Intel Speeds Development Of Network Processor-Based Modular Communication - InformationWeek

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Intel Speeds Development Of Network Processor-Based Modular Communication

It's boosting efforts to help programmers write for networking equipment driven by network processors that are built around industry standards.

As the telecommunications market moves to embrace networking equipment driven by network processors built around industry standards, Intel is stepping up its efforts to help programmers write to these devices. On Thursday, it introduced an expanded suite of platforms, tools, and software for its Internet Exchange Architecture Network Processors.

The development platforms, introduced at the Intel Developer Forum in San Jose, Calif., include the IXDP2401, 2801, and 2851, all based on the Intel IXA Software Development Kit 3.1 and the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture. These new products play an important role in showing Intel's commitment to the AdvancedTCA, says Doug Davis, general manager of Intel's Network Processor Division. "We're putting our money where our mouth is with three new development platforms." AdvancedTCA is a group of 100 companies whose goal is to create a standardized platform architecture for carrier-grade telecommunication applications.

In addition to the development platforms, Intel also introduced new IXP2400, 2800, and 2850 network processors, input/output option cards, and a chassis with additional slots for single-board computers or switches.

Telecommunications equipments makers such as Alcatel and Lucent Technologies Inc. are moving to standards and away from equipment designed to run application-specific integrated circuits, Davis says. "Because of that transition, network processors are playing an important role as a building block."

Software development tools are necessary to get network processors to do what you want them to do, Davis says. While Intel's network processors require more software than some of its competitors' products, its technology is also more flexible, he says.

Intel hopes the combination of its network processors and new software development tools will help telecom carriers, struggling mightily in the current economy, bring new services to market faster and at lower cost. As voice over IP starts being deployed, for example, the carriers want to be able to deliver their services over a single line into a home or business, Davis says. "This lets them improve the quality of service and generate revenue without having to invest in additional infrastructure."

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