Monday, June 20, 2011

Freescale AMPs up its Multicore QorIQ Processors

Freescale Semiconductor unveiled its next generation, multicore QorIQ processors for high performance, high power efficiency networking platforms capable of handling the expected IP traffic surge in the years ahead.

The new Advanced Multiprocessing (AMP) QorIQ series incorporates a new, multi-threaded 64-bit Power Architecture core, 28-nm process technology, up to 24 virtual cores, acceleration engines and sophisticated power management to deliver new levels of performance and power efficiency. The new series remains software-compatible with Freescale's PowerQUICC and QorIQ product families and has extensive development support.

Freescale said its design goal with the AMP series is to combine the benefits of multi-threaded 64-bit performance with the energy efficiency of 28nm technology in a new generation of control and data plane processors. The series will scale from ultra-low-power single-core products up to highly advanced SoCs targeting the most demanding networking, industrial and military/aerospace applications, delivering up to 4x the performance of Freescale's previous-generation flagship eight-core QorIQ P4080 device.

At the heart of the QorIQ AMP series is the new multithreaded, 64-bit Power Architecture e6500 core running at up to 2.5 GHz. The e6500 incorporates an enhanced version of Freescale's existing high-performance, widely adopted AltiVec vector processing unit. AltiVec addresses high-bandwidth data processing and algorithmic-intensive computations, delivering DSP-level performance and other benefits for Freescale customers.

The AMP design also leverages a range of highly advanced acceleration engines and co-processing technologies, including enhanced security, pattern matching and compress/decompress engines, as well as Freescale's proven data path acceleration (DPAA) and QUICC Engine technologies.

According to the company, the AMP series' compression/decompression technology provides 20 Gbps of performance, and a new SEC 5.0 crypto accelerator offloads protocol processing, including LTE, IPSec, and SSL, at up to 40 Gbps while delivering nearly 140 Gbps of raw crypto hardware acceleration for current and emerging wireless and wireline algorithms. Other new acceleration/offload technologies are incorporated to support regex acceleration, 128-bit SIMD data prefetching, in-line parsing and classification, and quality of service functionalities.

The AMP series also incorporates many previous-generation QorIQ breakthroughs including CoreNet interconnect fabric, a cache-coherent memory hierarchy, hardware-based virtualization for optimal performance and dynamic on-chip debug technology that provides deep visibility into complex software processes.

With the AMP series, Freescale is also implementing a "cascading power management" approach that reduces energy consumption via software-controlled active power management, a power domain hierarchy and six different power states for optimal fine-tuning. The AMP series power management system includes a variable-mode power switch that allows customers to modulate the power of the cores and other processing units with independence and precision.

The AMP series consists of three performance tiers:

Control plane processors (service provider routers, storage networks): up to 6 cores running at up to 2.5 GHz, and greater than 6 MB L2 cache.

High-end data plane processors (routers, switches, access gateways, mil/aero applications): up to 24 virtual cores running at up to 2.0 GHz, 50 Gbps IP forwarding capability, and advanced application acceleration.

Low-end data plane processors (media gateways, network attached storage, integrated services router): up to 8 virtual cores running up to 1.6 GHz, and advanced application acceleration with less than 10W power.

This first QorIQ AMP series device is the T4240, which integrates a host of hardware accelerators with 12 dual-threaded e6500 cores, providing 24 threads to address high-end data plane processing applications. Dual-threaded efficiency, improved DMIPs per thread and higher frequency deliver 4x performance gain and more than 2x power efficiency gain over the previous-generation QorIQ P4080 device.

The AMP introduction coincides with the Freescale Technology Forum, which is being held this week in Austin. The company noted that with this AMP series introduction, it plans to aggressively drive the embedded market to 28-nm process technology.http:/

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