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Advantech Introduces Record Density DSP ATCA Blade


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April 16, 2010

Advantech Introduces Record Density DSP ATCA Blade

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Advantech, a global manufacturer of telecom computing blades and multicore network platforms, has announced a new addition to its growing ATCA product range with the introduction of its MIC-5701E ATCA DSP blade (previously codenamed Tomcat) based on Texas Instruments' TMS320TCI6486 6-core DSP.

Officials with Advantech (News - Alert) said that the blade is the first in a series of Advantech DSP products, which reach exceptional levels of performance density for high-capacity infrastructure applications.

Company officials said that mindful of the platform economics faced by telecom equipment manufacturers and network equipment providers around the world, the blade significantly reduces overall system cost, board space and power dissipation.

According to company officials, with a design concept focused on breaking new ground in density and cost, the MIC-5701E's DSP Farm unleashes the performance necessary for state-of-the-art video processing in addition to high port count voice processing.

"This reduces development costs for OEMs looking to add video processing solutions to their voice offerings on a common ATCA blade and allows purchasing and inventorycosts to be trimmed through product reuse," said Eddie Lai, director of business development at Advantech's Networks and Telecom Group, in a statement.

Lai said that overall return on investment can be notably improved through balanced product deployment across multiple applications. The MIC-5701E blade, company officials said, is designed for use in network elements such as high density media servers or media gateways in 3G and 4G LTE applications.

New growth areas being addressed with the blade include video conferencing, telepresence and IPTV (News - Alert) streaming.

TI's TMS320TCI6486 DSP is a 6-core device with large on-chip shared memory, a DDR2 interface and Serial RapidIO for inter-DSP communications.

Gigabit Ethernet is embedded for native connectivity to IP-based systems. The chip is ideal for high density transcoding in mobile video distribution systems.

"Working with Advantech, we're breaking new ground in multicore technology to provide the computationally advanced capabilities that leading network OEMs need for next-generation service solutions," said Rajesh Pal, strategic marketing manager, TI.

Pal said that customers will truly benefit from being able to deploy both video and voice applications on the same platform and responding to the huge bandwidth increases operators need to handle.

Company officials said that the Advantech blade includes a high-performance Freescale QorIQ P2020 processor managing a Broadcom (News - Alert) BCM56334 switch which terminates the 10 gigabit Ethernet fabric connections and distributes traffic to the twenty-two DSPs giving the MIC-5701E blade unrivaled packet and media processing capabilities.

DSP software support is available through TI's Telogy Networks framework and codecs, as well as from leading Advantech Ecosystem Alliance software partner ENEA.

Enea (News - Alert) provides a comprehensive suite of optimized multicore support for TI DSPs, including their ENEA OSEck RTOS, the ENEA LINX scalable and reliable messaging layer, plus ENEA dSPEED data plane management framework, as well as other runtime and development tools support.

"We are excited to be working with Advantech and TI as this innovative and compelling new multicore DSP ATCA blade is rolled out to customers in the market," said Robert Monkman, director of strategic alliances at ENEA.

Monkman said that Enea is leading the field in innovative multicore DSP software solutions, which offer unique benefits to mutual customers in terms of accelerated deployment, efficient platform software for distributed applications and enhanced manage ability in the network.

Anil Sharma is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anil's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Marisa Torrieri

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