LONDON – Networking and storage chip company LSI Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.) has announced an expansion of strategic relationship with processor IP licensor ARM Holdings plc.
Under the agreement LSI is gaining access to the family of ARM processor cores, including the Cortex-A15 with virtualization support and future ARM processors. These are likely to include 64-bit designs covered by the ARMv8 instruction set architecture, although this was not explicitly mentioned.
LSI also gains access to the on-chip interconnect technology, including the CoreLink cache coherent bus technology for use with multicore chips.
"The powerful combination of ARM advanced IP and LSI’s leadership in SoC design will enable networking and storage OEMs to deliver high-performance, energy-efficient products to their customers," said Mike Inglis, executive vice president of ARM's processor division, in a statement.
Sure, power efficiency is becoming a greater concern for this segment, but the other item not covered here which is increasing becoming a major "why ARM in networking" reason is open source software. Proprietary RTOSs have their place. Many OEMs are "black boxing" code around those. But OEMs increasingly looking to harness open source software due to the pressure for shorter development cycles and smaller project budgets.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.