Intel 22nm trigate transistor process chosen for next-gen Netronome flow processors

April 5, 2012 — Flow processor developer Netronome extended its strategic relationship with Intel Corp., manufacturing its next-generation Netronome flow processors (NFP) using Intel’s 22nm tri-gate transistor architecture.

Netronome claims the 22nm technology will enable new levels of flow processor performance, power and cost in network and security applications. The fabless semiconductor company joins 2 other Intel foundry customers, Tabula (programmable logic) and Achronix (FPGAs).

Intel’s Custom Foundry services provide “substantial benefits” to Netronome products, with state-of-the-art transistor design; access to the 22nm process; and design for manufacturing (DFM), test (DFT), and reliability (DFR) practices, Netronome reports, anticipating reduced development costs and time to market. The semiconductor companies will engage in a joint development and manufacturing engagement on the product, sharing Intel’s tools, processes, and proprietary modeling capabilities. Intel offers an integrated manufacturing supply chain with wafer foundry, device packaging, and assembly and test operations, spanning global facilities.

Netronome’s next-generation flow processors will be “several generations ahead of other communications processors,” claimed Jim Finnegan, senior vice president of engineering at Netronome, with 10x performance increase and 3x the energy efficiency of competing products.

Netronome’s flow processors are used in network, security and content processing applications for high-end networks with speeds up to 100Gbps. They deliver packet processing with deep packet inspection, security processing, and I/O virtualization for millions of simultaneous stateful flows. They are designed for tight coupling with Intel Architecture (IA) processors. Netronome’s current generation of flow processors began with a technology license agreement with Intel in November 2007, with volume shipments starting in 2011.

The next-generation NFP based on Intel’s 22nm trigate transistors will sample in 2013.

Netronome is a fables semiconductor company offering flow processing silicon, software, tools and acceleration platforms that scale from 1 to 200Gbps. Learn more at www.netronome.com.

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