Wednesday, May 12, 2010

DPI Announcements - Cavium Networks OCTEON II CN68XX

This time we go to the bottom of the food chain - the processing element. In recent years the computing power needed for packet processing grows faster than CPU evolution. As a result, vendors of smart traffic management devices need to explore new ways to increase performance and keep up with the demand for bandwidth over public networks.

In earlier days DPI devices were using "general purpose" CPUs (mainly Intel x86) but had to abandon the [easy to develop] technology to handle multiple Gbps links. Additional requirements including space and power consumption (see "Making Sense of Dense" by Tom Donnelly, EVP Marketing & Sales, Sandvine - here) led the leading vendors to use specialized network (or packet) processors or even build their own ASICS (application-specific integrated circuit).

See also - "Network Processor Overview" - here.

DPI vendors claim today for total performance of 40,80 or even more Gbps of traffic over multiple 10GE links.

The next step in the carrier deployment will include and upgrade to 40GE links - or even 100GE (see "40G vs. 100G optical technology battle will be decided by cost; 10G remains tough competitor" by Infonetics Research - here)

Cavium, one of the leading packet processor vendors, may have the answer. Cavium announced yesterday a new Multi-Core Processor  - the OCTEON II CN68XX described as family that "integrate 8 to 32 enhanced MIPS64 cores with up to 48GHz of 64 bit compute power in a single chip combined with over 85 L3-L7 application and security acceleration engines, virtualization features, 100Gbps of connectivity, and a revolutionary new Real Time Power Optimizer™ that dynamically adjusts power depending upon the application-level processing requirement.".

Press release - here

Cavium main competitor is RMI - now part of Netlogic.

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