Server platforms based on the new Intel® Platform for Communications Infrastructure, with configurations handling <1 Gbps to 80 Gbps. In this blog I am going to explore the benefits of the low-power end of the range, known as the Intel® Platform for Smaller-Footprint Communications Infrastructure. This platform combines select Intel® Xeon® Intel® Core™, Intel® Pentium®, and Intel® Celeron® processors with the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series for through puts up to 20 Gbps. For this blog I am using implementation examples from Lanner Electronics Inc. , an Associate Member of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance. The 200-plus members of the Alliance collaborate closely with Intel® to create hardware, software, tools, and services to help speed intelligent systems to market.
Scaling Platform Performance
The Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series integrates standard peripheral interfaces, four Gigabit Ethernet MACs and hardware acceleration for Intel QuickAssist Technology covering security processing and compression. There are several Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices that support up to 20 Gbps security processing with power consumption from 8.5W to 12.5W.
The Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series is connected to the processors through x4 DMI Gen and PCIe x8/x16 interfaces. As shown in Figure 1 the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series is paired with a one- to four-core processor for systems up to 20 Gbps.
Figure 1. The Intel® Platform for Smaller-Footprint Communications Infrastructure, which scales from <1 Gbps to 20 Gbps.
This approach allows system developers to optimize platforms for performance and power efficiency. Developers can use processors including Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1125C, Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1105C, Intel® Core™ i3 Processor 2115C, Intel® Pentium® Processor B915C and Intel® Celeron® Processor 725C. Power consumption for these processors ranges from 40W down to 10W.
Integrated Server Platform Example
The Lanner FW-7575 shown in Figure 2 is based on the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series. The platform is available with quad, dual or single core processors, including Intel® Xeon® Processor E3-1125C or Intel® Core™ i3 Processor 2115C, depending on performance requirements. The system will support up to 32 GB DDR3-1066/1333 memory. The front panel includes six Gigabit Ethernet ports, management port, two USB ports, Com port and user interface. On the right is a network interface module bay connecting through a PCIe x8 interface.
Figure 2. 1U Rack-mount Security Platform
Figure 3 shows the MB-7575 block diagram with Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series (Cave Creek) and Intel® architecture processors (Gladden Sandy Bridge). The Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series integrates Intel QuickAssist Technology with hardware acceleration for security processing up to 20Gbps and compression/decompression up to 9Gbps. The six Gigabit Ethernet ports are connected through the four integrated MACs on the Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series and through a PCIe x4 interface on the processor. The optional network interface module and riser are driven directly through a PCIe x8 interface also on the processor.
Figure 3. FW-7575 Block Diagram
The Lanner FW-7575 supports the Wind River Network Acceleration Platform which uses the Intel® DPDK (Intel® Data Plane Development Kit) libraries for accelerated packet delivery. The combination of Intel DPDK, Wind River Network Acceleration Platform and Intel® Platform for Smaller Footprint Communications Infrastructure provides a power efficient packet processing solution that will support many networking applications. The Lanner FW-7575 also supports Windows (2003, 2008 server) and Linux Kernel 2.6 and up.
Power-Efficient Platforms for packet Processing
The Intel® Platform for Smaller Footprint Communications Infrastructure, with a combined power of 18-52W, provides a very power efficient platform for packet processing across a wide range of applications up to 20 Gbps. The Lanner FW-7575 rack-mount network security platform is just one example of the many different platforms that can be built using this architecture. The combination of quad, dual or single core processor and integrated chipset device with peripheral I/O, networking I/O and hardware acceleration for packet processing provides a very compact and scalable solution.
The Lanner FW-7575 rack-mount platform covered in this case study is a mid-range system. As shown above this solution can be scaled down to 1 Gbps or below with lower performance Intel® Core™ Processors or up to 80 Gbps with higher performance Intel® Xeon® Processors and additional Intel® Communications Chipset 89xx Series devices to accelerate packet processing performance.
To learn more about power-efficient performance, see intel.com/go/embedded-energyefficiency
For more on flexible, scalable, standards-based communications visit intel.com/go/embedded-communications
Lanner and Wind River are Associate Members of the Intel® Intelligent Systems Alliance.
Roving Reporter (Intel® Contractor), Intel® Embedded Alliance
Principal Consultant, Earlswood Marketing
Follow me on Twitter: @simon_stanley