Intel® Atom™ Processors Help Energy and Network-Savvy Systems

By Frank Shen and Mark Huang

According to the fourth-quarter edition of Infonetics Research’s “Content Security Appliances and Software, Network Security Appliances and Software,” the network-security appliance and software market will grow to $6.4 billion in 2014. Some of the key requirements to maintaining this growth include a continued increase in computing performance and networking capability. Connectivity needs to be even more flexible as devices link to a wider range of networks (wide- and local-area networks). Fulfilling this predicted growth will demand devices that are reliable and help to save energy. Such devices also must meet no-noise or lownoise demands and have built-in expansion and safety features, such as power-fail safe and bypass functionality.

Pineview Processors

The new Intel® Atom™ processors N450, D410, and D510—formerly code-named Pineview—are rapidly developing into the technology of choice to support embedded devices in this burgeoning network-security market. They can provide small- and medium-sized businesses with the four essential features needed to run their network-savvy embedded systems even more effectively and competitively: compactness, power, scalability, and energy savings.

These Intel Atom processors take a giant step forward by integrating both the central-processing-unit (CPU) and graphics cores into a single chip (around a 33% reduction in kit size), thus allowing for smaller form factors (22 x 22 mm) and lower energy consumption. The key benefit inherited from the firm’s innovative Emb Flex Design is the pin and package-size compatibility among the three processors. As a result, there is no need to redesign the printed-circuit board (PCB) when selecting from the N450, D410, or D510. A single host can run any one of these three processors and provide computing flexibility for the demands of network security.

From Fanless Desktop To Rackmount

The low-power and compact design of the Intel Atom processors N450, D410, and D510 makes them an ideal choice for embeddednetwork- security application developers who wish to consolidate solutions and reduce development costs. At the same time, developers can increase performance per watt and time to market. The processors’ flexible form factors include fanless compact-desktop, slim-desktop, and slim-rackmount devices to provide increased options for applications in home-office and small- and mediumsized business environments.

Practical Applications

American Portwell’s CAD-0205, CAD-0206, and CAD-0208 network appliances promise to further the capabilities of the Intel Atom processors N450, D410, and D510. They provide a high-performance/ watt solution with a competitive price in an appliance that fits in a tight space, such as those found in home offices and small- to medium-sized businesses. This rackmount solution is well suited for the IT room and network environment.

Portwell applies the new Intel Atom processor technologies into small-form-factor network devices to address:

  • Computing performance: New Intel Atom processors
    provide multiple computing-engine choices. They can be low
    power while delivering “speed.”
  • Networking capability: Four Gigabit Ethernet ports are
    implemented in these “appliances” and each port is an actual
    Gigabit LAN port. Each appliance has two bypass segments
    with two ports forming each bypass segment.
  • Flexible connectivity: Four LAN ports enable great
    connectivity so the device can be configured to different
    external or internal networks.
  • Energy savings: Lower power means lower energy—
    especially when the appliance is running 24x7.
  • Quiet operation: No-noise or low-noise operation
    minimizes noise in the surrounding environment while
    extending application reliability.
  • Reliability: The bypass, fanless, internal Compact Flash
    socket works to increase reliability.
  • Expansion capability: The internal Mini-PCIe slot can be
    used for a Wi-Fi card (to enable wireless-network capability)
    or others, such as WWAN, WPAN, or GPS cards.

Frank Shen is product marketing director at American Portwell Technology Inc. in Fremont, Calif.




Mark Huang is product marketing manager at American Portwell Technology Inc. in Fremont, Calif.