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Broadcom Unveils XLP500 Series with SDN in Mind
Posted April 1, 2014
Broadcom Unveils XLP500 Series with SDN in Mind
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By Jennifer LeClaire. Updated April 1, 2014 2:56PM

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With so much focus on software-defined networks, Broadcom is expanding its XLP II multi-core communications processors line to meet evolving industry needs. The semiconductor solutions maker on Monday introduced the XLP500 Series at Interop 2014 in Las Vegas.

The XLP500 Series relies on 32 NXCPUs and 80 Gbps performance to offer up to four times the per-core performance of competing chips, according to the company.

"For service providers and data center operators looking to manage dynamically changing workloads and massive data requirements, the XLP500 Series provides the processing performance and flexibility required to deploy new services and cost-effectively scale the network," said Chris O'Reilly, Broadcom’s senior director of Product Marketing, Processors and Wireless Infrastructure.

Raising the Bar

With the introduction of the XLP500 Series, the company offers the broadest end-to-end portfolio of 28-nanometer, multi-core communications processors, spanning from four NXCPUs to 640 NXCPUs. Broadcom said that’s enough to deliver "superior processing performance and "agility for enterprises undertaking Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) deployment.

Broadcom is confident the performance that enterprises will see with its quad-issue, quad-threaded superscalar architecture with out-of-order execution will satisfy demands. The company insists Hewlett-Packard's Open NFV platform and interoperability with its StrataXGS Switch Series not only streamlines the development process but also improves power requirements, speeds time to market, and cuts hardware costs.

"Rapid growth in network traffic has expedited the adoption of SDN and NFV by carriers in order to cost-effectively overlay control and compute power onto their existing infrastructure," said Linley Gwennap, a principal analyst at The Linley Group and editor-in-chief of the Microprocessor Report. "The combination of four-issue superscalar execution and four-way multithreading is unique among embedded processors and the XLP500 Series raises the bar for embedded processors that are optimized for communications."

HP’s Full Support

Beyond the analyst nod, Broadcom is also getting a wink from HP. In order to facilitate a successful industrywide NFV rollout, Vinay Saxena, chief architect of Network Functions Virtualization at HP, the company’s OpenNFV program requires an open platform to easily migrate virtual functions across systems and a new class of processors that can improve packet processing, help reduce hardware costs, simplify applications and shorten development time.

"We believe our collaboration with Broadcom on its Open NFV platform, and communications processors such as the XLP500 Series, are ideally suited to deliver the right balance of power, performance and workload flexibility needed to meet the requirements of NFV solutions, he said.

The XLP500 Series is now sampling. The company did not indicate a roll-out date or pricing.

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