The company plans to delay the release of a new product without security features. The IXP 2850, scheduled for the second quarter of next year, is designed to route information packets within switches and telecommunications servers. Additionally, it will perform intelligent functions like encryption and decryption, eliminating the need for a separate co-processor. According to Matt Campbell, a product marketing manager at Intel’s communications division, most competitor solutions currently require multiple chips for content processing. The Intel chip is expected to power VPN servers and operate security functions at a faster rate of 10 gigabits per second compared to existing security co-processors.

The IXP 2850 will coincide with the launch of the IXP 2800, a programmable networking chip focusing on routing and processing tasks without handling security operations. Originally slated for release this quarter, the IXP 2800 faced delays due to software issues. Network processors aim to reduce costs in manufacturing networking equipment. Despite historical practices where companies like Nortel Networks developed all components in-house, the industry has shifted due to economic challenges, leading to a surge in network processor adoption.

Industry experts anticipate that the security features of the IXP 2850 will make it appealing to the market, given the growing emphasis on data security. Analysts predict an increase in market potential for network processors as they continue to evolve following Moore’s Law. While some executives express concerns about performance parity between programmable networking chips and custom-built components, Campbell believes the industry is adapting well to working with these advanced chips.

The upcoming chip, featuring two cryptography engines, integrates technologies acquired by Intel during significant purchasing activities between 1998 and 2001. Software from Shiva and iPivot will support many VPN functions of the chip. Intel, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, will collaborate with customers on equipment design through the Trillium-acquired group. The IXA family, stemming from a Digital Equipment project acquired by Intel in 1997, forms the foundation of these advancements.

Upon its release in the second quarter of 2003, the IXP 2850 will be priced at $725 for volume purchases, while the development tool, IXPA 2850, will cost $12,000. The IXP 2800 will be available for $425. Intel also plans to introduce a new software developer kit and programming software tailored for the chip.