A recent blog post on NEI's website does a good job explaining Intel’s (News - Alert) newest Sandy Bridge microarchitecture optimized for communications applications.
The robust solution will require that ISVs and OEMs update not only their software, but the hardware platforms on which they run, as well. Should you do that and is it worth it?
According to NEI, it used to be the case that general purpose microprocessors were pretty much kept within the confines of the control plane, while components like Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, Field-Programmable Gate Arrays, and various accelerator cards handled packet processing in the data plane.
Nowadays, however, with Intel processors having what it takes to replace many of the network processors used in today's enterprise and carrier-class servers, pre-integrated server application software is also changing.
Okay, what is Sandy Bridge, exactly? Sandy Bridge is an architecture with cores built for speed, providing up to 17 percent more CPU processing capability than past Intel processors.
Spelling out exactly what apps benefit from Sandy Bridge, the blog post ticks off a nice laundry list of telecom platform deployment advantages such as increased CPU processing, memory and I/O performance, and the fact that it is geared towards reducing bottlenecks for apps that require real-time data rates.
Additionally, the architecture can be leveraged by video, multimedia and telecom app developers to deploy more powerful and efficient app platforms and scalable port densities. Server-based apps that will benefit greatly from Sandy Bridge are packet processing, image processing, security "and a host of high-speed (40 Gb/sec) networking platforms," the NEI (News - Alert) blog points out.
A year ago, TMCnet had the news that Intel unveiled the first iteration of the Sandy Bridge architecture at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "The architecture links the components that form the computer's brain," TMC (News - Alert) reported at the time, adding that the unveiling included 29 processors that relied on the Sandy Bridge architecture, broken down into 15 processors for laptops and 14 processors for PCs. The new architecture was designed to be installed in all standard computer products lines (Core i3/i5/i7), and probably in servers as well in the future.
"It was clear to all of us that the new thing we developed at Haifa was something completely different," said Shlomit Weiss at the time. Weiss is the architect of Sandy Bridge, whose development she oversaw at Intel Israel Ltd. over more than four years.
Edited by Jamie Epstein