By Nick Flaherty www.flaherty.co.uk
NetLogic Microsystems is shipping its NL11k family of IPv6 knowledge-based processors in volume for delivery to customers’ next generation of IPv6 switches and routers. The first of over two dozen IPv6 systems from leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) that are using the NL11k knowledge-based processors will begin shipping in production in the third quarter of 2011, with the remaining customer systems expected to commence shipping over the following twelve months.
“The emergence of LTE and IPv6 has dramatically increased the need for knowledge-based processors with significantly higher performance, larger database capacities and smaller thermal footprints. We are pleased to continue to lead the market in breakthrough innovations and product development excellence to bring to market six generations of best-in-class products.”
These new systems from Tier One OEMs are now being launched to support an increased level of IPv6 traffic with typical configurations now handling up to 33% native IPv6 traffic, which represent a major upgrade from previous generations of IPv4 equipment. To support IPv6’s 4x longer Internet addresses, as well as the exponential increase in the complexity and throughputs of network traffic, these new systems are adopting the most advanced knowledge-based processors from NetLogic Microsystems. This results in a more than doubling of the dollar content of knowledge-based processors per system over previous generations of equipment across every OEM customer.
In addition to these NL11k processor-based systems, Tier One OEMs are also designing with NetLogic Microsystems’ NL10k and NL82048 families of IPv6 knowledge-based processors into additional systems that will begin shipping throughout 2012. Moreover, these OEMs are expected to continue to upgrade their IPv6 equipment over their following successive generations of equipment to be able to support the ever increasing native IPv6 traffic in which is expected to continue to grow and become the substantial majority of traffic over time.
“We are excited by our volume production launch of the NL11k processors as it marks an important milestone in our next phase of growth for our knowledge-based processors into next-generation IPv6 equipment,” said Chris O’Reilly, vice president of marketing at NetLogic Microsystems. “The emergence of LTE and IPv6 has dramatically increased the need for knowledge-based processors with significantly higher performance, larger database capacities and smaller thermal footprints. We are pleased to continue to lead the market in breakthrough innovations and product development excellence to bring to market six generations of best-in-class products.”
The exhaustion of IPv4 Internet addresses, driven by the proliferation of connected mobile devices, is forcing service providers and network owners to migrate to the new IPv6 Internet addressing scheme which increases the number of available addresses by more than 28 orders of magnitude. According to the Wall Street Journal in a Feb. 1 article, a permanent shift to IPv6 is now inevitable following the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority’s (IANA) final allocation of its free pool of available IPv4 addresses.
Industry momentum in the migration to IPv6 continues to accelerate. On June 8th this year, Internet giants and service providers such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Akamai will offer and deliver their content over IPv6 in preparation for a successful transition as IPv4 addresses run out.
This migration to the longer IPv6 addresses, coupled with the exponential increase in the complexity and throughputs of network traffic, are driving an unprecedented need for knowledge-based processors with significantly higher performance and database capacity. To meet these stringent requirements, new knowledge-based processing architectures and circuit innovations such as those offered by the NL11k processor are needed to accelerate complex networking functions such as classification, security, routing/forwarding and deep-packet inspection.
The NL11k processor family adopts a ground-breaking “hybrid” architecture that combines its best-in-class, massively parallel knowledge-based processing engines with the low-power efficiency and flexibility of its algorithmic Sahasra technology to reduce power consumption while delivering higher performance, capacity and scalability. The NL111024 knowledge-based processor, the flagship product in the NL11k family, delivers 1.6 billion decisions per second (BDPS), and integrates 128 high-performance knowledge-based processing engines, the Sahasra Algorithmic Engines (SAEs) and an enhanced Intelligent Load Balancing Engine (ILBE) to efficiently allocate multiple tasks and communicate among all the knowledge-based processing engines and SAEs.
The NL11k processor family also features the world’s first knowledge-based processors with high-speed serial interface that delivers 225 Gbps of raw chip-to-chip interconnect bandwidth. This represents a 340 percent increase in I/O bandwidth-per-pin to deliver an improved balance between the processing engines and the I/O performance to allow wider IPv6 keys to be processed at the same search rate as narrower IPv4 keys. This enables significantly higher system performance and system density for next-generation systems to enable significantly richer services for LTE and IPv6 equipment.
Manufactured in 40nm process technology, the NL11k knowledge-based processors also integrate an innovative Range Encoding Engine (REE), which employs advanced one-hot and fence encoding algorithms to implement range encoding that allows customers to effectively double the efficiency of performing port range inspection.