Advancements in LAN silicon continue, as Xelerated has started to ship a network processor capable of running 10 Gigabit Ethernet links.The fabless semiconductor company showed the X10q-e processor at the recent NetWorld+Interop 2003 trade show in Las Vegas.The network processor could be used by LAN equipment vendors to build multi-port Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet line cards for their chassis-based switches. It\u2019s intended for enterprise backbones and metro Ethernet applications.Xelerated emphasized the low cost of the processor, at $245 per 10 Gigabit port - of course, that\u2019s just for the processor itself, and that\u2019s not what an end user would pay, and that could be much more. The company also emphasized the low power consumption of the chip.Xelerated started off with silicon designed for SONET links and has extended it to Ethernet.Network processors offer an alternative to custom ASICs. They are more flexible than ASICs because they are programmable, so features can be added or changed more easily. It\u2019s up to individual system vendors to write the programs to run on the network processors.At N+I, the company said it demonstrated a switch\/router performing 802.1d\/q bridging and IP\/MPLS forwarding.Xelerated\u2019s processors can move 60 million packets per second.