Intel introduces Crystal Forest chipset

Intel introduces Crystal Forest chipset

PanARMENIAN.Net - Intel on Tuesday, Feb 14, introduced the Crystal Forest chipset, which the company hopes will fill a networking gap as it tries to build an integrated technology stack for data centers, PC World reports.

The chipset has specific hardware and software-driven features that could speed up data processing on a network, said Steve Price, director of marketing for Intel's Communications Infrastructure Division. The chipset could aggregate network data quicker from servers inside data centers without compromising performance or security.

Intel is trying to make a mark in the network processor market with the new chipset, where it could compete with companies such as Cavium, AppliedMicro and Tilera. Intel previously offered ARM-based network processors as part of its communications unit, which it sold to Marvell for US$600 million in 2006.

A lot of cloud transactions are processed in data centers and network processors bring together data quicker so results can be delivered faster to users, said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64. The new chipset could be Intel's attempt to pair the networking element to its microprocessors and components as the company tries to fill the data center technology stack, Brookwood said.

The chipset could be a replacement for custom silicon currently being integrated in servers to handle complex networking tasks, Brookwood said. Intel is always trying to integrate more components at chip level inside servers and Crystal Forest could be a high-margin product for the company, Brookwood said.

Intel's chipset can handle up to handle 160 million packets per second on a dual-processor server platform, Intel's Price said. The company is targeting Crystal Forest at 3G and 4G network and security product providers.

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