Freescale Drives Embedded Multicore Innovation with New QorIQ Advanced Multiprocessing Series

AMP series built on 28-nm technology with a new multithreaded 64-bit core and intelligent integration for optimal performance, power consumption and price

SAN ANTONIO--Freescale Semiconductor, the market leader in embedded communications processors for networking equipment, is unveiling its next-generation QorIQ multicore platform. The Advanced Multiprocessing (AMP) series incorporates a new, multithreaded 64-bit Power Architecture® core, 28-nm process technology, up to 24 virtual cores, groundbreaking acceleration engines and sophisticated power management to deliver new levels of performance and power efficiency.

Distinguished by Freescale's hallmark of intelligent integration, the new QorIQ AMP series delivers up to 4x the performance of Freescale's previous-generation flagship eight-core QorIQ P4080 device. The AMP series will include a broad array of next-generation control and data plane processors scaling from cost-effective, ultra-low-power single-core products, up to highly advanced SoCs targeting the most demanding networking, industrial and military/aerospace applications.

The AMP series is engineered to help network equipment OEMs and service providers meet challenging power and performance requirements driven by a worldwide explosion of network endpoints and associated IP traffic. According to Cisco, global IP traffic will quadruple by 2015 and reach 966 exabytes per year. The company also projects the increase in IP traffic between the years 2014 and 2015 alone will be 200 exabytes, which is greater than the total amount of IP traffic generated globally in 2010 (Source: Cisco Visual Networking Index Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2010-2015). Freescale's new AMP series processors deliver precise blends of performance, power and intelligent integration to help address these networking challenges, as well as the stringent requirements of other markets including the military/aerospace, industrial, robotics, storage, medical, video systems and printing spaces.

"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."

Freescale led the communications processor space in delivering 45-nm devices to production on time and to specification. Building on this success, Freescale plans to aggressively drive the embedded market to 28-nm process technology with the AMP series.

New multithreaded e6500 core with AltiVec technology

The foundation of Freescale's QorIQ AMP series is the new multithreaded, 64-bit Power Architecture e6500 core running at up to 2.5 GHz. Ideal for both high-end control plane and high-performance data plane applications, the e6500 will be at the heart of AMP series products. The e6500 incorporates an enhanced version of the proven, high-performance, widely adopted 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.

Enhanced performance acceleration technologies

Complementing the programmable e6500 cores is a broad range of highly advanced acceleration engines and co-processing technologies, including enhanced security, pattern matching and compress/decompress engines, as well as 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 many previous-generation QorIQ breakthroughs including 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."

Advanced power management system

To meet aggressive OEM power envelope requirements, AMP series products utilize an advanced power management approach that reduces energy consumption using a variable-mode power switch that allows customers to modulate the power of the cores and other processing units with independence and precision.

Three tiers of AMP products

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)

o Up to 6 cores running at up to 2.5 GHz

o Greater than 6 MB L2 cache

High-end data plane processors (routers, switches, access gateways, mil/aero applications)

o Up to 24 virtual cores running at up to 2.0 GHz

o 50 Gbps IP forwarding capability

o Advanced application acceleration

Low-end data plane processors (media gateways, network attached storage, integrated services router)

o Up to 8 virtual cores running up to 1.6 GHz

o Advanced application acceleration

o Less than 10W power

Freescale's first product in the QorIQ AMP series, the T4240 device, integrates a host of hardware accelerators 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. 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.

The AMP series is software-compatible with the PowerQUICC and QorIQ product families and has extensive development support including the CodeWarrior development suite and a rich third-party ecosystem for operating systems, tools and application software. Development tools for the AMP series are planned for availability starting Q1 2012.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE:FSL) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial and networking markets. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing and sales operations around the world.