Alcatel-Lucent's FP3 network processor routes at 400Gbps, handles 70,000 simultaneous HD streams

Looks like the world wide web is seeing a few upgrades this week. Shortly after NC State announced a new methodology for routing fiber optic connections more quickly, in flies Alcatel-Lucent with a shiny new network processor to make things even faster. The FP3 that was announced this week promises a "fourfold increase in performance over the fastest IP network available," supporting 400Gbps transmission speeds while cutting power consumption by up to 50 percent. The chip's been demonstrated to the powers that be this week, and it's reportedly designed to "address tomorrow's demand for ultra-high performance public and private IP networks." How so, you ask? A sole FP3 could handle 70,000 simultaneous HD video streams or 8.4 million simultaneous retail cloud sessions, and quite frankly, could make the 100 Gigabit Ethernet standards that were used to look like old hat. But hey -- who's kvetching about that?

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Alcatel-Lucent innovation delivers a faster, smarter and greener network experience

FP3 network processor first to support 400 Gigabits-per-second data speeds; no compromise on service quality

Paris, June 28, 2011 - Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext and NYSE: ALU) today announced a new network processor that delivers a fourfold increase in performance over the fastest Internet Protocol (IP) networks available today. By supporting 400 Gigabits-per-second (G) transmission speeds, the FP3 processor opens up new possibilities for bandwidth-intensive services, applications and content, while cutting power consumption by up to 50 percent. The FP3 processor is being demonstrated today and will be commercially available in Alcatel-Lucent's service router portfolio in 2012.

The first of a new generation of IP routing technology, the FP3 processor is designed to address tomorrow's demand for ultra-high performance public and private IP networks. For example, a single FP3 processor could handle 70,000 simultaneous High Definition video streams or 8.4 million simultaneous retail cloud sessions.

"Alcatel-Lucent brings a wealth of experience and technical skill to the challenge of putting the next generation of silicon into their service routers," said Simon Stanley, Founder and Principal Consultant of Earlswood Marketing Limited. "The same engineers have moved through 10G to 100G and now to 400G. The result is a chipset which delivers the versatility of a programmable network processor and a massive increase in speed, without compromising on deep touch services."

Alcatel-Lucent is the first company to develop 400G technology for IP networks, helping to accelerate the adoption of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE), which was standardized in 2010, while providing a clear path for higher speeds in future. According to a recent forecast by Dell'Oro Group, 100GE port shipments from 2010 through 2015 are predicted to grow in excess of 200 percent annually.

Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Division, said: "This technology puts us a generation ahead of today's fastest IP core routers. And, it's not just moving bits, but generating revenue and creating value for service providers and their business, residential and mobile customers. By making networks faster, smarter and more environmentally sustainable, Alcatel-Lucent is enabling the continuous innovation of consumer and business devices, content and applications that increasingly depend on service provider networks."

"Alcatel-Lucent is showing its technology roots, recently with lightRadio™ for the wireless market and now with the FP3 400G network processor for IP routing," stated Michael Howard, Co-founder and Principal Analyst Carrier and Data Center Networks, Infonetics Research. "I'm impressed that any company could develop such a high capacity network processor, solving 400G in the electrical domain before the industry solves 400G for lightwaves. This 400G chipset is a generational advance that will improve router 100GE density/cost and will attract the eye of service providers."

Alcatel-Lucent has also taken an industry leadership role by driving an "ecosystem" of semiconductor partners including Samsung Semiconductor, NetLogic Microsystems, Micron, GSI Technology, Cypress and Broadcom to deliver complementary components that support the transition to ultra-fast, low power networks with deterministic performance.

FP3 - Technical Capabilities

* Industry's first 400G network processor
* Supports IP routing with full range of business, residential and mobile edge services
* Accelerates time to market for high-density 100G line card designs
* Highly integrated design reduces overall memory requirements
* Granular power management in 10G increments reduces overall power consumption by up to 50 percent per bit
* Leverages existing 40nanometer manufacturing process to reduce risk
* FP-3 based line cards for the 7750 SR will be commercially available in 2-port 100GE, 6-port 40GE, and 20-port 10GE configurations in 2012

FP3 and the High Leverage Network

Alcatel-Lucent's vision of the High Leverage Network™ (HLN) is focused on addressing the exploding demand for broadband capacity and services, making it easier for service providers able to capitalize on the new demands of an always-on world.

