Sixth generation of flow processors packs 216 processing cores and 100 accelerators into fully programmable device based on Intel 22nm 3D Tri-Gate technology
Santa Clara, California – June 5, 2012 – Netronome, the leading developer of flow processors, today disclosed the details of the NFP-6xxx family of processors. The NFP-6xxx product line is the sixth generation of flow processors and is designed for high- performance networking applications that require programmable, line-rate, stateful processing on millions of simultaneous, complex flows. The NFP-6xxx extends Netronome’s market-leading position in flow processing and provides a software- compatible migration for customers of Netronome’s current NFP.
A series of patented architectural innovations combined with the Intel 22nm 3D Tri-Gate manufacturing process result in the industry’s first programmable 200Gbps flow processor. The NFP-6xxx product line is ideally suited for intelligent line cards, service blades and PCIe cards in applications such as carrier networking, cyber security, software defined networking including OpenFlow, mobile networking, virtualized datacenters and cloud computing. These applications share a common set of requirements that include increasing bandwidth, extensive processing per packet, stateful flow processing and a programmable approach to keep pace with the rapid rate of change in protocols and threats.
“Netronome has established a clear leadership position in flow processing with its heterogeneous architecture complementing x86 processors,” said Bob Wheeler, senior analyst at The Linley Group. “The advances in the NFP-6xxx further strengthen its position as an alternative to integrated multicore processors while also enabling it to directly compete against network processors in standalone configurations.”
The scalable NFP-6xxx product line targets designs from 10 to 400 Gbps based on the following features and supported flow processing building blocks:
- 256 Gbps Processing Complex: 216 fully-programmable, workload-specific cores, featuring 120 L2-L7 flow processing cores with 960 threads, and 96 L2-L3 packet processing cores, delivering over 307 billion instructions per second to 384M packets per second. Based on Intel 22nm process technology, the NFP-6xxx provides over six times the packet processing performance at less than half the power compared to 28nm-based processing alternatives.
- 100 Dedicated Accelerators: Programmable hardware accelerators for computationally intense networking tasks including deep packet inspection, regular expression matching, optimized I/O packet transfers, traffic management, security processing and bulk cryptography.
- Optimized Memory Architecture: Over 30 MB of on-chip storage, that includes Proximity Memory™, eliminates the need for expensive external synchronous SRAM and enables packets to be forwarded from one network interface to another without requiring the packet to be stored in external DDR3 memory. The internal memory also facilitates fast transfer between processing elements and powers the patented adaptive memory controller for highly efficient DDR3 transactions at 2133 MHz across six channels. Combined, these features provide ultra-high memory bandwidth and utilization, reducing memory latency and increasing processor efficiency.
- 50 Gbps Security Processing: Hardware-based, in-line security processing and bulk cryptography support for all major cipher suites and key sizes reduces system design complexity, cost and power while ensuring wire-speed security processing without degrading data plane performance or requiring external out-of-band hardware co-processors.
- 720 Gbps of Processor I/O: 72x10G KR-capable SERDES interfaces anchor high-bandwidth access to the chip, including 10G/40G/100G Ethernet with integrated MACs and 10G/40G/100G Interlaken. The high-density I/O removes the need for separate aggregation devices and enables line-rate 200 Gbps designs with optional support for 4-to-1 oversubscription. The NFP-6xxx family also supports dedicated 4x8 PCI Gen3 interfaces for applications demanding high bandwidth, dynamic load balancing to Intel x86 processors.
- Easy and Flexible Programing Tools: The NFP-6xxx is supported by the industry’s most comprehensive suite of software development tools, including a graphical integrated development environment, C-compiler, packet generator, and cycle- and timing- accurate simulators. Developer’s may program in C or take advantage of APIs to Netronome’s flow management software. Additionally a wide range of production-ready hardware reference designs are available to assist in both hardware and software design.
- Extensive Software Libraries: The NFP-6xxx is complimented by the industry’s broadest set of software libraries to accelerate time to market and reduce development costs. Netronome’s flow management software provides comprehensive code for leading applications such as: intrusion detection and prevention, next-generation firewall, OpenFlow, SSL inspection, IPsec, IP/MPLS carrier networking, data loss prevention, network forensics, deep packet inspection and application identification, stateful load balancing, IP test and measurement, intelligent network taps, and high frequency trading.
