Eight-Core Processor On Tap

Startup Raza Microelectronics says chip will accelerate networking applications.

Darrell Dunn, Contributor

May 20, 2005

1 Min Read

Raza Microelectronics Inc. last week debuted a line of processors that combines up to eight cores to create processing engines that will be used mainly as accelerators for networking applications.

The startup is headed by chairman and chief executive Atiq Raza, who founded NexGen Inc., which merged with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in 1996. NexGen's K6 processor technology was used in the design of AMD64 processor technology.

Raza's XLR processor is based on a Mips64 architecture. It's introducing five versions in three lines. The top-of-the-line processor, the XLR732, combines eight Mips64 processor cores operating at 1.5 GHz. Each core has four threads, providing a total of 32 threads for the processor.

The XLR is expected to be used by networking equipment manufacturers to create application accelerators for firewalls, VPNs, Web services, virtualized storage, load balancing, and server offload.

"At any point along the network that needs acceleration, this processor could be dropped in," says Lance Smith, VP and general manager of information infrastructure solutions at Raza. It "could be placed in the router, the switch in a line card, or in some cases replace the server."

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will produce the XLR processors; Raza expects full production by the third quarter. Smith says that systems equipped with the processor should be available in the fourth quarter.

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