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November 16, 2010
Complete reference design offers 48 10G ports and 4 40G ports; helps get advanced datacenter switches to market quickly
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 16 -- Fulcrum Microsystems today announced Barcelona, a complete, single-board 10G/40G Ethernet switch reference design that speeds time-to-market of next-generation high port-count datacenter top-of-rack (ToR) switches. Barcelona features Fulcrum's low-latency FocalPoint FM6364 10G/40G Ethernet switch chip, and can be used to evaluate the performance of that chip in either a test environment or a live datacenter network.
Barcelona made its debut today at the Supercomputing 2010 (SC10) conference, Nov. 13-19, 2010, in New Orleans and can be seen in Fulcrum's booth 4229.
The Barcelona platform contains 48 10G SFP+ interfaces plus four 40G QSFP interfaces, and contains a Freescale MPC8536 control processor, which can be used to program the platform for a variety of configurations and provide health and activity information as requested. The reference design also includes Fulcrum's VantagePoint advanced congestion notification and adaptive routing framework, which can be customized and enhanced to offload tasks or add proprietary features.
The FocalPoint FM6364 is part of Fulcrum's recently introduced FocalPoint FM6000 series of fully integrated wire-speed 10GB/40GB Ethernet switch chips, which incorporate the company's innovative new Alta high-speed Ethernet switching architecture. One key new feature of the FM6000 series switches is Fulcrum's FlexPipe low-latency packet-processing pipeline, which can parse, modify, and apply multiple rules to traffic at over 1 billion packets per second, in a completely deterministic manner, and can be upgraded in the field to support future datacenter networking protocols as they emerge.
"The datacenter is one of the leading applications for 10GE, as datacenter consolidation and growing traffic place severe strains on the network infrastructure," said Simon Stanley, a leading analyst and author of the Heavy Reading Components Insider Reports. "We're predicting a steady increase in the port count of top-of-rack and other datacenter switches as blade servers add more 10GE ports. The FocalPoint FM6000 lifts the bar in this emerging wave of high-performance, low latency, high port count merchant silicon to address this market."
The platform includes TestPoint software, Fulcrum's proprietary configuration scripting tool for automating production test and static configuration of FocalPoint devices in embedded applications using simple PERL scripts. Intelligent API and drivers provide an abstraction layer for interfacing from FocalPoint to TestPoint, as well as other applications, and offer a consistent view of all FocalPoint devices -- regardless of port configuration and supported features. The embedded Linux 2.6 operating system, which is loaded on a compact flash card in the platform, offers users broad flexibility in tools, development platforms, available software modules and code reuse.
Barcelona can be configured to thoroughly evaluate the FM6364 with any traffic and load pattern, and any number of active interfaces. With SFP+ and QSFP interfaces, the platform is easily connected to external testers and analyzers (operating at 1G, 10G or 40G rates), as well as computing and storage systems via a variety of NICs and HBAs. Users can also evaluate other hardware elements by using the Barcelona platform to establish the baseline for testing NICs, servers, and storage sub-systems in live clustered configurations.
The platform offers networking features, which include: MAC-based switching and IP routing, class-based Pause, VLANs, spanning tree, link aggregation, ACLs and statistics. Barcelona provides flexible management connectivity options, including through a terminal directly attached to a console port, via a TELNET session, or over a network via an Ethernet "BaseT" interface.
"Fulcrum's Barcelona reference design gives designers a fast track to market, cutting costs and reducing risk," said Mike Zeile, Fulcrum Microsystems president and COO. "It streamlines software development by enabling designers to leverage a full-featured platform for design and test -- prior to the availability of system hardware. Hardware development is accelerated as well by leveraging a proven design to kick-start a custom implementation. In addition, design files and documentation are available to assist the OEM in getting high-quality solutions to market more quickly."
The Barcelona platform is a complete system reference design that contains dual load-sharing power supplies, a removable fan tray assembly, and a highly integrated single-board design that provides multiple high-bandwidth Ethernet ports in a compact 1U rack-mountable form factor. LED indicators and front-panel control ports provide visibility into the status of, and management control over, the system.
Barcelona will be available in Q2 2011, at a price of $25,000 each.
About Fulcrum Microsystems
Fulcrum Microsystems Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company that has developed the FocalPoint family of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE) switch/router chips for next-generation datacenter fabric designs. FocalPoint devices offer the industry's lowest latency combined with the fine-grained flow control and high throughput required for converged datacenter fabrics. Fulcrum offers a complete solution along with a worldwide ecosystem of partners from which storage and clustering system designers can drive adoption of 10GE as the fabric of choice for a fully converged datacenter. More information can be found at www.fulcrummicro.com.
Source: Fulcrum Microsystems Inc.
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