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64bit processor integrates GbE switch

Posted: 15 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:64bit processors? CoreNet? PCI Express? Ethernet?

Freescale Semiconductor has expanded its QorIQ T1 and T2 families of 64bit processors with four products, including the quad-core T1040 "router on a chip," touted by the company as the industry's first embedded 64bit processor to integrate a gigabit Ethernet switch. Built on the Power Architecture technology, the products target entry-level to mid-range networking, printing and security device applications, added the company.

The T1 family includes dual- and quad-core devices, and the T2 family includes eight-virtual-core devices, enabling a range of performance spanning from 1.2-1.8GHz per core. In addition to the T1040, Freescale is introducing the T1020, which incorporates two cores and an Ethernet switch, the dual-core T1022, as well as the eight virtual-core T2081, which is based on the Power Architecture e6500 core. All of the parts are pin-compatible.

The T1/T2 devices integrate CoreNet, PCI Express and Ethernet networking interfaces, a combination of programmable and fixed processing units, including enhancements to Freescale's data path acceleration architecture (DPAA) with integrated fixed-functions and networking offload, plus sophisticated pattern matching and security capabilities. Freescale's intelligent integration, advanced process technology and proven design capabilities provide optimised performance and scalability, as well as flexible power tuning for more energy-efficient designs, the company indicated.

In addition to integrating an eight-port gigabit Ethernet switch, the T1040 and T1020 products include the features and attributes of the recently announced T1042 device, including Freescale's DPAA engine, a QUICC Engine block to support a rich set of protocols, shared virtualisation technology and next-generation security features. Scalable performance spans from 1.2-1.4GHz and a sophisticated power management system enables deep sleep mode for fanless, energy-efficient designs.

The T1040 and T1020 processors claim to deliver leading performance per watt and reduce overall system cost, power and design complexity, making them ideal for low-cost routers. By offloading key tasks to the switch, the products free the CPU to handle other tasks, delivering 2x to 4x the performance of Freescale's current-generation QorIQ P1 processors, while maintaining the same power budget. Target applications include enterprise and service provider switching and routing equipment, security appliances and industrial products such as factory automation and smart grid networking products.

The dual-core T1022 processor delivers more than 2x to 4x the performance and SerDes bandwidth of Freescale's current generation QorIQ P1/P2 devices, while maintaining the same power budget. It targets a variety of power-sensitive applications, such as enterprise switching and routing equipment, security appliances and factory automation networking products.

The T2081 device integrates four dual-threaded Power Architecture e6500 cores running at up to 1.8GHz and delivers 2x or better in core capability, cache size, SerDes bandwidth and Ethernet connectivity, while maintaining the same power budget as Freescale's mid-tier 45nm QorIQ P series devices. Key features include advanced virtualisation technology, a broad array of I/O options, DPAA and robust security functionality. The e6500 core's dual-threaded technology provides 1.7x the performance of a single thread and features the 128bit AltiVec single instruction multiple data vector processor, which performs calculations that DSPs would otherwise handle, such as media acceleration and radar processing, but at much lower power. The T2081 is designed for control plane or integrated control/data plane processing. Target applications include mobile backhaul equipment, LTE/WCDMA channel cards, control cards and NICs, and test and measurement products.

Freescale plans to offer samples of the T1040 device in 3Q13, with other T1 and T2 devices following soon after.

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