IRIS Network Processor Makes Connection with TI Third Party Program

6/30/2003 - IRIS Technologies, a systems company that develops platform-based products and solutions to enable next generation communications and controls, is now offering its first communications semiconductor product, the IRIS Network processor, and has added this offering to Texas Instruments (TI) third party program. Ideal for packet processing, the network processor leverages TI's TMS320(TM) DSP processors to offer designers of communication systems and subsystems a unique combination of performance and power efficiency by incorporating fully customized RISC cores optimized for fast lookups and efficient traffic shaping with a highly optimized instruction set for network processing.

IRIS Technologies first joined TI's third party program in February of 2003 with the introduction of a single board Process controller (IRISPCC) that is built around TI's TMS320C2407 processor.

The Network processor NPU 3M is the newest addition to IRIS' network processing unit (NPU) family known for its protocol-independent, scalable processors. The network processor is offered in two versions, IRISNPU3M-AE and IRISNPU3M-SS, for use with Texas Instruments TMS320(TM) DSP processors for development of media gateways, access points, hubs and routers. Both versions have a common core, consisting of 5 (Five) 32-bit RISC engines.

"By extending the inherent advantages of this family and offering features such as a low pin count, extremely low power dissipation and frequency of operation, the Network processor provides designers of subsystems and systems in communications with the capabilities they need to develop next generation communication applications," said Praveen Buddhireddy, systems manager, IRIS Technologies.

In a typical network processor the power dissipation is about 12 Watts, which equals about 10% of total power dissipation in a gigabit line card. The high rate of power consumption can lead to problems like large power consumption on line cards, EMI and Thermal problems that complicate the mechanical design of the chassis, spacing of the individual line cards and the cooling requirements. The IRIS network processor with low power dissipation (2 Watts) has an edge on power, performance and cost metrics. Low pin counts leads to easier PCB layout as well cheaper PCB manufacturing costs.

The RISC-based multi-processors of the NPU family and the programmability of the TI TMS320(TM) DSP processors offer a cost-effective, re-configurable and up-gradable platform for communications applications. All signal processing required on the channel as well as the additional processing such as layer 1 and layer 2-protocol implementation can be taken care of by TI DSP solutions while the packet processing and forwarding functions can be off loaded onto the IRIS NPU. The NPU is targeted towards developing cost effective DSP-based communications platforms that have multiple applications.

IRIS also provides design solutions using this product and Texas Instruments TMS320(TM) digital signal processors (DSPs) for communications applications. For instance, the network processor can be used for both wire line and wire less products in conjunction with TI's DSPs where higher layer forwarding and packet processing is required.

"TI and IRIS Technologies share a common goal of providing designers with the best tools possible to build innovative communication products," said Cathy Wicks, third party marketing manager, TI. "Designers can now develop not just the physical layer processing blocks, such as modulation, encoding and other base band processing interface using the TI DSPs, but can also use this product to offer customers complete solutions with both line/air interfaces and trunk side packet interfaces."

The processor provides a guaranteed forwarding rate of 3 million packets per second and supports the following interfaces: CSIX and PCI enabling the processor to be used in gigabit line cards, or in access routers that require peer to peer communication and routing functions. Peer to peer communication requires higher layer forwarding and routing capability for content switching. Packet classification and filtering is provided to support QoS and security. Support for 2D and 3D classification is also available.

IRIS provides full custom solutions including firmware and algorithm development for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers.

About IRIS Technologies
Based in Dallas, Texas, IRIS Technologies works with its sister company IRIS Technologies India Pvt. Ltd. that serves as the primary design and R&D center for IRIS Technologies. IRIS develops components and solutions for subsystems and systems in areas of controls and communications. IRIS Technologies is a member of the TI third party program. IRIS is on the web at

About the Texas Instruments Third Party Program
IRIS Technologies is a member of the TI TMS320(TM) third party program, the most extensive collection of global DSP development support in the industry. With more than 650 independent companies and consultants, TI's customers have easy access to a broad range of application software, development hardware and software and consulting services. For more information on the TI third party program, please visit

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