Posedge selects EnSilica's eSi-3250 processor for innovative 7-core Residential and SMB Gateway SoC

EnSilica, a leading independent provider of front-end IC design services, has announced that Posedge, a semiconductor intellectual property and solutions provider based in Sunnyvale (California, USA), has licensed its high-performance eSi-3250 32-bit processor core for an innovative, new Residential and SMB Gateway solution that performs Wire-Speed Routing at multi-gigabit rates.

Block diagram of Posedge’s innovative multicore Residential and SMB Gateway SoC utilizing seven EnSilica eSi-3250 processors
Block diagram of Posedge’s innovative multicore Residential and SMB Gateway SoC utilizing seven EnSilica eSi-3250 processors

Wokingham, UK – 9th May 2011. EnSilica, a leading independent provider of front-end IC design services, has announced that Posedge, a semiconductor intellectual property and solutions provider based in Sunnyvale (California, USA), has licensed its high-performance eSi-3250 32-bit processor core for an innovative, new Residential and SMB Gateway solution that performs Wire-Speed Routing at multi-gigabit rates. Posedge will initially use its next generation Residential and SMB Gateway processor in a 40 nm SoC project it is currently developing for a customer. Posedge is using both EnSilica’s Windows and new Linux-based toolchain to underpin the development process.

Posedge’s new Residential and SMB Gateway processor is an innovative, 7-core design that utilises six eSi-3250 cores as identical datapath processors performing such functions as packet classification and packet editing, and another as a utility processor implementing high level functions, IPSec software and TCP offload. Posedge chose the eSi-3250, the top-end core in EnSilica’s eSi-RISC family of processors, following an extensive evaluation of three different CPU cores, as it exhibited the best cost/performance metrics.

“Of the three processors that we evaluated, the eSi-3250 was a clear winner, proving extremely conducive to the implementation of multicore SoCs,” said Chakra Parvathaneni, Vice-President of Marketing for Posedge. “EnSilica has provided us with an extremely flexible set of cores in the configurations required to deliver the functionality we need within a single SoC. The eSi-3250 is also backed by a toolchain capable of supporting multicore debug and validation. We are now actively looking to use the eSi-RISC family in other solutions we are developing, including a new 802.11 WLAN MAC/PHY solution.”

Several key factors were crucial to Posedge’s choice of the eSi-3250 for its Residential and SMB Gateway processor – performance, code density, silicon area, ease of integration and EnSilica’s flexible licensing model.

Performance is critical to Packet Processing applications and especially in this target application to achieve a line rate at 2 Gbps. With performance typically measured in terms of DMIPS, the eSi-3250 delivers 1.2 DMIPS per MHz with a core speed of 500 MHz in Posedge’s target 40 nm process. The eSi-3250’s high code density is also well-suited to Posedge’s application, with the benefits of its high code density being multiplied by the seven cores used. The eSi-3250’s high code density is achieved through the ability to intermix 16-bit and 32-bit instructions, with all of the commonly used instructions encoded in 16-bits. The eSi-3250 also significantly reduces the silicon area in Posedge’s design. As the cores were configured to Posedge’s precise requirements, with unwanted features optimized out of each core, significant silicon area savings were achieved in its 7-core design.

EnSilica’s cost-effective and flexible licensing model has also given Posedge a distinct commercial advantage in the market. It uniquely allows them to include multiple instances of the full-featured eSi-3250 in the licensable Residential and SMB Gateway IP it sells to other semiconductor companies in the PON, Cable and DSL markets, without their customers requiring a separate license for third party processor cores. The eSi-3250’s AXI interface and the proven eSi-RISC toolchain have also eased integration, enabling a rapid and smooth transition to EnSilica’s eSi-RISC family of cores.

“Where silicon area and performance are important, our eSi-RISC family of processors has once again shown it can deliver even for the most demanding multicore and high performance networking applications like Residential and SMB Gateways,” said Ian Lankshear, Managing Director of EnSilica. “The eSi-3250 was a clear winner in Posedge’s evaluation, giving them a high performance solution with excellent code density, minimized silicon area, low gate count and an easily maintained C/C++ code capability for future developments and upgrades. Our flexible licensing model also puts them in a commercially advantageous position in the market.”

About EnSilica’s eSi-RISC family

EnSilica’s eSi-RISC family provides a range of high quality, highly configurable embedded processors that are easy to integrate. The processor subsystem is delivered fully targeted to customers’ ASIC technology, thereby reducing the integration effort. eSi-RISC processors provide the flexibility to define a range of hardware functions to optimize the silicon area. On–chip memory requirements are reduced through inter-mixed 16-bit and 32-bit instructions, resulting in good code density without compromising performance. It is the only processor scalable from 16-bits to 32-bits, starting from as low as 8.5k gates. eSi-RISC utilizes the industry standard GNU optimizing C/C++ compiler and Eclipse IDE for rapid software development, and supports efficient debugging on the target through a JTAG interface and hardware breakpoints. The development suite is common to both 16-bit and 32-bit processors, protecting users’ software investment.

About EnSilica

EnSilica is an established company with many years experience providing high quality IC design services to customers undertaking FPGA and ASIC designs. EnSilica has an impressive record of success working across many market segments with particular expertize in multimedia and communications applications. Customers range from start-ups to blue-chip companies. EnSilica can provide the full range of front-end IC design services, from System Level Design, RTL coding and Verification through to either a FPGA device or the physical design interface (synthesis, STA, DFT) for ASIC designs. EnSilica also offers a portfolio of IP, including a highly configurable 16/32 bit embedded processor called eSi-RISC, the eSi-Comms range of communications IP and eSi-Crypto encryption IP. For further information about EnSilica, visit www.ensilica.com. eSi-RISC product information and downloads can be found at www.esi-risc.com.

About Posedge

Posedge Inc., headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, USA, is a leading supplier of Wired/Wireless Secure Networking Semiconductor Intellectual Property ("IP") solutions for SoC/FPGA. Posedge's highly differentiated product portfolio includes WLAN-802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Multi-Gigabit Layer2+ Switch, MACsec engine, IPSec engine , SSL IPSec protocol processor , CRDMA 3GPP LTE Engine, Symmetric and Asymmetric ciphers, TCP Offload Engine, Multi-Gigabit Routing Processor in addition to SoC Solutions such as SD/SDIO/MMC, Nonvolatile memory interface and Bus Protocols. Posedge's solutions include hardware, software drivers, firmware, software stacks as applicable and the IP is augmented with leading-edge design and verification services for customization. For further information about Posedge, visit www.posedge.com.