New Gigabit Blade Server Solutions for CPCI 2.16 Embedded Backplanes

10/28/2002 - RAMiX announces a new product line to address the low and high-end Blade Server markets for CPCI PICMG 2.16 systems. Responding to customer demand for wirespeed Ethernet to compliment RAMiX’s range of Embedded Switches, the new products fill the current void within the Embedded Market for true Gigabit technology across the CPSB backplane.

The new Blade Servers from RAMiX further establishes the company as the leading provider of Ethernet technology to embedded systems. By expanding its expertise from the Embedded Switching environment to blade technology, RAMiX is helping drive the future of 10/100/1000/1000+ Ethernet to the next generation of passive and switched backplane implementations.

"One of the issues of using Gigabit Ethernet as a control plane solution is not only the processing power required to drive the Gigabit Ethernet at true "wirespeed" [1000Mb/sec input and output data rate], but also the power needed to cope with the recognized overhead of the protocol stack itself," explained Kim Barnhill of RAMiX Inc. "Moving to Gigabit Ethernet also requires processing a Gigabit of TCP/IP – a rather large processing requirement for any application. Effectively then, the bottleneck has moved: it is now the processor speed that needs to catch up with the interconnect."

"When we first introduced our 24 port Gigabit switches," continued Barnhill, "our customers were frustrated at the fact that they were still unable to achieve high throughput [ie - full Gigabit functionality] due to the limitation of the node cards themselves. As an expert in Gigabit technology, RAMiX was encouraged to introduce a range of Gigabit Ethernet Blades based on higher processor speeds."

The initial product releases from RAMiX comprise the CP721 and CP723 blades to address both the low-end market [the CP721] for 10/100 Ethernet connectivity and the high-end market [the CP723] for Gigabit connectivity requiring robust processing power.

Based on PowerPC technology, the CP721 PICMG 2.16 Node card delivers two 10/100 Ethernet ports. The blade provides 2 additional PMC slots on the internal PCI-X bus both with rear I/O connections to J5 and J3 of the CPCI bus.

The CP723 blade is designed around dual 800 MHz MIPS processors – one to off-load the TCP/IP protocol stack and drive a Gigabit Ethernet stream, the other to run the application itself. This PICMG 2.16 Node card provides two 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports together with the 2 additional PMC slots for rear I/O connectivity. The CP723 can be either a system controller or a peripheral card on the cPCI bus.

Both blades provide DDR memory selectable to up to 2 Gigabytes together with a Compact Flash card enabling up to one Gigabyte Flash memory. Each of the blades is supplied with either a Linux or VxWorks BSP (Board Support Package) and full support for PICMG’s 2.9 IPMI specification.

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