Product Releases

Packet-Processing Silicon Optimized for Carrier Ethernet Cost

Wed, 09/15/2010 - 8:42am
Centec Networks today announced it has expanded its family of advanced packet-processing chipsets to include a second-generation IP/Ethernet switching processor that integrates a Layer 2 through Layer 4 packet-processing engine, advanced traffic manager and fabric interface.

Centec Networks’ CTC6048 processor combines the latest advanced capabilities, compact size and 100Gbps performance in support of next-generation Carrier Ethernet and Packet Transport networks. The CTC6048 is ideal for fixed and modular systems used in access, edge, and aggregation IP/Ethernet routing switches, Packet Transport Network (PTN) platforms, Optical Line Termination (OLT) systems and Wireless Backhaul Gateways. Integrated memory reduces system cost, and the device performs true consistent distributed processing for both unicast and multicast packets. The CTC6048 incorporates a variety of advanced features for implementing carrier-class transport, including:

· On-chip Ethernet Operation, Administration and Management (OAM) based on IEEE802.1ag and ITU-T Y.1731;

· <50ms Automatic Protection Switching (APS) based on ITU-T G.8031/8032;

· Synchronous Ethernet and Packet Timing Protocols such as IEEE1588v2, Network Time Protocol (NTPv4)

· Multiprotocol Label Switching–Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) and Provider Backbone Bridge Traffic Engineering (PBB/PBB-TE) technology.

Additionally, patented loopback mechanisms ensure NPU-like packet-processing flexibility, and muxiplexing/demultiplexing technology enables the ability to scale to 256 full-service network ports per chip. Scalability is further improved through the use of configurable internal and external table sizes and the built-in fabric interface to connect to Centec’s CTC8032 switch fabric in a distributed chassis system with total capacity of 5.12 terabit (T). A single device can be configured into different form factors such as 48x1GE+4x10GE, 8x10GE, 48x2.5G to further reduce inventory management cost.

“Ethernet is becoming ubiquitous in carrier networks as the market shifts toward converged triple-play voice, video and data services over Ethernet transport mechanisms,” said Tao Gu, chief technology officer (CTO) with Centec Networks. “Current semiconductor solutions are not geared to meeting today’s rapidly growing capacity needs and increasingly complex carrier service requirements. Centec hits these challenges head-on, and already is seeing strong customer traction, with a Tier One manufacturer currently designing their system with our CTC6048.”

According to market research firm Infonetics, the worldwide IP MPLS VPN and Ethernet services markets continued growing throughout the economic downturn in 2009 as companies gravitated to the efficiency and cost-cutting features of these services. “Carrier Ethernet Exchanges are an important new development that facilitate Ethernet connections and accelerate the move to Ethernet transport and services,” said Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst of Infonetics Research. “Another underlying development is the continued advance in Carrier Ethernet silicon that keeps driving the functionality up and the cost of equipment and their operations down. These factors help push worldwide service provider Ethernet services and IP MPLS VPN services revenue forecast by Infonetics to $68.2 billion in 2014.”

Additional Product Details

Centec’s CTC6048 processor supports a combination of hardware-based IPv4 and IPv6 dual-stack routing, MPLS switching, and various types of advanced multicast and IP/MPLS tunneling protocols including IPv4, IPv6, Generating Routing Encapsulation (GRE), User Datagram Protocol (UDP), MPLS and Provider Backbone Transport (PBT). Also included is support for L2/L3 Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and native high-performance multicast.

The CTC6048 device also supports service-based Access Control List (ACL), plus full, Hierarchy Quality of Service (H-QoS) policing and queuing/scheduling/shaping, built-in OAM and accounting, and carrier-class reliability using APS, Fast Convergence and CPU protection. Bandwidth provisioning functions are supported through the use of an advanced flow classifier and a highly flexible 80Gbps fabric interface. Capabilities are further extended through the use of optional interfaces to external memory.

Pricing and Availability

The CTC6048 packet processor is sampling now, with volume production scheduled for the first quarter of 2011. The device is packaged in a 1520-pin Flip Chip-Ball Grid Array (PBGA) and priced at $250 in 10,000-piece quantities. A complete reference design is available, including a 1U box with 48 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) ports, or the equivalent of 32 1000Base-T ports and 16 Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) ports, plus eight 10 Gigabit Small Form Factor Pluggable (XFP) ports. Also included is built-in 20Mbit Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) and 18Mbit static random access memory (SRAM) for table expansion. All advanced features mentioned above are available on the reference design. The box can be also used as a line card in the chassis system with a specially built backplane.



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