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Startup aims multiservice framer at access apps

Posted: 11 Sep 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:galazar networks? multiservice framer? msf250? oc 48 framer? gigabit ethernet framer?

Galazar Networks is making its foray into the networking-chip market with the release of a multiservice-framer IC. The startup has unleashed the MSF250 OC-48 framer to support GbE, T1/E1, and T3/E3 services in customer-located equipment (CLE).

Formed in January 2001, Galazar is a revamp of Sybarus Technologies, a networking-chip developer acquired by Agere approximately three years ago. After spending two years on the Agere staff, Richard DeBoer, Nizar Rida and some other members of the Sybarus team left Agere, got funding and started Galazar.

While flying in stealth mode for the past 18 months, Galazar began working with two tier-one equipment manufacturers to develop the core IP for its multiservice-framer family, said DeBoer, Galazar's CEO.

In developing that IP, Galazar quickly saw that carriers needed integrated access devices that extend communication interfaces resident in the CO to multitenant facilities. At the same time, carriers were looking for a quick way to deliver Ethernet services while supporting existing T1 and leased-line services, DeBoer said.

The MSF250 is optimized specifically for these access box designs. "Most of the framers on the market are optimized for the central office and core router markets," DeBoer said. Galazar, on the other hand is focusing on the access side, he added.

Integration, functionality key

But to make it in the cost-sensitive, space-constrained access market, integration and functionality are key. To address these challenges, the MSF250 delivers up to 16 T1s, 21 E1s, 24 Ethernet ports, two GbE ports, and three T3/E3 ports.

On the Ethernet front, the chip provides eight Ethernet MACs on board. To hit the 24 total, designers will have to add external Ethernet MAC components, DeBoer said.

The MSF250 also supports a range of optical interfaces. According to the company, this IC can handle traffic rates up to OC-48, but can also scale back for OC-3 and OC-12 traffic schemes, which DeBoer said will be common in CLE designs.

Virtual-concatenation capabilities are also supported. Ethernet channels can be mapped independently using both low-order (mapping at the virtual-tributary level) and high-order (mapping at the STS level) techniques through the MSF250. Support for the Generic Framing Protocol, link capacity adjustment scheme and link access procedure for SDH is provided.

Designers can build the data path of CLE equipment using some external memory components, a microprocessor, connectors and some line interface units, DeBoer said. Additionally, through an SPI-3 interface, designers can link in a network processor to perform traffic shaping and statistics multiplexing, he added.

The MSF250 will be developed in a 0.185m process and deliver a 5W typical power-consumption figure. In typical operation, the device is expected to run at around 3.5W.

Galazar will start sampling the MSF250 to alpha customers in Q1 2003. It is slated for general availability next July.

- Robert Keenan

EE Times

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