June 18, 2008

New Silicon From Fulcrum Microsystems Brings Telecom Enhancements to 10-Gigabit Ethernet Carrier Market

Fulcrum Microsystems today announced a new generation of its industry-leading FocalPoint family of 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch/router chips, the FocalPoint FM3000 series. The series contains the lossless fabric and security features that help telecommunications equipment manufacturers build service-embedded infrastructure switches for next-generation network deployments.

The FM3000 series of switch devices will be on display along with all other Fulcrum Microsystems products at NXTcomm08 in Las Vegas at Fulcrum's booth #SL5409. Fulcrum will have an additional presence at the show as a part of the PICMG Technologies Showcase at SL5909EE.

The service provider network is increasingly resembling that of a large enterprise data center as they shift to an IP-based network and expand server and storage farms to deliver data services ranging from IPTV to "cloud computing" to email to data security and others. This service-embedded infrastructure is facilitated by the lossless backplane fabric enabled by the FocalPoint FM3000 series and is the foundation for low-latency packet communication between multiple service-processing blades in a Next Generation telecom switch or server chassis.

The FM3000 series of L2+ switches features a variety of port configurations - up to 24 non-blocking 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) ports. The devices have a shared memory, output-queued architecture that makes efficient use of frame memory and enables fully provisioned multicast replication. A sophisticated set of congestion and traffic management mechanisms including class-based pause, link-level flow control and congestion notification enable lossless data transmissions while maintaining ultra-low (300ns) latency. A built-in policy engine allows designers to establish fully configurable access control lists and other types of policy-based frame forwarding - all of which can operate at full line rate with no performance degradation.

Additionally, this latest generation of switches couples the ultra-low latency with highly efficient load balancing through Pearson's-based hashing to enable extensible "fat-tree" architectures to be built within a chassis.

"With the advanced flow control and congestion management features in the FocalPoint family of devices, the Carrier Ethernet market is a logical next step for expansion of our switch/router devices," said Bud Noren, Senior Product Manager for Fulcrum Microsystems. "The FM3000 series silicon offers carrier switch manufacturers the functionality they need in order to architect cost-effective systems in which 10G Ethernet is the fabric of choice for backplane interconnect rather than proprietary, cell-based fabrics that have predominated in the past."

This latest FocalPoint chip family offers a host of features that specifically target the growing market for Ethernet-based telecommunications infrastructure. Continuous Computing, global provider of integrated systems and services that enable telecom equipment manufacturers to rapidly deploy Next Generation Networks (NGN), has chosen the FocalPoint FM3000 series for its FlexCore ATCA-FM40 base / fabric switch blade. Continuous Computing's FM40 provides full 10GE line-rate switching for 16 slots and eight external links with a 240 Gbps non-blocking fabric switch. The backplane interface supports 10GE links for applications demanding maximum performance, but is also backward compatible with GE links for legacy products.

"With the popularity of cost-effective, standards-based architectures like ATCA, we see the market continuing to move toward 10G Ethernet in the backplane for next generation wireless and security markets," said Manish Singh, Vice President of Product Line Management at Continuous Computing. "The advanced traffic management and load balancing features along with the low latency of the FocalPoint devices have enabled us to build a product family of Ethernet-based blades that make us a leader in Carrier Ethernet architectures. Combined with our Fulcrum-enabled FlexPacket ATCA-PP50 packet processing blade, we now have the ability to tightly integrate various deep packet inspection (DPI), security platform, and wireless edge aggregation devices in seamless, high bandwidth architectures which were previously unavailable."

These new chips fill the gap between the FM4000 L2/3/4 switch/router series and the FM2000 L2 switch series by adding L2+ functionality but maintaining the industry-leading low latency that is the hallmark of the FocalPoint family. Part numbers and port counts for the FM3000 series devices are as follows:

-- FM3224: 24 10G XAUI ports

-- FM3212: 12 10G XAUI ports

-- FM3208: 8 10G XAUI ports

-- FM3112: 8 10G XAUI ports; 16 2.5G/1G SGMII ports

-- FM3104: 2 10G XAUI ports; 8 2.5G/1G SGMII ports

-- FM3103: 2 10G XAUI ports; 4 2.5G/1G SGMII ports

-- FM3410: 8 10G XAUI ports; 10 2.5G/1G SGMII ports

Pricing and Availability

FM3000 series switch chips are available immediately at a price of approximately $21 per port. For more information on all FocalPoint products, visit www.fulcrummicro.com.

About Continuous Computing

Continuous Computing(R) provides integrated systems and services that enable telecom equipment manufacturers to rapidly deploy Next Generation Networks (NGN). More than 150 customers worldwide benefit from the company's unique blend of customized professional services, Trillium(R) protocol software, AdvancedTCA and CompactPCI systems, and BladeCenter hardware. Continuous Computing helps customers reduce platform lifecycle costs, optimize data delivery, and accelerate deployments of NGN, 3G Wireless, and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) infrastructure. The company is ISO-9001 and CMMI certified and is based in San Diego with development centers in China and India. For more information, visit www.ccpu.com.

About Fulcrum Microsystems

Fulcrum Microsystems Inc. is a fabless semiconductor company that has developed the FocalPoint family of 10-Gigabit Ethernet switch/router chips for next-generation data center fabric designs. FocalPoint devices offer the industry's lowest latency, fine-grained flow control and high throughput. Combined with its ControlPoint network OS, Fulcrum offers a complete solution along with a worldwide ecosystem of partners from the storage and clustering environments to drive adoption of 10G Ethernet as the fabric of choice for a fully converged data center. More information can be found at www.fulcrummicro.com.