Freescale Semiconductors is working on a eight-core processor for embedded applications. The chip is called QorlQ P4080, it will start sampling within a year and will be made on a 45nm process.
The signature member of Freescale's new QorIQ product line, the P4080 multicore processor is based on 45-nm process technology. It integrates enhanced Power Architecture cores, a tri-level cache hierarchy, innovative CoreNet™ on-chip fabric and datapath acceleration to deliver exceptional performance within a 30W maximum power envelope.
"Our new QorIQ P4080 processor addresses the need to dramatically scale performance without introducing complexity for developers," said Lynelle McKay, senior vice president and general manager for Freescale's Networking and Multimedia Group. “We've thought through the issues of first-generation multicore devices and the P4080 is our conclusion. By offering breakthrough technology and engaging deeply with our partners, we're ensuring that our customers have what they need to take full advantage of all that our architecture has to offer."
The QorIQ P4080 provides concurrent handling of control-plane, data-plane and application layer processing tasks. It is ideal for applications such as switches, enterprise and service provider routers, access and media gateways, base station controllers, radio network controllers (RNCs), and general-purpose embedded computing systems in the networking, telecom, industrial, military and aerospace markets.
"Multicore communications processors are well positioned to address a huge challenge facing networks today – managing the increasing complexity and convergence of traffic created by the demand for feature-rich, bandwidth-intensive services," said Aileen Arcilla, senior networking, broadband and storage analyst for IDC. "The potential of a multicore device to integrate control-plane, data-plane and applications processing tasks onto a single chip while optimizing performance at low power levels will drive the growth of the embedded multicore market.”
Overall performance is enhanced via a Datapath Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) that simultaneously provides high networking performance and reduces software complexity. The acceleration architecture works in concert with the cores to manage packet routing, security, quality-of-service and deep packet inspection – freeing the cores to focus on value-added services and application processing. The CoreNet fabric also boosts performance by eliminating bus contention, bottlenecks and latency issues associated with shared bus/shared memory architectures that are common in other multicore approaches.
The QorIQ P4080 features an impressive array of high-speed I/O technologies including dual 10-Gbps Ethernet (XAUI) controllers, eight 1-Gbps Ethernet (SGMII) controllers, three PCI Express v2.0 controllers/ports running at up to 5GHz and two serial RapidIO® 1.2 controllers/ports running at up to 3.125GHz.