Intel has launched an initiative with UK communications distributor Post CTI to entice more system builders and integrators to build media servers around its NetStructure Host Media Processing (HMP) software version 1.1.
The software is designed to allow builders to create voicemail, interactive voice response, conferencing and other media processing servers without using dedicated voice-processing boards.
NetStructure HMP looks like an Intel Dialogic board with DM3 architecture to the server's application, but all of the processing takes place on the main system processor.
It is designed to work with servers built using Intel Celeron, Pentium III and 4, and Xeon processors.
The software can scale to 120 concurrent sessions on a single server, supporting a mix of voice, T.38 fax, and conferencing traffic, while leaving 50 per cent of the host CPU resources free for other applications.
The software also supports the ITU H.323 specification for call control in IP-server environments.
Dedicated voice processing cards for media servers can cost as much as £10,000 per top-end 120-port board. Intel is hoping to price its equivalent software at well below that level.
Saul Olivares, Intel's product marketing manager, said: "There are two main benefits in going via the software route. These include less cost from the outset and lower total cost of ownership in the long run.
"According to our estimates, system integrators can realise cost reductions of between 30 and 60 per cent over a dedicated hardware voice processor.
"Because it's a software solution, field upgrades and support can be dealt with remotely, rather than having to go onsite.
"The software is also a lot more flexible as it can scale down to one voice board and customers have to pay for only the functionality they need."
Neil May, managing director of Post CTI, said: "You can buy a small car for the price of some of these voice processing cards. The software takes a lot of that additional hardware cost out of the equation for system builders.
"HMP will help system developers and end-users accelerate time-to-market for new applications and cut the cost of deployment.
"It will also simplify the migration of existing applications from traditional telephony environments to IP."
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