Intel Corporation introduced the Intel Pentium M processor for communications applications, providing an optimal combination of higher compute performance, power management and overall lowerpower for use in ultra-dense modular communications equipment. The architectural features in the processor are well suited for communications, helping to speed the processing and routing of datawithin modular, high density networking equipment. As the convergence of communications and computing continues, future Intel architecture processors are expected to increasingly include featuresthat benefit networking equipment as well as PCs and servers.
Today’s announcement is part of a broader effort by Intel to bring the benefits of modular components to the networking market segment. High performance and widely available hardware and software components, including a range of Intel chips and a rich set of software development tools and re-useable application code, can help equipment manufacturers reduce development costs, speed time-to-market and enable new services.
“Intel’s goal is to help equipment manufacturers and carriers continue to build modular solutions throughout the network while reducing both capital and operational expenses,” said Howard Bubb, vice president, Intel, general manager, Intel Network Processing Group. “Our industry-leading services and control processors as well as our network processors are key components in our expanding portfolio of standards-based communications building blocks.”
The processor operates as a control processor managing network processors, line cards and other components in equipment such as radio network controllers and media gateway controllers. It can also act as a services processor for security applications such as firewalls, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and intrusion detection systems. Additionally, telecommunication equipment manufacturers (TEMs) will find that the processor can be used in mid-performance bladed telco servers where space, power and heat constraints necessitate high performance, low-power consuming components.
Nokia Networks has plans to use the processor in many of Nokia’s core infrastructure products. “The thermally optimized micro architecture of the Intel Pentium M processor allows us to design highly dense mobile infrastructure solutions with the maximum processing performance per square foot.” said Ari Virtanen, Vice President, Network Platforms of Nokia Networks.
Intel has a robust ecosystem of companies that are designing equipment and operating systems for the processor. Among the companies designing equipment and software for the Intel Pentium M processor are Advantech*, American Megatrends*, Axiom*, Diversified Technology*, Force Computers*, RadiSys*, Momentum Computer*, and QNX*.
The Performance Behind the Processor
The Intel Pentium M processor includes several features that, combined with a low thermal envelope of 12-25 watts provides high performance processing in ultra-dense equipment. Improved performance and power utilization from a 1MB, power managed L2 cache, coupled with advanced instruction prediction enable the product to operate more efficiently and process data faster for applications such as security, media servers and signaling. Enhanced Intel SpeedStepÂ® technology allows the processor to run in reduced power mode, providing energy conservation on-the-fly when application demand is reduced. This is specifically useful in products such as media servers that support call centers where call volume might be lower at night. The Intel Pentium M processor form factor is also ideal for use on CompactPCI* and Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture* (AdvancedTCA) boards.
Pricing and Availability
The Intel Pentium M processor is available now in two versions for extended lifecycle support. The 1.60 GHz version is priced at $625. The Low Voltage Intel Pentium M processor at 1.10 GHz is available at $257. Both prices are based on 10,000-unit quantities.