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ATCA/Standard Servers

Continuous Expands FlexTCA

In a bid to broaden its appeal in the fast-growing deep packet inspection (DPI) and fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) markets, Continuous Computing Corp. announced new functionalities and partnerships related to its FlexTCA family of AdvancedTCA products.

The company also announced its first FlexTCA customer, as takeup of ATCA platforms continues to take hold in the telecom equipment market.

On the DPI angle, Continuous Computing is announcing today that it's added load balancing to the FlexPacket ATCA-PP50 blades for 10-Gbit/s Ethernet. That allows equipment manufacturers to "take traffic from the network and distribute it across blades at the highest bandwidth possible," says Continuous Computing CTO Mike Coward.

The company is also announcing a partnership with Qosmos , which plans to offer its Qoala Information Extraction and DPI software platform on FlexTCA.

It's all part of the carriers' drive to move more intelligence into their networks, according to Coward.

"Carriers are building more intelligence into the network to keep from clogging the core of the network," he says. "They're being built on the idea that bandwidth is going up very quickly and the days of wanting to buy one appliance for every security threat are over."

Continuous and Qosmos aren't alone in considering the marriage of ready-made blades with this level of packet processing. Earlier this month, DPI vendor CloudShield Technologies Inc. announced a partnership with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) to port DPI technology onto blades for the IBM BladeCenter chassis, a rival to ATCA. (See CloudShield, IBM Partner.)

And Radisys Corp. (Nasdaq: RSYS), while it hasn't announced any DPI powers, has high-layer features on its mind. "We're continually looking at capabilities like DPI," says Todd Etchison, a RadiSys VP of product management. "There are opportunities for us to deliver more and more of the functionality going up to the application."

In addition to its DPI news, Continuous Computing is teaming up with Picochip in the oh-so-hot femtocell market. The collaboration will combine Continuous Computing's Trillium software with picoChip's PC2808 software and PC202 picoArray processor.

The picoChip partnership builds on enhancements Continuous Computing recently made to Trillium with femtocells in mind. That includes support for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) functionality in alignment with 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Release 7 standards. (See Continuous Updates HSPA, Femtos.)

As for that first FlexTCA customer, it's Mavenir Systems Inc. that will use FlexTCA as the basis of its mOne mobile convergence platform.

Continuous Computing introduced FlexTCA products in October, aiming to bring a more applications-oriented focus to ATCA. Of course, it's still hammering away at the ATCA promise of making telecom equipment development faster and cheaper by creating a baseline of standards for the gear. (See Continuous Unveils FlexTCA and Whatever Happened to ATCA?)

"The significance is not so much what it does. The significance is that ATCA allows smaller or startup companies in the industry to produce or bring out network-based products very rapidly," says In-Stat analyst Keith Nissen.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading

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