GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms (GE Fanuc), a unit of GE Enterprise Solutions, has introduced a new high performance WANic 56511 and WANic 56512 packet processors. Designed to allow customers to respond rapidly-increasing network traffic loads due to growth in the use of search engines, cloud computing, mobile devices, Web 2.0 and online gaming, the new processors offload processing from the host system, allowing for more cost-effective, higher performance expansion of capacity.

Target customers include system design engineers, system architects and product managers building networked communications systems based on the PCI Express architecture who need secure IP communications and 10Gb Ethernet packet processing for commercial, telecommunications, and defense applications.

“The WANic 56511 and 56512 are the first and, at this time, the only products of this type available today: no competing product offers comparable price/performance in complex, demanding network applications,” said Rubin Dhillon, communications product manager at GE Fanuc Intelligent Platforms. “They will allow our customers to design and build network devices more easily, at lower cost and with quicker time to revenue, and with the opportunity to add value through scalable functionality.”

“As networks expand, become larger, and more complex our customers are looking to add 10Gbit Ethernet interfaces to their communications systems,” continued Dhillon. “However, this places an additional processing burden on those systems. The WANic 56511 and 56512 are designed to offload the network processing in a communications appliance or server. Execution of traffic shaping, security algorithms, compression, encryption and so on are performed by the WANic packet processors prior to the network traffic reaching the server – and thus represent a very cost-effective alternative to upgrading server host processors.”

The WANic 56511 and 56512 are the first PCI Express packet processors to feature the OCTEON Plus CN5650 12-core 750MHz processor from Cavium Networks and 10Gb Ethernet interfaces, , enabling them to deliver outstanding performance at minimum cost. The WANic 56511 has one 10Gb Ethernet interface, an eight lane PCI Express host interface, and a 12-core, 750MHz OCTEON Plus processor. The WANic 56512 (available Q2 2009) has two 10Gb Ethernet interfaces, four-lanes of PCI Express to the host, and a 12-core, 750MHz processor.

Other key features of the WANic 56511 and 56512 include up to 4GBytes of DDR2 SDRAM packet memory and up to 4GBytes of Flash disk, providing the fast storage necessary for optimum throughput. A fully-featured software development package provides comprehensive Power On Self Test (POST) firmware embedded in the hardware, while a Linux™ Support Package (LSP) and sample application code allow customers to shorten development times and thus minimize time to revenue. Both products are designed for enterprise and NEBS compliant telecom class applications.

Packet processing is becoming a critical element in the packet dependent applications that are at the heart of today’s networks – applications such as Session Border Controllers, Secure Access (IPsec), Firewalls, Network Address Translation (NAT), Traffic Management, router/switch, and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and lawful intercept.

Packet processing is the act of data identification, inspection, extraction, manipulation or otherwise accessing the elements of a data packet. Its purpose is to gather statistics, interpret data, provide secure communications, perform traffic shaping and routing. Simplified, it is a pre-defined action based on the contents of the packet. Packet processors like the WANic 56511 and 56512 offer several advantages over traditional network processors for processing data packets because the hardware is tailored for packet movement. GE Fanuc offers the industry’s broadest range of packet processors, including PCI-X, PCI Express, AdvancedMC and AdvancedTCA blade form factors to meet customer application requirements.