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Nokia FP4 Network Processor
Credit: Nokia

Short Bytes: A new network processor by Nokia called FP4 can handle multi-terabit speeds of the magnitude of 2.4 Tbps – a 6x boost than current chips. Using FP4, Nokia has created the world first petabit-class router 7950 XRS-XC which can process up to 576Tb/s. The chip also features technologies which help us reduce potential DDoS attacks. 

The future of the internet is definitely more data and more devices. According to Nokia Bell Labs, the global internet traffic per month would cross 330 petabytes by 2022.

A significant contribution to this ever-increasing number would be by hundreds of billions of IoT devices, cloud-based services, and the upcoming 5G technology. Bell Labs expects the number of connected devices to rise from 12 billion in 2017 to 100 billion by 2025.

Of course, better hardware would be required to address the growing data needs. Nokia has announced a commercial router chip FP4 which can process data up to 2.4Tbps, making it six times more powerful than the chips currently existing.

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This silicon chip is built using a 16nm FinFET Plus process. It’s the first chip capable of delivering terabit IP flows. A chip that fast also clears the road for petabit-class routers and clear-channel terabit speeds. This can be achieved by combining multiple FP4 chips on a single board to scale hardware to the capacity never imagined before.

In addition to powering new routers, according to Nokia’s CTO of IP and optical business Steve Vogelsang, these boards can also be used in routers as old as ten years.

Nokia used FP4 network processor to design the first petabit-class router Nokia 7950 Extensible Routing System XRS-XC, capable of handling up to 576Tbps in a single system via chassis extension and eliminating the need for switching shelves. According to the company, this is the highest capacity router till date.

Also, FP4 powers their new single-shelf Nokia 7750 SR-14s service router which can handle 144 terabits per second, and it’s scalable up to 288 Tbps.

Another concern that needs attention while designing hardware for the future is cyber security. DDoS attacks are on the rise across the globe, and we have started to see some of them cross 1Tbps. According to the predictions made by Deloitte Global, around 10 million DDoS attacks are expected in the year 2017 itself. It’s likely we are going to see much bigger and sophisticated attacks in the coming years.

Nokia says their FP4 Silicon chips embed Enhanced Packet intelligence and control technology. The chip can send traffic stats to external systems like Nokia’s Deepfield IP network analysis solution and help minimize or even prevent possible DDoS attacks.

Nokia has plans to release their new network hardware in the market by the end of 2017.

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