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Freescale's AMP addresses explosive IP traffic growth

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:64bit? power architecture? multicore platform? IP traffic?

At the heart of the AMP series
Compared with other processors on the market today, Byrne said that "AMP provides more performance." He added, "An unusual, if not unique feature, is the inclusion of a SIMD unit (AltiVec)."

At the heart of Freescale's QorIQ AMP series sits a new multithreaded, 64bit Power Architecture e6500 core running at up to 2.5GHz. Indeed, the e6500 core incorporates an enhanced version of the high-performance AltiVec vector processing unit. Until e6500, Freescale had not included AltiVec in its Power Architecture core-based communication processors.

The AltiVec engine, however, has already proven effective in such applications as radar and sonar, explained Freescale's Dixon. When so many different events are happening across cores, he added that the AltiVec will also be effective for networking customers who have real-time scheduling needs. AltiVec addresses high-bandwidth data processing and algorithmic-intensive computations, delivering DSP-level performance to customers.

The first product among QorIQ AMP series
Freescale's T4240 device, the first product in the QorIQ AMP series, will target networking, industrial and military/aerospace markets.

The T4240, scheduled for sampling in early 2012, incorporates various hardware accelerators. It is armed 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," according to Freescale. Advanced capabilities allow for intelligent sharing and duplication of resources between threads and a larger amount of on-die cache per core, the company said.

"In the networking space, the [T4240] devices are designed to address the packet processing and power consumption challenges driven by explosive growth in IP traffic that is expected over the next several years," observed Abhi Dugar, research manager for IDC's wired communications semiconductor research.

Dugar noted, "Expect QorIQ AMP to be deployed for control and data plane applications in wireless and wireline communications equipment that is used in cellular infrastructure, mobile back haul, enterprise and data center environments." He added, "Since these are

programmable devices, the same products are applicable in industrial and military applications."

Examples in the industrial market include "smart grid, data aggregation, metering and factory automation," said Dugar. "For the defense/military market, QorIQ AMP devices can be used to build high-performance rugged, single board computers (SBCs) in space and weight constrained environments."


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