Lucent's DSP to channel Internet

Lucent’s DSP to channel InternetRichard Ball A digital signal processor (DSP) chip containing four separate cores aimed at increasing the number of modem channels handled by Internet service providers has been developed by Lucent Technologies. The DSP1695 can handle analogue modem and fax, ISDN and voice over IP protocols.
Having four cores on one chip has implications beyond the obvious space saving. “It was more efficient to develop four separate cores than write code for time division on one core,” said Charles Louisson, marketing director for computer and consumer products.
There is an overhead in terms of extra silicon area due to the four core design, but this is minimal, Louisson said. “These devices are mostly memory, which defines what functions you can perform.”
The DSP will be aimed mainly at equipment for Internet service providers. “In the remote access server market, they’re trying to pack as many channels into a small a space as they can,” said Louisson.
An Internet server can have thousands of modem connections, which raises issues of space and power consumption.
Each of Lucent’s new DSP1695 devices can handle between four and 16 modem channels, depending on the type of modem. Thus around 16 chips can handle an E1 pipe’s 128 channels.
Each channel consumes just 50mW, Louisson claimed. This is between three to five times lower than existing solutions, he said.
A similar reduction is claimed for space requirements, because the number of external components is low. A line driver connects the DSPs directly to the public telecom network, such as an E1 pipe. On the back end, DSPs are controlled by a CPU which transmits data onto an Ethernet or similar interface to the Internet server.


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