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Intel Releases Network Processor, Announces $200 Million Fund

Intel Corp. Wednesday unveiled a faster networking chip and announced the creation of a $200 million equity fund.

Joining the processor is a new line of silicon products on the new Intel Internet Exchange Architecture, which uses a standards-based design to allow systems designers to make networks run swiftly and cost effectively.

Architecture is Intel's new system for creating networking and telecommunications equipment based on reprogrammable silicon and open interfaces. The company's goal is to help the networking and communications industry build quicker, intelligent networks.

"The explosive growth of the Internet and e-business requires faster deployment of high-bandwidth equipment and greater flexibility to support emerging Internet technologies and new services within the network, said Mark Christensen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Network Communications Group. "IX Architecture will help customers deliver faster and smarter networks on Internet time."

Original equipment manufacturers may use IX Architecture to design systems minus the costs, risks and time penalties normally associated with ASIC (application specific, integrated circuit) design efforts.

One of IX Architecture's many features includes a developer's tool kit to help facilitate product design and allow equipment suppliers to provide post-sale enhancements to their clients. Wire-speed voice, video and data services may be added to existing equipment by reprogramming the network processor.

The Communications Fund will be used to invest in companies developing Architecture-based systems and software.

Rounding out a busy day for Intel was its acquisition of Netboost, a company that develops and markets hardware and software solutions for communications equipment suppliers and independent software vendors.

Netboost will give Intel (INTC) a variety of tools and silicon components to support IX Architecture.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.