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NEP partners with Linux vendor on 3G gear

Nov 10, 2008 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Continuous Computing (CCPU) announced it will make Wind River the default Linux networking distribution for its ATCA-compliant FlexTCA 3G/4G wireless equipment. CCPU will provide its Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) customers with reference designs based on Wind River Linux, says CCPU.

(Click for larger view of FlexTCA chassis with FM40, XE50, and PP50 blades)

The partnership calls for the San Diego-based network equipment provider (NEP) to join Wind River's Partner Alliance, and to standardize on Wind River Platform for Network Equipment, Linux Edition as the default runtime platform for its FlexTCA pre-integrated ATCA (or AdvancedTCA) networking systems, says the company. Specifically, the NEP will offer its customers evaluation copies of FlexTCA reference designs that pre-integrate binary runtime modules from the Carrier Grade Linux (CGL) 4.0-registered Wind River Platform for Network Equipment.

FlexTCA is one of CCPU's many “pre-integrated, pre-tested” hardware/software combinations designed to comply with ATCA standards. FlexTCA is aimed at LTE, DPI, security, IPTV, IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), and other 3G and 4G wireless applications, says the company. The system offers a range of ATCA blades and chassis options, including dual Intel quad-core compute blades and dual RMI (Raza Microelectronics) packet processing blades.

Continuous Computing's “FlexTCA” architecture

The FlexTCA's ATCA FlexChassis provides 5U/six-slot or 12U/14-slot configurations, and comes with the following ATCA blades (all pictured at top):

  • FlexPacket ATCA-PP50 — The PP50 is a 10Gbps packet processor line card with a 10GbE interface and ten 1GbE interfaces, and provides DPI, traffic management, and security functions. It's based on a dual-processor RMI XLR732 multi-core MIPS system-on-chip (SoC) with on-chip encryption engine.
  • FlexCore ATCA-FM40 — The FM40 is a dual-star 10GbE base and fabric switch with eight 10GbE SFP+ uplinks, PICMG 3.1.9 compliance, and an optional on-board CPU and disk.
  • FlexCompute ATCA-XE50 — This dual quad-core compute blade uses single- and dual-processor Intel Quad-Core CPUs, supporting up to 24GB RAM. It also offers a 2.5-inch SAS/SATA hard drive.

The FlexTCA system also integrates CCPU's Trillium protocol stack and High Availability (HA) middleware, which is said to be compliant with Service Availability Forum (SAF) standards. The Trillium stack and middleware, which is used across the company's product line, was first made available for Linux back in 2004, when CCPU signed a bundling deal with MontaVista. The Trillium protocol stack is said to offer fault-tolerant control plane protocols supporting SIP-related standards, as well as data plane protocols such as IPSec, and L2/L3 switching and routing. The SAF-compliant middleware is said to provide interfaces for Unified Management Interface (UMI) and reporting.

The partnership appears to replace MontaVista Linux Carrier Grade Edition (CGE) as CCPU's Linux distribution of choice. In the Wind River partnership, CCPU will also provide its FlexTCA customers with the Wind River Workbench integrated development environment (IDE), and offer a similar reference design running the VxWorks version of Wind River's networking distribution. The agreement with Wind River also calls for CCPU to receive early access to Wind River software releases.

Stated Mike Langlois, GM of networking at Wind River, “Expanding our platform partner ecosystem to include Continuous Computing's FlexTCA hardware systems and Trillium multicore optimized protocol software adds a tremendous amount of value.”


Continuous Computing did not provide further details on the availability of the Wind River-based reference designs for FlexTCA systems. More information on FlexTCA may be found here.

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