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A Guide to Network Processors

15th Edition

To be Published December 2014
Order by December 30 and take $300 off the list price

Authors: Bob Wheeler and Loring Wirbel

Single License: $3,995 (single copy, one user)
Corporate License: $5,995

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The Definitive Report on Network Processing

NPUs have become a critical ingredient of carrier-equipment designs. These chips appear in designs from leading OEMs spanning many applications from wireless backhaul to Carrier-Ethernet switch/routers. This broad adoption has created a merchant market that exceeded $300 million in 2013, large enough to sustain multiple vendors. Following years of market growth and vendor consolidation, only a single NPU startup remains, while all other active vendors are public companies.

Metro-class NPUs are scaling to 200Gbps and beyond to support high-density line cards and 100G Ethernet. Some remain focused on Layer 2/3 forwarding, whereas others are addressing flow processing at Layers 4 through 7. Access infrastructure is migrating to Ethernet and IP backhaul while data rates for both wireline and wireless networks continue to climb. These factors are driving the need for new access NPUs with throughputs of 10Gbps or more. A "Guide to Network Processors" provides a single comprehensive report covering NPUs spanning data rates from 10Gbps to 400Gbps.

This report covers customer-programmable NPUs for access and Carrier Ethernet designs, including: Broadcom’s XGS Core and Dune lines, EZchip’s NP and NPS lines, Netronome's NFP, Marvell’s (Xelerated's) HX and AX lines, and PMC-Sierra’s (Wintegra's) WinPath. This report also includes coverage of search coprocessors, such as Broadcom’s (NetLogic’s) KBP products, Cavium’s Neuron Search, and Marvell’s Questflo, which are often used with high-end NPUs.

Only The Linley Group follows this market closely enough to give you the complete picture. Which vendors are in this business for the long haul? How do the latest products stack up? What is the market outlook for merchant NPUs? "A Guide to Network Processors" is the result more than a decade of research that cannot be duplicated. If you are interested in following this strategic standard-product segment, you have located the definitive source.

Get Facts, Not Fiction

This report cuts through the vendor hype and gives you the solid information you need to understand this market. "A Guide to Network Processors" analyzes each vendor and each product, probes their strengths and weaknesses, then presents key details in a consistent, easy to compare fashion. For those less familiar with this combination of networking and CPU design, the report includes several introductory chapters that define and describe basic concepts and key technologies.

The Linley Group is the most recognized and respected name for technology and market analysis of network processors. Don't be fooled by weak overviews written by market analysts who really don't understand how a network processor works. The "Guide" provides a unique combination of business and technology savvy from the leading analysts in this market. Bob Wheeler and Loring Wirbel use their long experience in the networking world to analyze these devices. Together, the two authors ignore the fiction and provide the real story on each NPU vendor and its products.

Don't miss the latest information on this important market. Order now.

This report is written for:

  • Engineers who are designing carrier-networking equipment and need to select a network processor (NPU)
  • Network architects at carriers and service providers who need to get up to speed on this technology
  • Marketing and engineering staff at companies that sell NPU products or partner with NPU vendors
  • Technology professionals who wish an introduction to carrier-networking and network processors
  • Financial analysts who desire a detailed analysis and comparison of NPU companies and their chances of success
  • Universities and research institutes that need a vendor-neutral introduction to this market and technology

What's New in This Edition

Updates to the 15th Edition of "A Guide to Network Processors"

"A Guide to Network Processors" has been extensively updated to include the latest disclosures from NPU vendors as well as 2013 market data.

Here are some of the many changes you will find:

  • New quantitative market data, including:
    • Preliminary NPU vendor market shares for 2014
    • Preliminary search coprocessor vendor market shares for 2014
    • Revised forecasts for merchant NPUs and search coprocessors through 2018
  • Coverage of Marvell’s new Sharpnose NPUs and Questflo search coprocessor
  • Coverage of new Renesas 80Mb TCAM
  • Extensive updates to company-background information, roadmaps, and analysis for major NPU vendors
  • Revised and updated tutorials
List of Figures
List of Tables
About the Authors
About the Publisher
Preface
Executive Summary
1 Introduction to Carrier Networks
Network Types and Topologies
Equipment Types
2 Carrier-Network Technology
Network Layers and the OSI Model
Network Protocol Details
Carrier Ethernet Services
Packet-Processing Pipeline
Network and I/O Interfaces
3 Network Processors
What Is a Network Processor?
What Is Not a Network Processor?
NPU Common Characteristics
Search Coprocessors
4 Market Size and Trends
NPU Market Size and Segmentation
NPU Market Share by Vendor
NPU Market Forecast
Search-Coprocessor Market Share and Forecast
Market and Technology Trends
5 Broadcom
Company Background
NPU Key Features and Performance
Search Coprocessor (KBP) Key Features and Performance
NPU Design Details
Search Coprocessor Design Details
System Design
Product Roadmap
Conclusions
6 EZchip
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
Conclusions
7 Marvell (Xelerated)
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
Conclusions
8 Netronome
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Product Roadmap
Conclusions
9 PMC-Sierra (Wintegra)
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Internal Architecture
System Design
Development Tools
Conclusions
10 Search-Coprocessor Vendors
Cavium (Neuron Search)
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Conclusions
XeL Technology
Company Background
Key Features and Performance
Conclusions
Renesas
11 Legacy NPU Vendors
AppliedMicro
Intel (including LSI)
12 Comparing NPUs
40Gbps-and-Below NPUs
Key Differentiators
100Gbps-and-Above NPUs
Key Differentiators
13 Conclusions
Vendor Outlook
Closing Thoughts
Appendix: Further Reading
Index