The FP3 network processor plays an important role in this vision, enabling service providers to increase capacity, reduce costs and develop new revenue opportunities. The fourfold increase in performance, with no compromise on service quality will allow service providers to use their networks to deliver new broadband services, content and applications with improved reliability, more sustainably. The FP3 processor will be at the heart of Alcatel-Lucent's high-performance IP service routing portfolio, from metro to edge to the core of the HLN architecture.

FP3 and the 400G Ecosystem

In order to deliver a fourfold improvement in speed, reduce power consumption and avoid compromising on service scale and quality, the FP3 processor requires predictable or deterministic access to memory at unprecedented speeds.

In addition to developing its own technology solutions, Alcatel-Lucent is driving semiconductor industry leaders including Samsung Semiconductor, NetLogic Microsystems, Micron, GSI Technology, Cypress, Broadcom and others to push the envelope of innovation on high-speed DDR (double data rate), RLDRAM (Reduced-latency Dynamic random access memory), CAM (Content Addressable memory) and QDR (Quad Data Rate) memory and memory access, enabling the industry to accelerate adoption of 100G speeds and beyond.

Partner quotes

"To achieve this amazing speed, the standard 40nm libraries needed to improve. Working side-by-side with Alcatel-Lucent's development team, Broadcom created over 100 custom 40nm libraries to meet Alcatel-Lucent's cutting-edge design specifications", said Asad Khamisy, Broadcom Vice President of Engineering. "Our Premier Custom IC Program is ideal for Alcatel-Lucent's incredibly talented engineering team to shatter performance barriers and create a unique, highly differentiated product."

"As the IP and market leader in SRAMs, Cypress is excited to contribute to the ground-breaking 400Gb/s FP3 network processor from Alcatel-Lucent," said Dana Nazarian, executive vice president of Cypress's Memory Products Division. "This industry-first product is an excellent example of companies investing collaboratively over multiple years to advance the state-of-the-art in networking. The industry-standard QDR SRAM, defined in the QDR consortium, and available from multiple vendors, remains the critical memory technology for next-generation systems with huge throughput requirements."

"Our work with Alcatel-Lucent processor architects and designers is paying great dividends," says Lee-Lean Shu, President and CEO of GSI Technology. "When we started on FP2-based projects we didn't know how far this could go. Now, with our SigmaQuad-IIIe teamed with the FP3, we can see even greater things on the horizon."

"Close partnerships are essential to the process of developing truly breakthrough systems," said Brian Shirley, Vice President of Micron's DRAM Solutions Group. "This is particularly true in the networking space, where every component is pushed to the edge, and every picosecond is critical. Alcatel Lucent has maintained leadership in high-performance networking by successfully establishing these critical alliances, enabling ideas to move to market in faster cycles. Micron is proud to be Alcatel Lucent's partner in networking DRAM. The new 400GE processor highlights the power of Micron's new RLDRAM® 3 memory technology and the benefits of tight collaboration in delivering such a stunning new performance mark to the industry."

"We congratulate the Alcatel-Lucent team on the achievement of the industry's first 400G network processor, and we are pleased to continue our-long standing collaboration on multiple generations of products," said Ron Jankov, president and CEO at NetLogic Microsystems. "The close working relationship between our engineering teams has enabled both companies to further innovate and optimize our respective silicon for higher performance, seamless interconnectivity and lower power consumption."

About Alcatel-Lucent's Service Routing Portfolio

At its introduction in 2003, the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) set a new benchmark in the industry with 10G network processing and 20G per slot performance. Since then, the platform has evolved through new generations of silicon and line cards, providing outstanding investment protection for its customers. With the FP3 network processor, the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 SR again raises the industry benchmark with 400G network processing and 200G per slot performance. More than 100,000 Service Routing systems are in use at more than 400 service providers in over 100 countries.

In 2010 Alcatel-Lucent's IP Division reported revenues of €1.46Bn, representing 24 percent growth compared to 2009.

To learn more about this innovation:

Join the Alcatel-Lucent webcast June 28, 10am EST at:

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Or, visit the Alcatel-Lucent FP3 website at: