Alcatel-Lucent has announced the launch of its latest network processor that it claims delivers a fourfold increase on the next best IP network capabilities by supporting speeds of up to 400Gbit/s.
The FP3 processor is designed to meet the growing demand for bandwidth-intensive services. It contains 288 processor cores, up from 112 in the FP2, and will be added to the firm's 7750 router.
Alcatel-Lucent IP division president Basil Alwan claimed that the FP3 is ideally suited to facilitate the further growth of networks and the services running on top.
"It gives us the ability to build super density platforms with intelligence to meet the demands of the years ahead as firms look to keep pace with the growing bandwidth use from video, voice, business and consumer services," he said.
"Video is really crushing the network right now, so this is a key driver for the growth of these networks. It's not just speed that's increased, though, but the performance and agility of the processor."
Alwan added that Alcatel-Lucent could also target the datacentre market with the FP3, particularly at datacentre interconnects, and that it will help meet the new era of IPv6 deployments.
"The FP3 chip can scale to IPv6, which is where growth needs to go as the number of endpoints in the networks grows," he said.
Alcatel-Lucent also touted low power consumption for the processor, reducing the power used per gigabit of data transmitted to 2W to help firms reduce power consumption.
Alwan added that Alcatel-Lucent has been trialling the FP3 processor in its labs for the past six months, and will begin to ship it commercially in 2012. No specific dates were provided.
Emir Halilovic, programmee manager for networking and infrastructure at IDC, told V3.co.uk the announcement was significant for the industry and would help bring many benefits.
"This is a sizeable step forward, both improving the economics of 100G and lower speeds, and opening the road towards the 400G as the next standard," he said.
"The benefits are quite clear - more processing power, higher port density, with all that it entails - more ports per rack, less power and space requirements and easier management."
Halilovic added that the product was well-timed to meet growing industry demands for faster ports that will start ramp up in the next 12 months.
"It's quite clear that 100G is the focus of the launch, and although it is a rather small market at present, the bandwidth demand is increasing rapidly both in fixed and mobile networks," he said.
"If the demand for 100G ports ramps up in 2012 as the firm expects, FP3 will help them meet that demand just in time."
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