SAN JOSE, Calif. - After a false start, Applied Micro Circuits Corp., or AppliedMicro, is taking another shot in the multicore processor arena.
The new device, dubbed PacketPro, is AppliedMicro’s second-generation embedded processor system-on-a-chip (SoC) family. It is based on the PowerPC technology ranges in performance from 600-MHz to 2.0-GHz and beyond.
The company has announced multicore products in the past. But to date, it failed to release them. ''The company announced a multicore processor, but never released it as an official product, and used it more as a demonstration platform,'' according to the company.
It hopes to have better luck with PacketPro. The device features the so-called Scalable Lightweight Intelligent Management processor or SLIMpro. This technology is said to provide power management, protected asymmetric multiprocessing (PMP), failover protection, resiliency and end-to-end security for a wide range of mission-critical applications in wireless and wired networking, multi-function printer, industrial, access point markets, according to AMCC.
The AppliedMicro PacketPro family features performance of up to 2-GHz per core, 32-KB L1 I/D & 256-KB dedicated L2 cache per core, support for full symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and ultra flexible asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP).
Memory and bus architecture supports 16/32/64-bit DDR2/3 up to 1,600-Mbps and beyond with ECC option. Connectivity features include PCI-e Gen 2 controller, GE, 10GE, SGMII, RGMII, IEEE1588 Rev2 on all Ethernet ports, USB 2.0 – H/D, OTG, all with integrated PHY, USB 3.0, SATA ports and SDHC.
The PacketPro family is manufactured on a 40-nm TSMC CMOS process and is available in both wire-bond and flip-chip packaging.
“Flexible power management enables deep sleep operating power of less than 200mW and includes Wake on LAN, USB, PCIe and others. With the ability to scale-down and turn off SoC resources when not in use and to scale-up to full power when system demands require, PacketPro provides developers (the) ability to dynamically control power consumption levels,” said Vinay Ravuri, vice president and general manager of AppliedMicro’s Processing Products Division, in a statement.
AMCC is trying again at multicore. Last year, it rolled out a CMOS-based, 32-bit processor, built around IBM Corp.'s Power Architecture. What's different is that the codenamed Gemini multicore processor from AppliedMicro will not be manufactured in a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process by its long-time foundry partner--IBM. Instead, Gemini will be made using a 90-nm, bulk CMOS process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC), as part of a new and expanded foundry arrangement between the two companies. Gemini never flew, however. Here's what AMCC said: ''So after announcing Gemini at 90nm last year, the company decided to wait until the 40nm in order to provide true differentiation in the market, and that’s what you see announced today with PacketPro. The decision was made some time after the Gemini announcement in Sept. 2009. Gemini is a working processor and it was demonstrated at ESC Silicon Valley this year. It’s been used mostly as an evaluation platform with customers. The innovative capabilities demonstrated with Gemini at 90nm led directly to strong customer feedback and the development of PacketPro at 40nm, which is being demonstrated today at the Linley Processor Conference in San Jose.''
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