100 Gbps full duplex network processor

April 24, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
A range of 100 Gbps full duplex network processor unit (NPU) ICs from Broadcom, the fully programmable BCM88030 family features 64 custom processors running at 1 GHz, delivering more than twice the throughput of any NPU on the market.

With a high level of integration, the BCM88030 eliminates costly external components, dramatically reducing system cost and power by up to 80 percent per 10GbE port.

Analysts estimate a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 170 percent from 2011 to 2016 for 100G Ethernet ports as service providers rush to meet the demand for content viewed on mobile devices such as streaming video and application downloads.

Built on the XGS Core packet processing architecture, the BCM88030 family uses high-speed processors, extensive multi-threading and hardware acceleration for functions such as packet parsing, classification and look-ups, the BCM88030 provides 100GbE full duplex capability for complex service provider switching and routing requirements. With a robust software development environment, the BCM88030 family is completely user programmable, enabling a highly flexible forwarding solution that ensures support for the most demanding applications, both existing and future.

The family includes a proprietary algorithmic look up engine using low cost DDR-3 DRAM that enables massive scale for Layer 2, IPv4 and IPv6 tables while significantly reducing system cost. Algorithmic on-chip access control list (ACL) capability is available along with seamless expansion using Broadcom's NL566xx knowledge based processor (KBP).

With a fully programmable forwarding architecture, the BCM88030 family allows network operators to reduce CAPEX by adapting to emerging protocols without the costly redeployment of network equipment.

The BCM88030 family consists of three devices, including the 100 Gbps BCM88038 NPU, the 50 Gbps BCM88034 NPU and the BCM88032 24 Gbps NPU. All devices are now sampling with production volume slated for the second half of 2012.