The NFP-6000 family of chips can be used standalone on a line card, a contrast to Netronome's other network processors, which are meant to run alongside a separate control-plane processor. The chips are being built by Intel, using the company's 22-nanometer manufacturing process. (For the uninitiated: It's appropriate to drool over that part.)
By "200Gbit/s," Netronome means the chip can process two 100Gbit/s Ethernet ports' worth of traffic, and the company expects that level of performance will expand its available market. Packet-optical transport systems (P-OTS) are one possibility.
A few numbers to toss about: The chip can do 256Gbit/s of processing, Netronome says, and includes a 12 Tbit/s internal fabric. One hundred twenty cores inside the chip do stateful Layer 2-through-7 processing, and another 96 target packet processing and classification.
Why this matters
Netronome might not be as well known as its competitors, at least in financial circles, but it commands the largest network-processor franchise created to date -- the Intel NXP line, which Netronome acquired and has been continuing.
So, Netronome has a sizable market base that's already familiar with programming its chips. While EZchip and Marvell had already been courting 100Gbit/s designs, and Broadcom recently came out with a chip at that level, too, so the competition is running high.
Netronome will be presenting details of its chip at a carrier-technology conference put on by The Linley Group .
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— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading