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Agere Picks Six for Telecom Equipment

Agere Systems Thursday released a handful of processors it says will help improve voice, data, and video delivery and give telecom service providers eight times more types of telecom traffic to offer customers.

The Allentown, Pa.-based integrated circuit maker says the six chips, APP550TM (5 Gbits/s), APP530TM (2.5 Gbits/s), TAAD Lite, TAAD UltraLite, SAR-1K and SAR-500, perform various communications functions including traffic management (TM), segmentation & reassembly (SAR) and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) .

ATM is a data communications protocol that can be compared to the control center at Grand Central Station in New York City. Traffic management chips "shape" the signals in functions similar in concept to a police "traffic cop" prioritizing how voice, data, and video travels through network equipment. SAR function allows telecom providers to merge their Internet data traffic onto their traditional voice network and vice versa.

Agere says each of the new chips combines the technologies together on one chip, which can help make smaller, less expensive pieces of equipment.

"Our customers want to preserve their investments in current hardware and software technology by reusing it," said Mark Pinto, vice president with Agere's Processing, Aggregation and Switching division. "They also want to be ready for the next generation of equipment, including multi-service capabilities migrating from ATM to Internet Protocol. These ATM, SAR, and TM chips address those needs."

Two of the six new chips, APP550TM and APP530TM, perform TM, SAR, ATM, voice and data packet processing; operations, administration and maintenance; traffic policing; traffic shaping; buffer management; and data modification capabilities. Priced at $575 and $295 in quantities of 10,000, the chips are targeted for network equipment that connects Internet, access networks, as well as digital subscriber line and cable modems to the telecom service providers' backbone infrastructures.

Agere says its TAAD Lite and TAAD UltraLite chips combine about 12 separate chips into one and house approximately 140 million transistors. The processors are designed for 3G wireless base stations and digital subscriber line access multiplexers.

Two last two chips, the SAR-1K and the SAR-500, perform segmentation & reassembly functions and are usually combined with the TAAD Lite and TAAD UltraLite chips to allow simultaneous user channels of voice, data, or video signals. The TAAD and SAR-x chips are priced from $125 to $300 in quantities of 10,000.