Marvell Targets IoT Networking with Questflo SRAM-based Chips

By Pedro Hernandez

Marvell is showing off its answer to the impending crush of traffic and data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices.

The chipmaker today unveiled Questflo, a family of network search co-processors that enable large-scale address lookup and management capabilities. The inaugural model (98TX1100) can manage and secure up to 8 million data flows, regardless of packet size and bandwidth. The "carrier-grade" part features error-correcting (ECC) memory and can handle up to 2.4 billion searches per second.

Questflo's Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)-based network search engine technology provides four times the capacity at a third of the power consumption (25 watts). When incorporated into enterprise routers, appliances, servers, switches and a variety of other IT infrastructure equipment, Marvell claims that the new silicon will help data center operators manage, scale and monetize the burgeoning market for IoT solutions.

"Network search engine is a key pillar in supporting today’s vast infrastructure of cloud computing and cloud-based services," said Weili Dai, president and co-founder of Marvell, in a statement. Her company's technology "enables service providers and network operators around the world to significantly scale up their ability for the fast growing mobile internet and Internet of Things markets," she added.

In March, Gartner predicted that by 2020, 26 billion devices will be pumping data across the Internet of Things. Gartner vice president Joe Skorupa expects that the sheer volume of traffic and digital information will require businesses to rethink their IT strategies.

"Organizations will be forced to aggregate data in multiple distributed mini data centers where initial processing can occur. Relevant data will then be forwarded to a central site for additional processing," he said.

Top-performing companies are already laying the groundwork, according to a recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Twenty-five percent of such businesses -- ranked high on the basis of their sales, profitability and innovative solutions -- are investing in IoT sensors this year, versus 18 percent last year.

"For businesses, the Internet of Business Things (IoBT) helps companies achieve enhanced process optimization and efficiencies by collecting and reporting on data collected from the business environment," stated the report.

Questflo 98TX1100, an evaluation platform and software development kit (SDK) are currently shipping to early-access customers.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

This article was originally published on October 20, 2014