Intel has announced a programmable network processor which it claims is the first of its kind capable of processing data at speeds exceeding 10Gbps.
The processor uses Intel's XScale micro-architecture to fit the technology onto a single programmable chip, eliminating the need for specialised co-processors to determine the flow of data packets.
Breaking the 10Gbps performance barrier is a significant improvement over the company's current network processors, which are only capable of 622Mbps.
The technology uses distributed memory caching to provide more headroom for the most demanding packet or cell processing requirements. Software pipelining techniques also allow the processing load to be distributed among multiple processing engines.
The network processor will be built using the 0.13-micron manufacturing process, boosting silicon performance to 1.4Ghz, reducing power consumption and lowering manufacturing cost.
The technology will be used in Intel's IXP1200 Network Processor family and will be available next year.
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