Broadcom’s 28nm Technology: Greater performance and less power consumption is only the beginning

When Broadcom unveils innovative new technologies, such as today’s introduction of the world’s first 28-nanometer multicore communications processor, it’s easy to focus on the major benefits. Consider that the technology performs up to 400 percent faster but consumes up to 60 percent less power and is optimized for service providers, enterprise data centers and cloud computing, as well as software defined networking environments.Broadcom is getting ready for 28nm chips

Those are all great talking points – but Broadcom’s new XLP 200-Series  is about so much more. For the company itself, the announcement marks Broadcom’s successful integration of NetLogic Microsystems’ technologies while expanding the addressable market within the $3 billion communications processor market.

More importantly, for end-users – the network administrators and IT experts – the technology that Broadcom now offers zeroes in on a subject that’s been top of mind lately: Security. Protecting the network is always mission critical, but in recent days, the subject has grabbed headlines as cloud providers, social networking sites and retail banks struggle to fend off malicious cyber-attacks on their websites.

The XLP 200-Series is the first multicore communications processor that includes on-chip security features that gives network managers the power to thoroughly inspect, encrypt, authenticate and secure Internet traffic at wire speeds.  This translates into the ability to better protect enterprise, data center and cloud networks from malware and intrusion threats at the packet level.

Key integrated security features include:

  • a grammar processing engine that parses through data packets by fields, protocols or positions and assigns each parsed content to the appropriate database.
  • a fourth generation regular expression (RegEx) search engine, which searches packet content against a large database of security threats.
  • a broad range of autonomous encryption and authentication processing engines to deliver comprehensive Layer 7 deep-packet inspection (DPI) capabilities.
  • complete offload of the compute-intensive security functions from the CPU cores.

While the technology may be advanced, the premise is simple: Network administrators no longer have trade off between network speeds and the throughoughness of security inspection, which tends to slow down network throughput without the right set of security hardware acceleration. Because data can now be secured at every node of the network, administrators have the ability to protect and parse every bit in every packet of data at wire speeds, without having to compromise on security performance.

That’s a pretty big deal in a world where network security threats is always top of mind.

Still, security is only one piece of a larger offering here. The series features a Best-in-class processor core that features quad-issue, quad-threading and out-of-order execution running at 2GHz. It also offers a low-latency, high-speed Fast Messaging Network system that allows for non-intrusive internal communication and control messaging among NXCPUs, acceleration engines and input/output.

Read more about the XLP-200 Series.



About the Author

Tamara Snowden is Senior Manager of Product Communications for the Infrastructure & Networking Group at Broadcom. She leads global communications activities for all things networking and Ethernet… More