Mindspeed aims to capitalize on MIPS woes

June 11, 2012 // By Nick Flaherty
Mindspeed Technologies is aiming to capitalize on the uncertainties surrounding the future of MIPS Technologies with a family of multi-core devices for communication infrastructure based around 1.2GHz ARM cores

The Comcerto 2000 family of device provides wireline speed processing for security, traffic and content management and caching at the edge of the network in devices such as next generation 802.11ac wireless network routers. These have so far been dominated by devices using MIPS cores from companies such as Broadcom.
With Software Defined Networking (SDN) at the edge of the network in set top boxes and wireless access points, the new processors enable a new generation of products for switching, routing, security, multi-service gateways, enterprise class wireless access points & controllers, network attached storage and Voice-over-IP (VoIP) applications says Rupert Baines, vice president of strategy for Mindspeed. “There’s a lot of ARM devices moving into these new markets,” he said. “This opens up a lot of new opportunities and market for us in residential, enterprise and networking equipment for small and medium businesses.”
The first two devices in the series are Comcerto C2100 and C2200 with single core and dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 processors, respectively, with symmetric multi-processing (SMP), coherent level two cache and ARM TrustZone security. Both include Mindspeed’s Open Packet Acceleration Logic (OPAL) engine, a wire rate gigabit-speed programmable data-path acceleration engine, I/O and peripherals, as well as support for DDR3 with ECC. This enables a new class of cost-effective products that support new protocols and higher speeds with lower power consumption. Silicon, carrier-grade software and Linux software design kits (SDK) are sampling now.
In addition to the ARM subsystem, OPAL is a collection of fully-programmable wire speed network accelerators, which include engines for IPv6 packet forwarding / Network Address translation (NAT), firewall/VPN, IPSec/SSL security processing, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), QoS and storage network processing. Through intelligent offloading, the Comcerto C2000 range supports wire rate Gigabit-per-second IPv6 NAT and firewall applications without using the ARM processors keeping them fully available to run value-added applications from OEMs or service providers. For example, in wireless enterprise access points for