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Intel Offers Industry Vision For Standard Blade-Based Communications Servers And Equipment

Intel Announces Modular Platform Design Guide for Hardware and Software Developers

INTEL DEVELOPER FORUM, Munich, May 28, 2002 -- Intel Corporation today outlined an industry vision for standards-based modular communications servers and equipment that will enable network equipment providers to reduce development costs, speed time-to-market and increase flexibility in the development of standards-based, blade-based communications servers and solutions.

Speaking to developers at the Intel Developer Forum, Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager, Intel Communications Group, noted that the economic downturn in the communications industry and the explosion of the Internet has accelerated the need to shift from custom, low-volume proprietary solutions to standards-based, modular communications servers and equipment.

"Current conditions have compressed ten years of change in the communications industry into one year. To stay competitive, communications equipment providers must begin developing solutions with modular communications servers and equipment," said Maloney.

Standards-based modular communications servers and equipment enable network equipment providers to deliver high-availability solutions on shorter development cycles and to lower costs. It also helps providers focus on value-add competencies such as application development and network systems integration. The servers and equipment are made up of standards-based hardware, carrier grade operating systems and high availability application programming interfaces (APIs).

Intel is currently working with over 100 companies to standardize the hardware, operating systems and software that will enable communications vendors to begin using the servers and equipment. An example of these efforts is Intel's work with the PCI Industrial Manufacturers Group* (PICMG) on the Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture* (AdvancedTCA) specification, a key industry initiative for standard blade-based servers.

AdvancedTCA is an industry standard blade and chassis form factor specification that is optimized for communications and is designed to meet the scaleable requirements of communications applications through year 2010. This includes backplane capacity up to 4.5 terra bits per second, multi-protocol blade interfaces up to OC-768, RAM support beyond 8 GB/board, increased system availability and headroom for future increased performance processing.

Also speaking at the Intel Developer Forum, Howard Bubb, vice president and general manager, Intel Network Processing Group, announced the development of a Modular Platform Design Guide that will enable communications hardware and software developers to quickly develop next-generation, standards-based modular communications building blocks based on AdvancedTCA.

"Network equipment providers need to standardize underlying product platforms, thereby reducing product cost and increasing their flexibility to shift investment from hardware to revenue generating applications and services," said Bubb. "The Modular Platform Design Guide enables network equipment providers and the ecosystem to begin immediate development of standard, blade-based communication server and equipment."

The Modular Platform Design Guide, authored by Intel with input from over 20 communications companies, details implementation guidelines for interoperability on top of the base AdvancedTCA specification scheduled for release later this year. It also provides guidelines on building an AdvancedTCA compliant system, interoperability of key elements, usage models and provisioning and management.

"We are seeing efficiency gains on the order of 10X in terms of reduced development costs and faster time-to-market by customers that transition from proprietary to standard off-the-shelf carrier-grade Linux* platforms," says Jim Ready, president and CEO of MontaVista Software*. Michael O'Brien, CEO of GoAhead Software* adds that "companies have 30 to 40 engineers working for 1.5 years to create scaleable Service Availability* middleware. Industry specifications and off-the-shelf implementations put that money back to the company's bottom line."

Intel Announces Board and Platform Building Blocks to Speed Time-to-Market
In addition to defining a blueprint for standards-based modular communications platforms, Intel is also helping network equipment providers build products based on the current generation of industry standards -- PICMG 2.16. Intel announced today a line of communications blades that enable network equipment providers to achieve faster time-to-market in the development of communications solutions using PICMG 2.16.

The 2.16-compliant blades include the Intel® NetStructure" ZT 5524 System Master Processor Board, Intel® NetStructure" ZT 5088 12U General Purpose Packet Switched Platform and the Intel® NetStructure" ZT 5085 12U General Purpose Packet Switched Platform. These blades provide a high availability platform based on Intel® Pentium® III processors that deliver the low power, cooling capacity and hardware failover required by communications service providers. The blades are designed specifically for communications applications such as telecom servers, broadband access servers, telecom switches, mobile base station controllers and storage.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at

Intel, NetStructure and Pentium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries.

* Other marks and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

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Related Intel® NetStructure" Products:

ZT 5524 High Performance System Master Processor Board

ZT 5088 12U General Purpose Packet Switched Platform

ZT 5085 12U Redundant System Slot Packet Switched Platform

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