip to handle 200 million searches per second, and the chip permits hitless in-service code upgrades. The TMC10 performs all traffic management and can connect directly to the switch fabric thanks to 16 embedded serializer/deserializer (SERDES) transceivers that can each transfer data at 3.125 Gbits/s. The SE200 provides the highest throughput for a single-chip self-routing switch fabric that employs a shared-memory switching solution. The fabric chip also has 64 SERDES transceivers embedded in the silicon.

All three chips are now available in sample quantities. The NPE10 and TMC10, which each consume about 18 W, come housed in 1716-contact flip-chip BGA packages. They cost $750 and $950 in 10,000-unit lots. The SE200 consumes about 15 W, comes in a 1041-contact flip-chip BGA package, and is priced at $950 in similar quantities.

Internet Machines Inc.
(818) 575-2718

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