Intel Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., has announced two new families of network processor units (NPUs) for traditional communications applications and for the emerging embedded networking segment. Network processors in traditional communications systems help to power many access and edge networking applicaitons such as DSLAMs, wireless access switches and enterprise router line cards.Intel's NPUs are now being used in embedded networking applications in industrial automation environments in place of custom components."The performance and flexibility of our network processor technology has become very attractive to new networking segments such as automation and control," said Doug Davis, vice president and general manager of the Infrastructure Processor Div., Intel Communications Group. "Network processors are no longer just about relentless pursuit of line speed; they now need to combine more features and flexibility that allows customers to customize designs for their individual specifications."Scot Tutkovics, software engineering manager for Rockwell Automation, explains that the features offered by the Intel processors is what attracted the company to use Intel's network processor technology. "The IXP465 meets our demading design requirements including low power consumption, a high degree of reliability, built-in Ethernet, USB, real-time synchronization and other networking capabilities," he said.The Intel network processors are the latest addition to the company's product line and offer a higher speed core, expanded connectivity options and enhancements to improve end system reliability and security.