Sunday, May 15, 2005

Raza Microelectronics Unveils its High Performance Networking Silicon

Raza Microelectronics (RMI), a start-up based in Cupertino, California, unveiled two high-performance silicon product families for networking gear aimed at the enterprise and access markets.

RMI's XLR Thread Processor, which incorporates 333 million transistors on 90nm CMOS technology, is a general purpose processor designed for network appliances, such as advanced firewalls, IDS, VPN boxes, intelligent switches and other edge applications. Significantly, the chip incorporates 8 MIPS64 CPU cores at up to 1.5GHz, each with 4 threads. This enables a single device to run 32 simultaneous instances of Linux. To support its high-performance threaded architecture, the XLR processor incorporates large Level-2 caches, full speed high throughput interconnects, networking accelerators, security acceleration and an interchip messaging complex. In addition, the processor eliminates the bottlenecks of older shared bus architectures by using point-to-point interconnects that scale in frequency and throughput. RMI said it was able to run 32-way Linux within three days of initial silicon.

RMI's Orion Intelligent Access Processor, which utilizes 180 million transistors on 130nm CMOS technology, is positioned as a "line-card on a chip." The integrated Orion chip is designed to serve as a Packet Processor Engine, a Traffic Management Engine, and a SONET/SDH Processor Engine. By combining Ethernet/MPLS/VPLS packet processing with next-gen SONET/SDH capabilities, the device could be used in range of network aggregation platforms, including customer-located equipment (CLEs or pizza boxes), micro-MSPPs, and Ethernet/MPLS line cards in IP DSLAMs. The design leverages Ethernet as a universal client interface while providing simultaneous support for legacy T1/E1 or T3/E3 delivered services.

Orion's packet processor is based on a unique flow-based architecture. For each of the flows that Orion processes, it performs dual bucket policing, random early discard (RED), advanced flow scheduling and shaping, and the packet editing functions required for Q-in-Q, PWE and VPLS network architectures. Orion's virtual switch service instances enable a point-to-multipoint service, with up to 256 "logical ports" (i.e., VCGs, Ethernet ports, etc.) per instance. Orion isolates the system resources (i.e., MAC table, Buffer memory, network bandwidth, etc.) required to guarantee SLA delivery.

On the SONET/SDH side, the Orion family supports mixed high-order and low-order Virtual Concatenation with Link Capacity Adjustment Scheme (LCAS). With support for the industry's largest number of Virtual Concatenation groups and a fully featured HO/LO cross-connect, Orion's SONET/SDH functionality provides greater flexibility and service generating capacity than any other solution in the marketplace.

Both products are currently sampling to customers. TSMC is the company's foundry partner.

RMI was initially funded by Benchmark Capital and Warburg Pincus.

  • Raza Microelectronics was founded by Atiq Raza, who is also the founder, chairman and CEO of Foundries Holdings, Inc. (formerly Raza Foundries). Previously, Mr. Raza was President and COO of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD). At AMD, . Raza oversaw the development of AMD's processor roadmap and brought the AMD-K6 and Athlon family of processor products to the market. Before that, he headed NexGen, which was acquired by AMD in January 1996.

  • In August 2003, Raza Microelectronics acquired SandCraft, which designed high-performance MIPS64 microprocessors for the communications, network storage and office automation markets.


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