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Date: 21st Jun 2011

24-core, 64-bit Power arch processor offers extreme performance

Freescale Semiconductor has unveiled 64-bit Power Architecture core based 24 virtual cores processor family made using 28nm process technology to take up the multi core processing benchmark to new level.

Freescale says due to dual-threaded efficiency, improved DMIPs per thread and higher frequency QorIQ AMP series 24-core processor chip delivers up to 4x the performance and more than 2x power efficiency compared to Freescale's eight-core QorIQ P4080 device. This performance packed AMP series to include an array of control and data plane processors scaling from cost-effective, ultra-low-power single-core products to SoCs targeting the networking, industrial, military/defence/aerospace, robotics, storage, medical electronics, video systems and printing applications.

"Exploding IP traffic rates and the proliferation of smarter, bandwidth-hungry consumer devices are dramatically increasing demands on next-generation networks," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Networking & Multimedia Group. "Our new QorIQ AMP series delivers the next wave of innovation for networking OEMs through leveraging Freescale's R&D strength, wealth of IP, and signature intelligent integration."

New multithreaded e6500 core with AltiVec technology:

The multithreaded, 64-bit Power Architecture e6500 core running at up to 2.5 GHz, is suggested for both high-end control plane and high-performance data plane applications. The e6500 incorporates an enhanced version of AltiVec vector processing unit. AltiVec technology addresses high-bandwidth data processing and algorithmic-intensive computations, delivering DSP-level performance and other benefits for Freescale customers.

Complementing the programmable e6500 cores is a broad range of acceleration engines and co-processing technologies, including enhanced security, pattern matching and compress/decompress engines, and Freescale's proven data path acceleration (DPAA) technology. The AMP series' compression/decompression technology provides 20 Gbps of performance, and a new SEC 5.0 crypto accelerator offloads protocol processing, including LTE, IPSec, and SSL, at up to 40 Gbps while delivering nearly 140 Gbps of raw crypto hardware acceleration for current and emerging wireless and wireline algorithms. Other new acceleration/offload technologies are incorporated to support regex acceleration, 128-bit SIMD data prefetching, in-line parsing and classification, and quality of service functionalities.

The AMP series also incorporates CoreNet interconnect fabric, a cache-coherent memory hierarchy, hardware-based virtualization for optimal performance and dynamic on-chip debug technology that provides deep visibility into complex software processes.

"The new QorIQ AMP series underscores Freescale's continued investment in highly advanced multicore processing technology for its large roster of top-tier worldwide networking equipment manufacturers," said Linley Gwennap, founder and principal analyst of The Linley Group. "Following its strong execution in delivering first generation 45-nm QorIQ products to market, Freescale is well positioned for continued success with the 28-nm process technology and highly advanced new core and accelerators included in the new QorIQ AMP series."

To manage the power consumption smartly AMP series uses a variable-mode power switch that allows customers to modulate the power of the cores and other processing units with independence and precision.

The AMP series consists of three levels of products within a scalable portfolio, initially spanning from ultra-high-performance processors featuring 24 virtual cores down to single-core products.

Control plane processors (service provider routers, storage networks)
Up to 6 cores running at up to 2.5 GHz
Greater than 6 MB L2 cache
High-end data plane processors (routers, switches, access gateways, mil/aero applications)
Up to 24 virtual cores running at up to 2.0 GHz
50 Gbps IP forwarding capability
Advanced application acceleration
Low-end data plane processors (media gateways, network attached storage, integrated services router)
Up to 8 virtual cores running up to 1.6 GHz
Advanced application acceleration
Less than 10W power

Freescale's first product in the QorIQ AMP series, the T4240 device, integrates hardware accelerators with 12 dual-threaded e6500 cores, providing 24 threads to address high-end data plane processing applications. Advanced capabilities allow for intelligent sharing and duplication of resources between threads and a larger amount of on-die cache per core. Application examples for the T4240 device include metro carrier edge routers, access gateways and aerospace/defense products. Freescale will provide more details regarding the T4240 product later this year. The device is planned for initial availability in early 2012.

Availability and development support

Freescale plans to introduce additional AMP products during each quarter following the initial product launch, filling out the platform across three tiers. Products are expected to address a vast array of high-performance applications.

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