HILLSBORO, Ore., April 19, 1999 - Intel Corporation today announced
that it will offer network processor components designed to enable new features and
services to be added quickly and economically to multi-protocol enterprise- and service
provider-class switches, routers and access concentrators. These software-programmable
forwarding and control engines will be designed to help data and telecommunications
equipment vendors to more quickly incorporate rapidly evolving technologies and reduce
development costs, risk and time to market.
"This is the next significant step in Intel's strategy to be the leading supplier
of communications building blocks," said Mark Christensen, vice
president and general manager of Intel's Network Communications Group. "Product life
cycles are measured in 'Internet time.' The use of network processors will enable data and
telecommunications equipment vendors to develop differentiated, cutting-edge solutions in
parallel with market demands."
Intel's network processors will be designed to help equipment vendors solve the
critical challenge of providing differentiated services and customized new products for
their customers, while keeping pace with the rapidly changing Internet environment. Using
the software-programmable network processors, vendors can add unique, value-added features
to their products well into the development cycle or after those products have been
shipped. In contrast, vendors using traditional ASIC - or fixed-function - technology must
lock down feature sets 12 to 18 months before a product release date.
Software Development Environment
Intel will provide a host of software development tools for its network processors to
facilitate product design and to enable equipment suppliers to provide post-sale product
upgrades for their customers. For example, a vendor may supply high-density ATM
(asynchronous transfer mode) or Gigabit Ethernet chassis-based switches to their customers
today and later provide new wire-speed voice, video and data services simply by
reprogramming the network processor. This feature helps network and communications
equipment vendors extend the value and life of their products, and accommodate the longer
depreciation schedules set by these types of customers.
Intel will announce specific product offerings later this year. Some of the advanced
capabilities Intel plans to offer include: wire-speed multi-protocol support for LAN
(local area network) and WAN (wide area network) integration, sophisticated QoS (quality
of service) support to help provide reliable Voice over IP transmission, and high-speed
evaluation of QoS tags to help enhance Policy Based Network Management.
Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer,
networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at