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EZchip is a fabless semiconductor company that provides Ethernet network processors for networking equipment. EZchip provides solutions that scale from a few to hundreds of Gigabits-per-second. EZchip's network processors provide great flexibility and high performance coupled with superior integration and power efficiency for a wide range of applications in carrier, cloud and data center network equipment.
EZchip Technologies was formed as a spin-off in 1999 and is fully-owned by EZchip Semiconductor (NASDAQ: EZCH; formerly LanOptics Ltd.).
BackgroundThe demand for intelligent, increasingly complex high-speed packet processing has led to the advent of network processors (NPU). Programmable network processors provide flexibility and the high-performance required to process packets at increasing speeds. Consequently, network processors are becoming the silicon core of next generation networking equipment.
Carrier Ethernet networks are fast growing worldwide as the vehicle to deliver triple-play services of voice, data and video. The switches and routers that build the carrier Ethernet networks have evolving market requirements to provide new services, better QoS (quality of service) and support new protocols. This makes them a perfect fit for being built with programmable NPUs, and the NPU is becoming the key component on modern line cards of carrier Ethernet switches and routers. EZchip’s NP family of layer 2-3 NPUs is used today in carrier Ethernet switches and routers by leading equipment vendors on line cards and in stand-alone systems.
As carrier networks evolve, more advanced features at higher speeds are required and the demand for NPUs with greater flexibility that operate at all 7 layers and provide greater velocity for adding new features is growing. Data-center and cloud networks are also under constant pressure to operate faster and do more, and as a result need smarter and greater processing capabilities, or smarter and greater NPUs. In response to these demands, EZchip is developing the NPS, a new family of network processors for smart networks. The NPS is a new breed of C-programmable NPUs for the next wave of high-performance smart carrier and data-center networks.
TechnologyFor its NP family of network processors, EZchip has developed network processors that integrate multiple TOPs (Task Optimized Processors) to provide the performance required for next-generation networking products. EZchip's breakthrough Task Optimized Processing technology (TOPcore®) employs fast, efficient and flexible processors designed and optimized for layer 2-3 packet processing. This technology enables highly integrated chips that provide very high throughput rates.
For the new NPS family of network processors, EZchip is developing innovative CTOPs (C-programmable Task Optimized Processors) that enable processing at all 7-layers and are C programmable. These processing engines build on EZchip’s extensive NPU experience, are designed specifically for data-plane processing and are 10-fold smaller and faster compared to the general C-programmable RISC processors. The optimized design allows the integration of many processors, each with many threads, to achieve a vast number of virtual engines per chip. This is essential for high-speed data-plane processing where packets are arriving at an extremely high rate and every packet is processed.
In addition, EZchip’s network processors integrate extensive traffic management capabilities to provide Quality of Service (QoS) for users and applications. Effective traffic management is crucial for making Ethernet a carrier-grade infrastructure, suitable for enforcing Service Level Agreements (SLA) and delivering triple-play services.
>See Technologies for additional details.
High-speed Network Processors for Carrier Ethernet Switches and Routers
ApplicationsThe flexibility and integration of EZchip’s NPUs allow system vendors to deliver cost effective solutions that can easily adapt to changing market requirements. Typical systems that use EZchip’s NPUs on line cards in modular chassis and pizza boxes:
Clear Product DifferentiationEZchip's network processors scale from a few to hundreds of Gigabits-per-second and offer greater processing flexibility, integration and overall lower system power and cost to enable networking equipment vendors’ support of new protocols and applications at greater speeds for the dynamic and evolving environment of next generation carrier and data-center networks.
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