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Wire Speed

Wire Speed Feature

September 30, 2010

Wire Speed Architecture Inspires Programmable Ethernet Switches

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor

Xelerated (News - Alert) announced that it is sampling its AX family of programmable Ethernet switches which are based on the company’s wire speed dataflow architecture. The AX family allows system vendors to unify switching and packet processing for fixed FTTx and mobile broadband access solutions.

According to company sources the AX switches are imperative for use in the new generation of high-density, high-capacity access systems, including point-to-point Ethernet, GE and 10GE, as well as point-to-multipoint EPON, GPON, 10GEPON and XGPON. Its programmability features allow vendor customization and in-field feature enhancements thereby extending product lifetimes and increasing revenue.

The AX family integrates Ethernet MAC, switching, programmable packet processing and traffic management into a single chip. It features high flexibility which enables unified processing of subscriber sessions and OAM functions. These are key components of a carrier grade data plane, said company officials.

System vendors will now be able to build fiber access line cards and pizza boxes supporting advanced broadband services at 50-88 Gbps duplex using a single chip.

It was revealed that the AX family supports Synchronous Ethernet and Packet Time Protocol or PTP-2008 for distribution of synchronization services. This is needed in Packet Transport Network and mobile backhaul networks for making the AX family ideal for both mobile and fixed FTTx access solutions.

In a release Jag Bolaria, Senior Analyst at The Linley Group said, “The next-generation fiber access market is continuing to evolve at a rapid pace.”

“To stay ahead of the curve, system vendors are looking for ways to differentiate their offerings while providing cost-effective and scalable subscriber session processing. Xelerated is addressing this core need with the sampling of its AX devices,” Bolaria added.

Johan Sandell (News - Alert), vice president and head of product management at Xelerated explained that the AX programmable Ethernet switches serve the competitive access market. Instead of designing with older fixed-function switch ASICs the company’s customers can now upgrade over time in order to extend the lifetime of their access systems cost effectively.

Xelerated sources added that it is also releasing software, development tools and a hardware reference design kit or RDK besides a full-featured data plane software designed to suit the Unified Fiber Access market. This will be available to reduce development time for FTTx system vendors. System vendors can leverage investments already made in line card designs and data plane software between different platforms because the AX switches feature the same technology as Xelerated’s HX family of network processor units.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Monda