Keate Despain, senior director of product line marketing, Radisys, talks with Chris Shaw

CS: Tell me how the introduction of Intel's Xeon processor 5500 series has helped RadiSys? KD: RadiSys is continually working with its technology partners to introduce breakthrough technology that, at a minimum, doubles the performance of our previous generation of leading edge blades. The Intel Xeon processor 5500 series delivers to this commitment and more. We are able to address performance requirements and new price points simultaneously by building a SINGLE socket blade that performs to the market requirements at a lower cost. This opens up new opportunities to take ATCA into the growing 4G market space and compete effectively with internal designed blades. CS: What can the ATCA 4500 offer TEMs? KD: We are seeing, in some applications, upwards of 3X the performance improvement while maintaining the same constraints found in earlier generations of ATCA blades. Specifically, our new ATCA 4500 series blade runs at less then 200W, has a thermal profile that fits in installed chassis, and boosts the total number of memory DIMMs to deliver a very powerful CPU blade. Being able to deliver within these constraints and deliver 2-3X performance improvements, with ONLY a single socket for the processor is game changing. CS: As the adoption of ATCA grows, have you seen any change in customers' demands? KD: Customers continue to expect more from ATCA. It's delivering on the promise of delivering higher performance in existing platforms at a predictable technology beat rate. This is in keeping with driving the benefits of Moore's law into the telecom world. With this comes the increased demand for delivering this new technology cheaper, faster and more efficiently. This is not a change in customer demands, just a continued pressure to fulfil the promise of this growing standard in the embedded computing market. In addition, as the market matures, we are seeing ATCA stretch into new areas. These include military applications, enterprise data centre applications, and new industrial applications. CS: How is RadiSys reducing its carbon footprint? KD: RadiSys as a company has an active 'green' programme. From the recycling activities our employees pursue, to the usage of technology to develop, manufacture and deliver these products to the world. Specific to the ATCA 4500 blade, customers are able to maintain the same power envelope of an ATCA blade under 200W and still deliver an incredible 2-3x performance gain. In terms of a carbon footprint, this means TEMs adopting this technology can reduce their carbon footprint by increasing the density of users on a single blade. They can also make trade offs as to whether they reduce the number of blades required for subscriber density to support or increase their applications on a single blade running multiple OS environments through virtualisation and carrying more applications. This reduces the overall number of servers blades to actually buy and consume. CS: What challenges face the communications networking sector in the coming year and how will RadiSys address them? KD: We are seeing one of the largest contractions of the world economy in over 50 years. The communications networking sector has remained relatively healthy compared to other sectors, but challenges still remain. The TEMs continue to look for efficiencies as they reduce headcount, yet constantly upgrade new products and revenue generating services for the Telcos. RadiSys has addressed this challenge by developing leading edge application ready platforms using COTS ATCA technology. This outsourcing model of HW and standards based middleware, delivers products cheaper and faster to market, than doing internal designs. The platforms are even more robust as multiple companies are testing their individual applications creating a hardened environment by their sheer number of usage models a single platform supports. RadiSys works closely with its customers to enable this on a daily basis and has these application ready platforms in live networks around the world. Another challenge facing the communications industry is flexibility within the COTS platforms. RadiSys as a sponsor member of CP-TA is actively working with the industry through technical collaboration and interoperable 'plugfests'. This ensures that the ATCA ecosystem continues to thrive and innovate within the standard body while driving a common set of guidelines to ensure interoperability for the TEMs and service providers that chose ATCA. Last, the challenge of reducing our carbon footprint remains a constant goal. The relationships that RadiSys maintains with our technology providers from Intel, Cavium, Broadcom, and TI enables a very fast migration from older generation technology to next generation that ensures we are reducing our carbon footprint as quickly as possible while maintaining the ever increasing demands of the market place for new revenue generating services. Keate Despain is the senior director of product line marketing for the RadiSys communications business unit. He is responsible for the ATCA product line. Prior to joining RadiSys, Keate was the director of marketing for the modular communications platform division at the Intel Corporation. While in MCPD, Keate drove both the ATCA and Telecom grade Rack mount server product lines until he assisted Intel in selling the ATCA product line to RadiSys. Keate worked at Intel for 11 years, prior to joining MCPD he was on assignment in Shanghai for Intel China establishing and leading the Digital Home Group's Consumer Electronic focus in APAC. Prior to this assignment in DHG, Keate was a marketing manager in IPD/EIA for seven years. While in Embedded Intel Architecture Division, he had various responsibilities across communications segment marketing, software marketing, product marketing and channel marketing. Before joining Intel, Keate was a product marketing engineer in the Cellular Phone Division for Motorola China. Keate has an MBA from Arizona State University and resides in Portland, Oregon.