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Quad-core processor packs dual memory controllers

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:quad-core processor? multicore? memory controller?

Freescale Semiconductor has beefed up the range of power and performance options available for its QorIQ family of multicore platforms with the introduction of the QorIQ P4040 processor.

A four-core version of Freescale's flagship P4080 processor, the new device delivers low-power solutions for applications requiring optimal performance in a sub-15W typical power envelope. Pin and code compatibility with the eight-core P4080 device allows customers to easily migrate between processors, providing a scalable solution across Freescale's multicore offerings.

The new processor combines control, datapath and application layer processing, which lowers part counts, reduces system cost and shrinks product footprints. The P4040 is well-suited for wireless infrastructure, enterprise routing and switching and industrial applications.

The P4040 is manufactured using 45nm process technology and features dual memory controllers and the same advanced caching, interconnect acceleration and high-speed I/O technologies as the P4080 processor. The P4040 also leverages the P4080's embedded hypervisor and Datapath Acceleration Architecture technologies.

The new device integrates four e500mc cores based on Power Architecture technology, delivering frequencies of 1.5GHz per core. Each core has a dedicated 128Kbyte L2 backside cache and access to 2Mbyte of shared frontside L3 cache. Full processor independence, including the ability to boot and reset each individual e500mc core, is a defining characteristic of the P4040 device. In addition, the P4040 boasts dual memory controllers that support DDR2 or DDR3 memories allowing board designers to utilize the latest memory technologies.

The P4040 integrates I/O technologies including dual 10Gbit/s Ethernet (XAUI) controllers and eight 1Gbit/s Ethernet (SGMII) controllers for packetized data processing. For non-packetized processing, there are three PCIe v2.0 controllers/ports running at up to 5GHz and two Serial RapidIO controllers/ports running up to 3.125GHz.

The P4040 is supported by an array of enablement partners and technologies. Freescale has worked closely with its partners to assure availability of a wide range of development technologies including operating systems, development tools and application code. Customers can also use Virtutech's Simics hybrid simulation model for the P4040 device, which allows customers to begin development on the new processor even prior to first silicon.

The QorIQ P4040 device is scheduled to begin sampling in Q4 09 and production is planned for 2H 10.

- Paul Buckley
Power Management DesignLine Europe

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