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Freescale platform simplifies migration to multicore

Posted: 03 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:multicore platform? multicore software development? Freescale processors?

Freescale Semiconductor Inc. has launched its PowerQUICC-based Multicore Communications Platform designed to help customers migrate easily to multicore environments while preserving the value of legacy software investments.

Fundamental to Freescale's latest approach are the power reduction and integration advantages realized by a migration to 45nm process technology. At 45nm geometries, Freescale is able to engineer a multilevel, cache-coherent hierarchy that endows each core with its own L2 cache while also integrating multi megabytes of shared L3 cache.

Freescale's multicore platform includes an enhanced Power Architecture e500-mc core, based on the e500 core, targeting a top frequency of 1.5GHz. It also integrates proven on-demand application acceleration capabilities such as new data path resource management technology that handles intra-chip message passing and memory buffer reservation. To enable safe and autonomous operation, the platform leverages a hypervisor environment that enables multiple individual OS to share system resources, including processor cores, memory and other on-chip functions.

At the heart of the platform is CoreNet technology, a highly scalable fabric for on-chip connectivity. It is designed to eliminate bus contention, bottlenecks and latency issues associated with shared bus/shared memory architectures that are common in other multicore approaches. CoreNet technology can seamlessly accommodate more than 32 cores as well as heterogeneous core implementations.

Freescale expects to roll out a comprehensive road map of products based on the Multicore Communications Platform, the first of which is planned to sample in late 2008. A Virtutech simulation environment is now available for Freescale's current generation of multicore processors, the MPC8572E and the MPC8641D.

The simulation environment for the platform is expected to be available in Q4 2007, allowing development and system optimization to begin prior to product availability.

- Ismini Scouras

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