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Multicore SiByte processors roll

Posted: 16 Nov 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processor? dual-core? quad-core? hypertransport? spi?

Broadcom Corp. is expanding its line of 64bit SiByte communication processors, adding two dual-core versions and its first quad-core implementations. Three of the processors have a special subsystem with a switching fabric and three separate HyperTransport/SPI interfaces on-chip.

The first two quad-core SiByte processors, the BCM1455 and BCM-1480, have a full operating frequency of up to 1.2GHz. Multichip coherency support is offered for up to eight dual-core BCM1280 or quad-core BCM1480 devices, for a total of 32 SB-1 cores. Broadcom will support multiprocessing operating systems such as QNX, SMP Linux and VxMP from the day of introduction. As a result, said Anu Sundaresan, senior product line manager, the line is finding some design wins in high-performance computing, as well as in its traditional base of networking, wireless and storage platforms.

The SB-1 core at the heart of the SiByte processors is a proprietary superscalar implementation based on the MIPS64 processor core and instruction set. The SB-1s offer up to 2,500 Dhrystone MIPS per core, which translates to 5 million packets per second of L3 packet forwarding, or 6Gbps of TCP traffic termination, Broadcom said.

The processors all have an eight-way set-associative Level 2 cache, which is 1MB in the BCM1280, BCM1455 and BCM1480 processors, and 512KB in the BCM1255 dual-core device without the on-chip switching-fabric subsystem.

All members of the line feature the ZBbus split-transaction coherent system bus, running at 128Gbps. A memory controller interfacing to the ZBbus supports double data rate and DDR2-800, at up to 100Gbps. This memory controller can be configured as either two 64bit channels or four 32bit channels.

The two dual-core devices, the BCM1255 and BCM1280, will move into production in the Q2 2005. The quad-core BCM1455 and BCM1480 are slated for sampling in the Q1 2005, with production following in the Q3. Unit pricing in quantities of 10,000 for 1GHz processors is $599 for the BCM1255, $699 for the BCM1280, $999 for the BCM1455 and $1,199 for the BCM1480.

- Loring Wirbel

EE Times

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