Processing for Universal Line Termination
Providing re-configurable modularity to the access processor architecture essentially redefines design of a broadband access line card, and allows for deployment flexibility, scalability and cost savings. The access flow processor supports multiple line interface types and re-programmable interworking options on a single, modular architecture. Interchangeable line interface units offer a cost effective way to add service interface types and customize the line cards – precisely to the number of ports and packet processing that the line card demands. Why not to get exactly the line interface you need, per port, instead of building separate line cards? Re-configurable, build-as-you-need-it deployments can substantially reduce capital costs. The ability to add incremental bandwidth accommodates unpredictable growth and changing traffic patterns, and eliminates costly unused ports.
If the line card architecture is fixed, the need for different number of ports and types of service forces vendors to develop multiple line card designs based on different packet processors, which increases initial costs and creates bandwidth specific solutions. Inflexibility also increases TSO (total cost of ownership) because it multiples the number of development teams and limits cross-platform scalability.
In contrast, the ability to address multiple service types and port numbers with a single re-configurable AFP architecture substantially lowers the overall system cost and provides a scalable bandwidth independent solution. Flexible line interface options and protocol interworking functions enhance network performance, support evolution and multiple-service convergence while reducing operational complexity and expenses. Such AFP unique capabilities enable flexible design and scalability of an access line card to simplify future growth. The below diagram shows implementation of this idea in ENET.
ENET product for DSLAM equipment is ENET4840/99 – main card virtual switch supporting 256 DSL ports. With ENET4840/99 vendors can design a low-cost and low power DSL distribution platform employing a single network processor at the main card with no need for CPU and NPU at the line cards.