PORTLAND, Ore. -- Freescale Semiconductor has filled in the bottom two tiers of its QorIQ communications processor line with accelerated models.
Using the same Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) as higher-performance models, the new P1 model for wireless LAN access points, SMB gateways and fixed routers along with the P2 models for fixed routers, LTE channel cards and enterprise security round out the five-tier QorIQ one- to eight-core processor line.
The P1 processors bring "DPAA technology down to single- and dual-core processors," said senior analyst Joe Byrne of The Linley Group Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) "The bigger news is the P2040. It allows the company to hit price points below that of the P3041 for customers who want a quad-core processor but who do not require a 10-Gbit per second Ethernet interfaces or all of the performance the P3041 delivers."
The single-core P1017 and dual-core P1023 both use e500 Power Architecture cores running at 800 MHz. They include DDR3 memory controller, USB 2.0, SPI and PCI Express interfaces. They were made using Freescale's 45-nm silicon-on-insulator process for low-power consumption in a 19-mm2 package. The quad-core P2040 uses e500mc Power Architecture cores running 1.2 GHz, DDR3 memory and Serial RapidIO controllers in a 23-mm2 package.
By using DPAA, the same software runs on all QorIQ platform levels, from single-core 400MHz P1 processors up to eight-core P5 processors running at 2.2 GHz.
DPAA offloads most Ethernet related tasks with an integrated frame, queue and buffer managers, security encryption/decryption block and a pattern-matching engine for doing deep packet inspections. Freescale uses a single application programming interface to the DPAA across its multicore line, and claims that DPAA applications scale linearly as more cores are added.
How do you think the PC versus comm processor will fair over the rest of this decade? Intel is king of the PC microprocessor, but Freescale is king of the communications processor. As smartphones, touchscreen tablets and the like increasingly become the web-surfing client-of-choice, how will that effect microprocessors? How do you think PC processors will fair compared to comm processor over the rest of this decade?