“We experienced tremendous growth last year as a direct result of our early commitment to flow processing and its supporting building blocks. The NFP-6xxx strengthens this commitment and extends the benefits of high throughput flow aware processing to our leading edge customers,” said Howard Bubb, CEO of Netronome. “With a 10x increase in flow processing capabilities, the NFP-6xxx will accelerate the movement from packet to flow-aware processing for a wide range of advanced network services.” Netronome will make the first public technical presentation of the NFP-6xxx during the Linley Tech Carrier Conference, June 5- 6, 2012 at the Double Tree Hotel in San Jose, California. The NFP-6xxx will be available to customers in mid-2013. To request pricing information, or applications to the early access program, please contact email@example.com.
Additional quotes from customers, ecosystem partners, and industry experts:
With application aware processing becoming increasingly pervasive, Netronome's NFP-6xxx with its 720Gbps of full duplex IO bandwidth, 216 programmable cores and large amount of integrated memory provides a compelling solution for addressing a wide range of applications including enterprise, data center and cellular infrastructure platforms. Access to the 22nm Intel Custom Foundry (ICF) gives Netronome an additional leg up in integrating the large number of processing elements and on-chip memory with low-power consumption.
Abhi Dugar - Research Manager, Communications Semiconductor Research, IDC
"Along with requirements to support 100 Gbps traffic streams, service providers are examining all reasonable opportunities to increase ARPUs, while at the same time demanding the capability to deliver new revenue-bearing services out of their communications equipment without a forklift upgrade. Netronome’s NFP-6xxx packs a significant amount of flow-specific hardware accelerators and programmable resources, along with a large instruction store; functions that can be used to squarely address the carrier’s demands for advanced services.”
Michael Howard, Principal Analyst & Co-Founder, Infonetics Research
“The need to scale DPI application platforms to 100Gbps and more has now become critical across every vertical market we are engaged in. By combining Vineyard’s next-generation DPI engine (NAVL) and Netronome’s innovative flow processors, our solutions can jointly provide a deeper understanding of how networks are being used through application recognition and flow analysis at incredible throughputs.”
Jason Richards, CEO, Vineyard Networks
“With the recently announced NFP-6xxx product family, Netronome has extended its flow processing leadership even further. Telecommunications carrier products, software-defined networking gear and security services platforms are converging towards a common set of flow processing requirements. Netronome’s NFP-6xxx takes advantage of Intel’s 22nm 3D Tri-Gate process and strikes an optimum balance between high performance processing elements, hardware accelerators, a large memory pool and flexible interfaces to address markets that have traditionally resorted to compromised solutions from the competition that focus on processing packets discretely.”
Sakir Sezer, CTO, TitanIC
“Intel’s 3-D TriGate transistors are a revolutionary breakthrough and provide an unprecedented combination of improved performance and energy efficiency. I understand that Netronome’s NFP-6xxx features include a large array of flow processors, hardware accelerators, advanced I/O and memory architectures. All these features are taking advantage of Intel’s technology and infrastructure with a lower power profile at the same functionality.”
Sunit Rikhi, Vice President, Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel
“Mobile carriers and managed security operators face a huge challenge of parsing ever-changing applications and protocols at speeds that dwarf what they were just a few years ago. Combining Qosmos ixEngine with Netronome’s new programmable flow processors provides both extreme speed and detailed visibility in the form of rich metadata needed for use cases like cyber- security or mobile subscriber analytics”
Thibaut Bechetoille, CEO, QOSMOS
“Modern cyber security solutions such as next-generation intrusion prevention and next-generation firewalls have a demanding set of flow processing requirements. Netronome’s family of NFP processors continues to be an important component of our FirePOWER™ appliances. Combined with our own innovation, Netronome has helped us achieve the highest rated benchmarks for throughput and security effectiveness in third-party industry testing.”
Tom Ashoff, Sr. Vice President, Engineering, Sourcefire
“Netronome has once again delivered on its strengths; flow-aware processing and large scale integration of programmable resources. The flexible, ultra high speed interfaces, processing cores and network specific hardware accelerators provided by NFP-6xxx family of products allow it to be positioned in both the line cards as well as service cards of next generation routers. NFP-6xxx along with prepackaged networking software closely aligns with our vision for our router family of products.”
Ye Zhining, Chief Architect Router Products, ZTE
Netronome is a fabless semiconductor company and leader in flow processing. Netronome’s solutions include flow processing silicon, software, tools and acceleration platforms that scale from 1 to 200 Gbps. They are used by networking equipment OEMs worldwide in carrier-grade and enterprise-class communications products that require deep packet inspection, flow analysis, content processing, virtualization and security. Netronome’s processors are supported by comprehensive tools and a broad ecosystem of premier partners. Netronome’s products are developed in labs in Santa Clara, CA, Boxborough, MA and Pittsburgh, PA. To learn more about Netronome and its products, please visit www.netronome.com.