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Ikanos Unveils New Gateway Chipsets

Mari Silbey

LAS VEGAS -- Extending its silicon reach to cable operators, mobile operators, and other service providers, Ikanos has upgraded to dual-core processing in a new line of gateway chipsets announced here at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The new Vx500 family from Ikanos Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: IKAN) targets the company's traditional DSL provider customers, but it also aims at a new audience with products that support any available access technology. The product suite includes vectoring xDSL gateway processors and multi-mode chipsets for cable gateways, LTE gateways, and more.

"As we talked with our customers and their customers… the recurring theme was coming up about the need for more processing power for applications," said Jon Black, director of marketing at Ikanos. "Sometimes carriers know exactly what kind of applications they might be; sometimes things like home automation, or more complex things like home energy management, or looking farther forward to e-health. Some of them know those [examples]. Others just want to have enough headroom for future applications."

The Vx500 family of semiconductor products is built around Ikanos' Fusiv distributed-architecture design. The Fusiv architecture includes multiple offload processors with acceleration capabilities for optimizing different network functions.

As an example, one of these acceleration enhancements -- which Ikanos calls the network-attached storage (NAS) offload engine -- deals with cloud-based and local storage management. For networks with limited upstream capacity, the technology enables some accelerated processing to take place in the local gateway while data transfer to the cloud for storage synching takes place at a slower rate.

Black also said the company has added new security functionality to the Vx500 family. The security enhancements include a secure boot process and a new security processor for encrypting and decrypting data on the gateway itself.

Across the Vx500 line, Ikanos offers a dual-core CPU subsystem with up to 1.2GHz of processing power in each core. The new chipsets also include dual-band, dual-concurrent WiFi acceleration, a 300MHz dedicated digital signal processor for voice, and USB 3.0 offload for LTE support.

In the xDSL gateway chipsets, Ikanos advertises up to 400 Mbits/s of aggregated throughput and its own insight software for in-home performance monitoring and diagnostics.

Black said Ikanos, which counts French telecom provider Orange (NYSE: FTE) among its customers, has presented the new Vx500 chipset family to numerous carriers. Bill McDonald, director of carrier development and relations at Ikanos, also noted that there has been strong interest among mobile providers looking to deploy new LTE gateways.

Prospective customers are sampling the Vx500 chipsets now. Full production of the new product line is expected to ramp up in the second quarter.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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User Rank: Blogger
1/6/2014 | 4:16:41 PM
size of gateway market
Interesting move by Ikanos. I wonder how big they think the bmarket for these gateway chipsers is. And I wonder how they see the market breaking down by type of service provider. Any thoughts out there? 
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