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Nexcom announces new security appliance with Unified Threat Management

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May 16, 2013

A few days ago, Nexcom announced that it's launching a new line of network security appliances featuring Unified Threat Management (UTM) services based on Freescale’s new 12-core 1.8 GHz QorIQ T-4240 system-on-chip (SOC) processor.

The new NSA 5640 security appliance is equipped with up to 6 GB of DDR3 RAM, 2 GB of NAND flash, mini-PCI Express expansion, eight gigabit Ethernet ports, optional 4-port 10 GbE connectivity and PowerPC Linux support, right out of the box.

The NSA 5640 appliance offers UTM services to address sophisticated Internet-based attacks, responding to unauthorized traffic, malicious activities, spam, viruses and malware, says Nexcom.

The company’s other NSA-branded networking appliances use Intel Xeon, and four and eight core processors.

The Advanced Multiprocessing (AMP) Series QorIQ T-4240 SOC is Freescale’s most powerful Power Architecture processor, advancing to 28nm fabrication and 64-bit e6500 PowerPC cores.

The e6500's memory subsystem differs from the earlier e5500 core, combining cores in up to eight quad-core CPU clusters, each of which shares 2 MB of L2 cache.

The QorIQ T-4240 offers 12 cores clocked to 1.8 GHz, enabling 24 virtual cores via multithreading. The SOC also provides Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) packet handling technology, including queue, buffer and frame managers, a RapidIO message manager for high-speed serial interconnects, and hardware accelerators for SEC cryptography, PME expression scanning, and DCE compression.

The NSA 5640 is equipped with up to 6 GB of DDR3 memory, 128 MB of NOR flash, and 2 GB of NAND flash. Expansion capabilities include a front-facing SD slot, SATA hard disk drive (HDD) bay, and both mini-PCI Express (PCIe) and PCIe connectors.

The eight copper gigabit Ethernet ports can be extended with an optional 4-port SFP+/10GBase-T (10 gigabit Ethernet) module. USB and serial ports are also provided.

A spokesperson confirmed the availability of a Linux SDK. In addition, Nexcom provides board support packages (BSPs), customized operating systems, and technical support for application software integration.

Specifications listed for the NSA 5640 include:

  • Freescale QorIQ T4240 CPU (12x e6500 Power cores @ 1.8GHz)
  • Up to 6 GB of DDR3 RAM via 3x DIMMs
  • 128 MB 16-bit NOR flash
  • 2 GB SLC NAND flash
  • 2 Kbit 24C02 I2C EPPROM
  • SD storage slot with 2.5-inch HDD bay
  • Mini-PCIe x1 expansion slot with PCIe x8
  • 8x gigabit Ethernet ports with optional 4-port SFP+ 10GbE
  • 2x USB 2.0 I/O ports with RJ45 Console
  • Also features LED and reset button
  • ATX power supply with 300W capacity
  • 426mm x 300mm x 44mm form factor
  • Linux Kernel 3.0.51 RT75 operating system
  • For now, no pricing or availability information was supplied for the NSA 5640. More information may be found at Nexcom’s NSA 5640 product page, however.

    In other IT news

    In an unusual decision, Texas computer maker Dell will report five days in advance its fiscal Q1 financials amid an escalating fight between its CEO Michael Dell, and Wall Street activist and corporate raider Carl Icahn over the future ownership of the company.

    Dell has confirmed late yesterday that it scheduled a conference call with analysts tomorrow May 16, indicating that the company's numbers could potentially fall way short of the Street's more positive forecasts.

    But Dell made no further mention as to why this is happening earlier than planned and Dell refused to comment. According to estimates by the Wall Street Journal, Dell may post sales of about $14 billion, and earnings from operations of $600 million.

    In 2012, Dell turned over $14.4 billion and made an operating profit of $824 million. Times have been rough lately in the PC and server market, and Dell isn't the only company that has been affected. Dell's main rival HP has seen its sales fall a lot in the last twelve months as well.

    In February of this year, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell tabled a $24.4 billion bid to take the company private again, with a lot of help from Silver Lake Partners and even a loan from Microsoft, one of Dell's longtime industry partners.

    Dell is rapidly losing ground in the device market to Apple and Samsung as consumers switch to tablets and smartphones, and enterprises extend corporate refresh cycles. Windows XP is a good example of how companies are trying to stretch their IT budgets to the maximum, as Microsoft said it will stop supporting the aging OS in 2014.

    Dell is trying to transform itself into a enterprise tech player to replace those declining PC revenues, and to date has bet more than $13 billion on acquisitions to help it get there.

    But it'd probably be wiser not to let this play out under the glare of Wall Street's gurus or under the noses of rivals, so de-listing with a new ownership structure is the plan.

    Major stakeholder Carl Icahn is very unhappy with the current offer from Dell and his partners, and has vowed to fight this battle to the end. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the next few weeks. We will keep you posted.

    Source: Nexcom Inc.

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