A Functional Block Hardware Architecture for Switching Systems

Yasumasa IWASE

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E80-B       pp.442-447
Publication Date: 1997/03/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Category: Switching and Communication Processing
switch,  system,  functional block,  architecture,  firmware,  

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In the proposed architecture, switching system hardware resources are allocated at the equipment level rather than at the component level of LSI chips. Equipment using these resources can thus be shared between independent systems. The efficiency of system development is improved by using structural elements called functional blocks (FBs). The hardware in each FB consists of a shared part (amicroprocessor, its peripheral circuitry, and memory) and a dedicated part that implements the specific functions of the FB. Firmware loaded into the microprocessor consists of a shared part and a dedicated part that corresponds to the hardware parts. Each FB also has its own built-in autonomous testing function to test the reliability of that FB and has its own identification function. By combining these FBs, this approach can flexibly cope with various switching system configurations for plain old telephone service (POTS), integrated services digital network (ISDN), and broad-band ISDN (B-ISDN). Tests using several types of FBs showed that the shared hardware and firmware parts of an FB can be shared between blocks. An architecture based on FBs results in a platform that can handle the hardware for various systems, making it easy to construct new switching systems.