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GE Enhances A10200 Single Board Computer with Intel Xeon Processor 5600 Technology


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March 18, 2010

GE Enhances A10200 Single Board Computer with Intel Xeon Processor 5600 Technology

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

GE Intelligent Platforms (News - Alert)announced that its recently released A10200 AdvancedTCA single board computer will now be offered with the option of the latest Intel Xeon processor 5600 series.


On March 16 Intel unveiled theIntel Xeon processor 5600 series, formerly codenamed Westmere-EP, with new security features -- Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions or “Intel AES-NI,” and Intel Trusted Execution Technology or “Intel TXT” --  that allow for faster encryption and decryption performance for more secure transactions and virtualized environments, providing data centers with a stronger foundation for cloud security.


Intel’s innovative technology provides the dual processor A10200 with up to six cores and 12 Mbytes of L3 cache for each CPU, enabling a processing performance improvement of up to 50 percent compared with the dual Intel Xeon processor 5500-based version of the A10200, the company said.


Juergen Eder, director, Product Management, IPC & SBCs at GE Intelligent Platforms, said A10200 offers the compelling price/performance advantage that meets the need of telecom applications, which are among the most demanding from a performance perspective.


A complement to GE's extensive and growing family of AdvancedTCA products, the A10200 is designed for telecommunications networks where it will enable significantly faster network performance than that offered by the current generation of ATCA boards, company officials said.


Typical applications of A10200 include Control Plane functions for Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access or “WiMAX”, Long Term Evolution or “LTE (News - Alert)” and Next Generation Networks or “NGN,” they added.


Intel Xeon processor, which uses 32nm process technology, gives the industry the ability to deliver more performance in the same power envelope, says Frank Schapfel, product line marketing manager, Intel Performance Products Division. “Since the Intel Xeon processor 5600 series is socket compatible with the previous generation 5500 series, customers can easily upgrade to deliver more application performance, without a system redesign.”

The A10200 is an ideal complement to the AT2-5800 packet processor blade. Together, these two products provide a complete Control Plane and Data Plane processing solution, ideal for applications such as Session Border Controllers or “SBC,” the company said.


Within the ATCA chassis, both blades can communicate via high speed, redundant dual 10GbE and dual 1GbE networks, each of them handling the processing functions for which they are best suited and optimizing the performance of the complete system.

Further, A10200 is provided with 64 GBytes of memory that allows storing larger routing tables in main memory. It reduces the number of time-consuming routing table swaps between main memory and the database because needed routing information is missing, and contributes to much increased system productivity.

A10200 also supports multiple Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, making it easy and cost-effective to integrate within a network, company officials said. A Gigabit Ethernet maintenance port is also provided for fast, reliable, cost-effective remote management and trouble-shooting.


The A10200 features the new Intel 82599 10 Gigabit Ethernet Controller, which includes a new 40 Gigabits/second PCI (News - Alert) Express interface and the ability to deliver up to a 250 percent improvement in network throughput. This Ethernet controller also has sophisticated load-sharing features that enables much higher data throughput due to parallel processing and is very valuable for systems using virtualization.

Connectivity is provided by four USB 2.0 ports, a COM port and an IPMC console port, making the A10200 exceptionally flexible and easy to configure, company officials said. An accompanying TMS102 rear transitional module provides rear access two 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet interfaces, two USB 2.0 interfaces, eight general purpose I/O ports and two on-board SAS (News - Alert) hard disk drives.


Additional features include a Serial Attached SCSI or “SAS” controller with redundant array of inexpensive disks or “RAID” features, further offloading the processor cores from mundane processing and making an important contribution to overall system throughput.


The software package provided with the A10200 includes standard BIOS, device driver, and the hardware initialization resources required to support Linux environments. An optional run-time Built-In Test or “BIT” application package will also be available, the company said.

The A10200 is defined for deployment in NEBS office environments. It is PICMG (News - Alert) 3.1 and PICMG 3.0 compliant.


Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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