Ericsson announced two key developments designed to reinforce its commitment to developing 4th Generation IP networks at the MPLS & Ethernet World Congress in Paris today (20 March 2013).
The first is a ‘powerful’ in-house ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit), the Ericsson SNP 4000 network processing chipset; while the second is an extension of the Ericsson IP operating system as the common platform across the entire IP portfolio.
The Ericsson SNP 4000 brings to the market industry-leading packet processing capacity with an ASIC solution that integrates thousands of processing cores to enable products that can scale from 100Gbps to 1Tbps and applications that support millions of subscribers, the company said.
It features an ‘innovative hyper-threaded run to completion architecture running the Linux OS with full support for GNU based C/C++ tool chain’. The SNP 4000 will herald ‘a new era of feature velocity and power efficiency in IP product’, Ericsson claimed.
Ericsson IP operating system, which currently runs on the flagship SSR 8000 family of smart services routers, will be extended to cover all Ericsson IP products. The MINI-LINK SP 415 and MINI-LINK SP 420 running Ericsson IP operating system are being showcased at the MPLS World Congress in Paris.
Michael Howard, principal analyst of carrier networks at Infonetics Research, said: ‘The announcements Ericsson made today are noteworthy. With rapid growth in smart devices and personalized services, one of the biggest challenges presently facing operators is to keep up with bandwidth demand while simultaneously delivering complex services.
‘While service provider SDNs will greatly simplify functions like dynamic service chaining, these SDN capabilities will still rely on packet processing. I'm sure service providers will be interested in the service capabilities that the SNP 4000 enables, since it is based on a new hyper-threaded architecture, running thousands of “run-to-completion hardware threads” or “cores”.
Howard continued: ‘It is an industry first to support this many cores. These cores will enable functions such as service isolation and virtualisation, which can be used to support multiple high-touch applications simultaneously.’
Jan Häglund, VP, Head of IP and Broadband Networks, Ericsson, said: ‘Since 2011, when we first outlined our vision of the fourth generation of IP Networks, we have consistently made investment decisions that ensure our IP portfolio builds networks that not only give consumers an amazing experience, but also ensure profitable growth for our customers in an era of rapidly growing video traffic and Cloud and OTT applications.
‘A common operating system and high-touch packet processing capabilities are incremental steps towards the broader service provider SDN architecture that will be a key enabling technology for 4G IP going forward. SNP 4000 sets a new benchmark as it increases the feature velocity by ten times and is twice as energy efficient as available network processors.’