Broadcom First with 100GbE Duplex NPUApril 30, 2012
Author: Jag Bolaria
Last week, Broadcom announced the first 100Gbps full-duplex NPU, which the company has been sampling since 1Q12. The BCM88030 family consists of the BCM88038 100Gbps full-duplex NPU, a 50Gbps NPU, and a 24Gbps NPU. These NPUs target applications in Carrier Ethernet Switch/Routers (CESR), IP/MPLS routers, and packet-transport networks. Broadcom has enabled customer programmability by providing a Microcode Development Environment, which includes an editor, assembler, simulator, and debugger.
The BCM88030 performs packet classification, policing, and forwarding functions. The NPU supports IPv4 and IPv6 routing, ACLs, and MPLS/VPLS without an external search engine. It includes an algorithmic lookup engine that can support a limited number of MAC and IP entries with the on chip memory and millions of entries using external SDRAM. For greater flexibility and ACL expansion, customers can use Broadcom’s NL566xx knowledge-based processors (KBP).
The BCM88038 can be configured for 48xGbE ports, 12x10GbE ports, 3x40GbE ports or a single 100GbE port. The NPU connects directly to optical modules on the line side. System designers can use the NPU in combination with Broadcom Ethernet switches or the company’s former-Dune fabric for designs ranging from broadband aggregation to to highly scalable routers. Manufactured in 40nm technology, the BCM88030 family should be qualified for production in 4Q12.
With the BCM88038, Broadcom overtakes EZchip for the highest throughput merchant NPU. Broadcom combines this leading packet processing capacity with a breadth of networking products that are unmatched in the industry. The company’s market presence provides immediate access to design opportunities for the NPU. Because of the market lead previously established by EZchip and Marvell (formerly Xelerated), however, it may take time for Broadcom to build volume shipments for its newest NPU.