Mindspeed Quadruples Core Switching Matrix Size By Introducing World's Largest Crosspoint Switch Device

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.(BUSINESS WIRE) Mindspeed Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, today announced the world's first 288x288 asynchronous non-blocking crosspoint switch. The M21170 switch provides an unprecedented 82,944 unique switching paths in a single, monolithic integrated circuit (IC), and will enable a new generation of significantly larger serial data switches such as those used by broadcast video and optical transpor

April 8, 2010

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NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.(BUSINESS WIRE) Mindspeed Technologies, Inc., a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for network infrastructure applications, today announced the world's first 288x288 asynchronous non-blocking crosspoint switch. The M21170 switch provides an unprecedented 82,944 unique switching paths in a single, monolithic integrated circuit (IC), and will enable a new generation of significantly larger serial data switches such as those used by broadcast video and optical transport networks. Mindspeed will be demonstrating its M21170 crosspoint switch at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nev., April 12 through April 15, 2010, in the company's booth, #N408, at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The most common switching devices used in large routers to date have been 144x144 crosspoint switches. Mindspeed's M21170 uses a single chip to create a 288x288 non-blocking matrix for a router's switching core, replacing four cascaded 144x144 crosspoints required to achieve the same number of inputs and outputs. This method significantly reduces the size, cost and complexity of today's largest switchers. Mindspeed's quadrupling of the core matrix will double this available switching capacity, enabling users to route significantly higher numbers of serial data streams.

In recent years, the technological advances in the delivery of streaming live and pre-recorded video through a variety of media has allowed consumers to access video programming of their choice anywhere and anytime. This has sharply increased the demand for more content, which must be generated, routed and distributed within a television station, and requires larger and more complex switchers capable of routing very large numbers of video signals. Achieving such large routing switcher sizes was previously impossible, as legacy solutions required an unmanageable number of cascaded 144x144 crosspoints. The M21170 will enable equipment manufacturers to meet this growing market demand by simplifying the design of very large matrix video broadcast routing switchers used by networks, local broadcasters, cable and telecommunications service providers, mobile production companies and other organizations.

"Having used Mindspeed's broad line of industry-leading crosspoints in many of our products, we are very excited to see Mindspeed's continued investment and innovation in providing switching solutions for the broadcast market," said Rakesh Patel, chief technology officer at Evertz Microsystems Ltd. "The new 288x288 device, the first of its kind, has the potential to dramatically improve equipment design while enabling a new generation of flexible, large scale, high performance routers. As total functional density continues to increase, technologies such as the new 288x288 device are essential for allowing us to improve performance, increase per RU port count, and equally as important: Reduce Power Consumption. We are excited at being able to harness this technology to provide the broadcast market with new and innovative routing solutions."

"This is a major milestone for the video broadcast industry, on the road to significantly larger, more capable multi-format SD and HD switchers," said Kurt Busch, senior vice president and general manager of Mindspeed's high-performance analog business unit. "A few years ago, a 256x256 routing switcher was considered very large; now, 512x512 and 576x576 switchers are in hot demand, and broadcasters are asking for even larger switches. The size of these large routers is limited only by the size of the switching core, and now manufacturers can replace up to four cascaded 144x144 crosspoints with a single 288x288 solution. With this introduction, Mindspeed offers the industry's broadest crosspoint portfolio, all the way from 2x2 devices to the world's largest non-blocking switch."According to WinterGreen Research, the markets for crosspoint switches are expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27 percent to $2.98 billion by 2015. "Some applications are relatively recession-proof, including high-speed video applications," said Susan Eustis, president, WinterGreen Research. "The video segment is expected to remain strong even in the global downturn, and drive demand for crosspoint switches."

Crosspoint switches offer a very efficient foundation on which to implement circuit switched backplanes. These backplanes are composed of hundreds of high speed serial links such as those found in today's highest performance Optical Transport Networks (OTN) / Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) systems.
On a per channel basis, circuit switch implementations typically cost about one third of packet switched ones. According to Infonetics Research, WDM bandwidth is expected to double by 2013, thereby greatly increasing the demand for larger crosspoint switches used in that segment. By using Mindspeed crosspoint switches, system manufactures can design products that are not only cost effective, but also deliver high performance and scalable solutions to meet the requirements of the most demanding service provider.

Each switching path in the M21170 can operate independently at any data rate of up to 3.2 Gbps, allowing for multi-rate routing and switching in a single device. The crosspoint also uses Mindspeed's proven signal-conditioning technology to compensate for signal losses that typically accumulate across the extended trace lengths of very large systems. Mindspeed's signal-conditioning technology provides a robust, easy-to-implement solution that includes input equalization for multiple data rates and various trace lengths up to 40 inches, as well as output pre-emphasis. These and other M21170 features ideally suit the crosspoint device for a broad range of switching applications, including SD/HD/3G-SDI routers for broadcast video and OTN switches for telecom service provider networks, both of which require very robust operation.

The M21170 joins a comprehensive family of Mindspeed crosspoints, cable equalizers, reclockers, and cable drivers and signal conditioners that enable the development of highly sophisticated video broadcast equipment and OTN switches. The M21170 crosspoint is sampling now, with volume production scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2010. It is packaged in a 50mmx50mm ball grid array (BGA) package and priced at $2,900 in volumes of 1,000. 

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