Intel's Highland Forest ups the ante in network processing

Aiming to capitalize on telcos' growing adoption of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN), Intel unveiled its third generation of networking processors, called Highland Forest. This more powerful platform is a follow-up to Intel's Crystal Forest platform, which was introduced last year. Highland Forest is built with Intel's Xeon E5-2600 v2 Ivy Bridge CPU and the new Coleto Creek chipset.

Highland Forest provides two to six times better performance than the previous generation of Crystal Forest platforms, delivering up to 255 million packets per second of performance for regular traffic, said Steve Price, general manager of Intel's communications infrastructure division, who was quoted by Enterprise Networking Planet. In terms of encrypted traffic, Highland Forest supports up to 110 Gbps of IPsec and 200 Gbps of SSL traffic.

Driving the need for more powerful networking processors is the increasing implementation of NFV as well as SDN by telcos, both wired and wireless. Intel said it has ongoing pilots with more than 15 telecom carriers in all major regions with top system vendors. The company, which currently holds a 5 percent market share in the $16 billion networking silicon market, wants to further drive the transition of telco infrastructure from proprietary technologies toward more flexible and cost-efficient solutions based on its architecture. For more, see this Enterprise Networking Planet article.