Intel Accelerating Networking Efforts with Highland Forest

Intel is perhaps best known for its silicon, which powers servers and consumer computing devices. Intel is also a major player in the networking space, however, and now aims to grab an even bigger piece of the market share pie.

In a press event today, Intel executives detailed new innovations for increased performance and capabilities in networking gear. Rose Schooler, GM and VP of Intel’s Data Center Group, said that the networking silicon market–including silicon used for CPUs, ASICs, and FPGAs–is a $16 billion opportunity. Currently, Intel holds approximately 5 percent market share in the space.

Schooler said that the market for networking represents a “tremendous” growth opportunity for Intel. In 2012, Intel debuted its Crystal Forest platform, which combined Intel Xeon processors with a new Intel chipset built for networking.

Today Intel formally announced the successor to Crystal Forest, Highland Forest. Steve Price, GM of Intel’s Communications Infrastructure Division, explained that Highland Forest is built with Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 Ivy Bridge CPU combined with the new Coleto Creek chipset. Highland Forest delivers 20 cores of 2.4 GHz Ivy Bridge chips as part of the platform.

Price said that the new Highland Forest approach provides two to six times better performance than the previous generation of Crystal Forest platforms. Highland Forest can deliver up to 255 million packets per second of performance for regular traffic. When it comes to encrypted traffic, Highland Forest also shines, with support for up to 110 Gbps of IPsec and 200 Gbps of SSL traffic.

Schooler emphasized that Intel is not a newcomer to networking, and the Highland Forest platform is another milestone on a long journey.

“We have been at this journey for a decade,” Schooler said. “We will continue to make innovations and investments so we can support the workloads of the future.”

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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