We’re pleased to announce some innovative new features to our low-latency, Alta-architecture Ethernet switch silicon (the FM6000 series).  Alta based products deliver up to 72 ports of 10 Gbps Ethernet, or up to 18 ports of 40 Gbps Ethernet with latency as low as 400ns. The 24 port FM4000 series solution delivers switching at latencies as low as 200ns.


The new functionality includes:


Microcode Loader: Ethernet networks are constantly evolving through approval of new standards and functionality.  The microcode loader allows Intel to update Alta switches to support this updated functionality.  Now, new switch ICs have to be spun to support new functionality at wire speed.  But the microcode loader in Alta switches means new functionality can be implemented in the switches in a deterministic manner so there is no impact on performance. The microcode loader is a feature of the Intel® FlexPipe™ packet-processing engine and makes Alta switches ready for ever-evolving data centers.


ACL Deep Packet Inspection: With the ability to look deep into a data packet and compare that with access control lists (ACLs), the Alta switch can be used to switch data packets by application, allowing for wire speed differentiated data and traffic classes.  ISPs will be able to use this feature, for example, to offer high priority VoIP or video services.


Advanced Hashing:  Popular web applications can have high usage that can swamp a server.  With the advanced hashing – combined with deep packet inspection – these high traffic volumes can be distributed to a number of servers for effective load balancing.


The new features are now available for switch developers.  Contact your Intel sales person for more details.