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Apr 7, 2012

Intel Agrees to Make Netronome's Next Flow Processors

As Intel prepares to formally launch its Ivy Bridge CPUs (on April 23), the company is also offering the services of its manufacturing plants to other companies, like Netronome.

According to the latter's latest press release, Intel has agreed to produce its next-generation flow processors, the first ones to use the 3D Tri-Gate transistor technology.

To paraphrase Netronome's statements, network and security applications will be able to work much better, enough to “shatter system benchmarks.”

“Intel’s 3-D Tri-Gate transistor technology and 22nm manufacturing process provides significant benefits over legacy planar designs,” said Jim Finnegan, senior vice president of engineering at Netronome. 

“As a result, our next generation flow processors will be several generations ahead of other communications processors, allowing Netronome to deliver up to 10-times the performance with more than triple the energy efficiency.”

The deal with Intel brings development cost reductions, better product functionality and faster time to market to Netronome's flow processors (NFP).

“Access to the Intel Custom Foundry is a key differentiator for Netronome and enables them to take advantage of the industry-leading performance and power efficiency of Intel's 22nm 3-D Tri-Gate technology,” said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at The Linley Group.

As for what these NFPs actually do, they perform packet processing, deep packet inspection, security processing and I/O virtualization for millions of simultaneous stateful flows. High-end networks with speeds of up to 100 Gbps will have a field day with them.

"Intel is delighted to provide Netronome with access to its leading edge 3-D Tri-Gate 22nm technology and integrated supply chain,” said Sunit Rikhi, vice president of the technology and manufacturing group at Intel. 

“While working with Netronome during the product design cycle to co-optimize its flow processors and our foundry offerings, it was clear that Intel’s 22nm silicon technology and design infrastructure are a significant value-fit with Netronome’s products.”


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