Thursday 18 March 2010

Enhancements to single board computer

Latest Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series delivers exceptional throughput and low power dissipation

GE Intelligent Platforms's recently-released A10200 AdvancedTCA® single board computer will now be offered with the option of the latest Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series, formerly codenamed Westmere-EP and launched today by Intel. This innovative technology provides the dual processor A10200 with up to six cores and 12 Mbytes of L3 cache for each CPU, enabling a processing performance improvement of up to 50% compared with the dual Intel Xeon processor 5500-based version of the A10200, which continues to be available.

“From a performance perspective, telecom applications are among the most demanding in the world, and the A10200 offers the compelling price/performance advantage that meets that need,” said Juergen Eder, Director, Product Management, IPC & SBCs at GE Intelligent Platforms. “This newest version of the A10200 is an example of GE’s focus on early implementation of the latest advances in processors: bringing the newest, most innovative technologies to market as quickly as possible helps us be the trusted partner our customers are looking for to enable them to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.”

A complement to GE’s extensive and growing family of AdvancedTCA products, the A10200 is designed for telecommunications networks where it will enable significantly faster network performance than that offered by the current generation of ATCA boards. Typical applications include Control Plane functions for WiMAX, and LTE (Long Term Evolution) and NGN (Next Generation Networks) networks.

“Moving the Intel Xeon processor to 32nm process technology gives the industry the ability to deliver more performance in the same power envelope,” said Frank Schapfel, Product Line Marketing Manager, Intel Performance Products Division. “Since the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series is socket compatible with the previous generation 5500 series, customers can easily upgrade to deliver more application performance, without a system redesign. And for sophisticated network and telecommunications applications, customers can cost-effectively implement application, control and packet processing on a single architecture.”

The A10200 is an ideal complement to the AT2-5800 packet processor blade. Together, these two products provide a complete Control Plane and Data Plane processing solution, ideal for applications such as Session Border Controllers (SBC). Within the ATCA chassis, both blades can communicate via high speed, redundant dual 10GbE and dual 1GbE networks, each of them handling the processing functions for which they are best suited and optimizing the performance of the complete system.

Key to the high performance of the A10200 is the size of its memory. The provision of 64 GBytes of memory allows storing larger routing tables in main memory: it reduces the number of time-consuming routing table swaps between main memory and the database because needed routing information is missing, and contributes to much increased system productivity.

Also contributing to the A10200’s leading edge performance is its support for multiple Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, making it easy and cost-effective to integrate within a network. A Gigabit Ethernet maintenance port is also provided for fast, reliable, cost-effective remote management and trouble-shooting. The A10200 benefits from its use of the new Intel 82599 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller, which includes a new 40 Gigabits/second PCI Express™ interface and the ability to deliver up to a 250% improvement in network throughput. Furthermore, this Intel Ethernet controller has sophisticated load sharing features allowing it to direct incoming Ethernet packets to a specific core within a specific processor based on hashed packet header values, optimizing system performance. This feature enables much higher data throughput due to parallel processing and is very valuable for systems using virtualization.

Further connectivity is provided by four USB 2.0 ports, a COM port and an IPMC console port, making the A10200 exceptionally flexible and easy to configure. An accompanying TMS102 rear transitional module (RTM) provides rear access two 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet interfaces, two USB 2.0 interfaces, eight general purpose I/O ports and two on-board SAS hard disk drives. The SAS controller implements RAID features, further offloading the processor cores from mundane processing and making an important contribution to overall system throughput.

The A10200 is defined for deployment in NEBS office environments. It is PICMG® 3.1 and PICMG 3.0 compliant.

The software package provided with the A10200 includes standard BIOS, device driver, and the hardware initialization resources required to support Linux® environments. An optional run-time BIT (Built-In Test) application package will also be available.

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