IBM's Low-end PowerPRS Switch Fabric Offers Design Commonalities

6/18/2003 - IBM announced the PowerPRS 16G / C192 packet routing switch fabric, a single-chip device that offers an economical solution for OEM vendors who are implementing 10-20 gigabits per second (Gbps) systems providing advanced services for network access, network edge or data centers.

With this new offering, IBM, the number one OEM switch fabric company worldwide, provides customers with an easy path to scale their platforms from low-end thin appliances to high-end chassis-based solutions capable of switching up to 320Gbps full-duplex user traffic. IBM has integrated the new switching function into the existing PowerPRS C192 switch fabric interface device to offer a single, multipurpose switch device.

"With today's announcement, we are extending design commonalities across the switch fabric product line," said Scottie Ginn, vice president, standard products, IBM Microelectronics. "This helps our OEM customers optimize their investments from low-end to high-end within the same proven technology. Vendors can now reuse hardware and software and cut back on design requirements, saving both time and money."

Based on advanced technology from IBM Research, PowerPRS switch fabric products feature the performance and scalability that networking applications demand. The protocol-independent PowerPRS products offer key features such as packet lossless switchover, an advanced flow control mechanism, and built-in broadcast and multicast support. Enablement tools, including switch control software and mature reference switch core designs, make it easy to integrate PowerPRS products into product designs.

The PowerPRS 16G / C192 performs the queue manager function for four ports at 2.5Gbps/OC-48c speed or one port at 10Gbps/OC-192c speed and provides standard CSIX-L1 interfaces. It can operate as a 10 Gbps (one chip) or 20 Gbps (two chips) full-duplex switch fabric offering up to eight 2.5Gbps/OC-48c switch ports, or four 2.5Gbps/OC-48c ports aggregated into a 10Gbps/OC-192c uplink.

As the line card interface to the switch fabric, it supports four 2.5Gbps/OC-48c network processors, or one 10Gbps/OC-192c network processor, and enables switch/adapter card designs for 10-20Gbps entry platforms to be used for line cards in chassis-based platforms. This addresses the higher capacity needs of applications in the Metro/WAN, wireless infrastructure and enterprise (data centers, NAS/SAN).

Analysts continue to point to the IBM PowerPRS switch fabric as the industry leader, as evidenced by the Linley Group report of January, 2003, and RHK Reports.

The new PowerPRS 16G / C192 switch fabric will be presented at session 101 of Network Processors Conference East in Danvers, Mass., June 24-26.

About IBM Microelectronics
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role as the world's premier information technology supplier. It develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor and interconnect technologies, products and services. IBM Microelectronics activities are focused in three major areas: custom application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) chips, PowerPC-based and other standard chip products, and high-tech foundry services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic brands.

IBM is a recognized innovator in the chip industry, having been first with advances like more power-efficient copper wiring in place of aluminum, faster silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and silicon germanium transistors, and improved low-k dielectric insulation between chip wires. These and other innovations have contributed to IBM's standing as the number one U.S. patent holder for 10 consecutive years. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at:

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