SAN JOSE – Mindspeed injected a handful of new cores into its second-generation Comcerto family to create a communications processor that will compete with giants such as Broadcom, Cavium, Freescale and Marvell in a range of home and entry-level business systems.
The Comcerto 2000 builds in two ARM Cortex A9 cores, including ARM’s Neon instruction extensions and TrustZone security, running up to 1.2 GHz. It is Mindspeed’s first chip to use a new hardware accelerator called Opal using about a dozen unspecified RISC cores to handle packet-processing algorithms prior chips ran on a general-purpose processor. The chips also support Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and serial ATA.
The 1.2 GHz chip can deliver bi-directional Ethernet rates, including NAT routing functions, at 2 Gbits/second for 64-byte packets. It can handle deep packet inspection at 200 Mbits/s for 1,500-byte packets.
Mindspeed claims the chip will be faster and more integrated than competing Freescale QorIQ parts. The high-end part is rated at 3.5 W.
“Others typically start at 3.5W and go up from there, so we are much lower in power and we will be very disruptive on pricing,” said Preetinder Virk, who left a job as a Freescale product director less than a month ago to become general manager of Mindspeed’s communications group, responsible for about half the company’s product revenue.
Mindspeed and Marvell are among the minority supporting ARM in comms processors. Most of the field currently uses MIPS or PowerPC cores. “People are asking for ARM-based products in comms space and we will serve this need,” said Virk.
The Comcerto 2000 chips, also available in a 900 MHz version, are aimed at a variety of uses. They span home gateways, routers and network-attached storage systems to small business routers, switches and Wi-Fi access points.
Mindspeed aims to package a full software stack based on open source code for each target application. It currently does not have a complete code base for small business routers.
“Most of the big guys put out a general Linux release,” said Virk. “We pick a vertical and provide basic software blocks for it,” he said.
if they really want traction in the mass home and entry-level business systems then id mandate an empty generic SO-DIMM slot on all PCB's they produce so as to allow these home and entry-level business systems customers to populate them and provide more system ram than the included base systems.
by "Mindspeed aims to package a full software stack based on open source code for each target application. It currently does not have a complete code base for small business routers."
i assume you mean the ever popular DD-WRT (3rd party router firmware)http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index the reason being if its not that then its no good from the HOME/SOHO POV LOL. and they will expect and make use of any additional and easy RAM you can easily fit so making these new ARM SOC PCB/devices ever more popular and advocated in that MASS market place
i just hope Mindspeed are willing to work with the wrt and related devs to provide patches upstream etc as a very important service.
oh i hate my space bar lets try that URL again and add 2 more for generic WRT info
the main site.
their wiki links to their DIY hacking of popular routers and NAS etc.
for an WRT overview with the mention of people actually running personal web servers on their DD-WRT enabled kit, Nice, so that additional ram comes in handy right off the bat :)
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.