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Raza Details Eight-Core Networking Processor

Raza's XLR processor 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.
Raza Microelectronics Inc. on Monday unveiled a processor line that combines as many as eight cores to create engines that will primarily be used as accelerators for networking applications.

The startup company is headed by chairman and chief executive Atiq Raza, who founded NexGen Inc. NexGen later merged with Advanced Micro Devices Inc., and NexGen's K6 processor technology was used in the design of AMD64 processor technology. Raza also served as president and chief operating officer of AMD.

Raza's new XLR processor is based on a MIPS64 architecture. Five versions of the processor in three lines are being introduced. The top-of-the-line processor, the XLR732, combines eight MIPS64 processor cores operating at 1.5 GHz. Each processing core has four threads, providing a total of 32 threads for the processor.

The processor 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 for Raza. It "could be placed in the router, the switch in a line card, or in some cases replacing the server."

Foundry manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. will produce the XLR processors, and Raza expects full production in the third quarter. Systems equipped with the processor should be available in the fourth quarter, Smith says.

He says the XLR processor includes Level-2 cache memory and a security-acceleration engine that provides up to 100 Gbps of bulk cryptography.