Will telcos benefit from Alca-Lu 400G?

Kate Gerwig
05 Jul 2011
Alcatel-Lucent upped the ante in the edge router network wars in a big way on Tuesday when it announced its FP3 network processor, a third-generation chipset with the potential to handle 400 Gbps transmission speeds. The FP3 will be included in a new series of line cards for its Alcatel-Lucent’s 7750 Service Router available in 2012.
Beyond speed, Alcatel-Lucent said the FP3, a silicon chip set that was built in-house, has built-in, service-aware technology that will give operators building blocks to more easily enable next-generation services that include cloud and enterprise applications, video and collaboration. While service enablement is of high interest to network operators, the lack of specifics leaves these operators without a clear roadmap of how the chipset will ultimately help them increase revenue.
Still, three heavy-hitter network operators—Verizon, BT and NTT—went on record to welcome the FP3 network processor because of its potential 400G speed and green qualities that promise to reduce power use by up to 50% and take up to 30% less physical space.
Operator statements referred to service-aware technology in general terms as well. Karl Penaluna, BT president of global networks and computing infrastructure, said that “as cloud-based services emerge and rich multimedia services proliferate, this type of technology can help us provide the best quality of service at even higher speeds.” While approving of Alcatel-Lucent’s announcement, NTT’s Masato Minamisawa, vice president of IP technology in the business network services division, added that he looked forward to the new functions that would come with the network processor, but didn’t elaborate on what those were.
FP3 network processor said to include service-aware technology
Alcatel-Lucent’s Heidi Adams, senior director of IP product marketing, said that beyond the traffic growth the FP3 clearly addresses, the challenge is to ensure that networks can create value using service-aware technology that brings capabilities like advanced service management, advanced hierarchical queuing, and processing and prioritizing the applications that are running on the network. No specific service-layer functionality was announced at this time, however.


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