LSI adds ARM to network multicore chips
February 21, 2012 // Nick Flaherty
LSI is expanding its platform of network processor chips to include cores from ARM for massively multicore designs. These will sit alongside the existing PowerPC-based devices, with the launch of a new dual core part that integrates network security for the first time.
The new Axxia platform for wireless backhaul will use up to 32 ARM cores alongside the existing hardware acceleration, analysis and security blocks with the same API to minimise the risk of transition for system developers.
“Consumers worldwide have an insatiable appetite for mobile broadband, and operators need intelligent solutions to manage traffic as their networks strain under the pressure,” said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general
manager, networking components division, LSI. “The Axxia wireless platform delivers the intelligence and performance to accelerate mobile networks from small cells to macro base stations.” The move to ARM ahs been demanded by customers, and the company, formerly LSI Logic, already uses ARM cores in its hard disk drive controller business.
The new PowerPC-based AXM2500 integrates the traffic management, security and packet processing capabilities of a network processor and the transport and internetworking functions of a multiservice processor in a single device.
The integrated single device reduces costs and power consumption for wireless equipment while providing increased security and reliability and is aimed at mobile backhaul applications such as microwave indoor and outdoor units,
cell site routers, packet transfer nodes and wired backhaul networks.
It is based on the PowerPC 476FP processor core and manufactured in TSMC's 28nm process technology with production at the end of the year.
“Service providers are rapidly migrating to IP-based backhaul to save costs and increase capacity,” said Anderson. “At the same time, the growth in mobile broadband is increasing the need for intelligence to be distributed throughout the network. The integrated AXM2500 meets all of these needs.”
The AXM2500 also is the first Axxia product to feature secure networking through its on-chip secure systems complex IP block. Integrating security features directly into the communication processor increases performance and increases robustness by reducing possible points of attack.
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