Ikanos Communications Inc. is offering two new versions of the Fusiv processor architecture, acquired from Analog Devices Inc. in early 2006, for residential gateways based on fiber-to-the-home architectures and for VDSL2 very high-bit-rate digital subscriber line specs.
The Vx170 and Vx180 systems-on-chip are follow-ons to the Vx160 asymmetric DSL residential gateway pro- cessor and reference design, which rolled out last October.
Dean Westman, vice president and general manager of the gateway products division at Ikanos (Fremont, Calif.), said the common thread unifying the new chips is a 500-MHz RISC control engine, combined with hardwired data path functions and specialized application processors for security and voice. Such an architecture scales better for network access applications than either multicore integer processors or DSPs, he said.
The Vx170 has an aggregate 2.7 GHz of processing power and offers dedicated wire-speed support for quality-of-service prioritization. The security processor supports the Data Encryption Standard, Triple-DES and Advanced Encryption Standard, as well as hashing algorithms such as SHA-1 and MD5. The voice engine is bundled with software support for such codecs as G.726, G.723, G.729 and G.722.
Smaller application processors include dual Ethernet media-access control accelerators, a bus manager and a PCI controller. A PCI interface and two USB 2.0 hosts let the Vx170 link with common home networks such as 802.11n, MoCA and Home PNA.
The high-end Vx180 offers the full feature set of the Vx170, along with a data pump optimized for VDSL2. Ikanos has identified 6 million triple-play gateways and 20 million VDSL2 ports that could be served by the Vx180.
Since VDSL2 often is used as a "last-quarter-mile" feeder for passive optical networks (PONs), Westman said, some carriers may deploy a mix of Vx170 and Vx180 systems, depending on whether the fiber extends to the home node or to a VDSL2 neighborhood pedestal.
The Vx180 will support 802.11n home network speeds of up to 150 Mbits/second, performance that requires roughly 300 to 450 Mips, Westman said. The Vx180 delivers on those requirements with the help of a dedicated processor for wireless-local-area net- work acceleration.
A typical reference design using the Vx180 adds an integrated front end for VDSL2 support, a PON chip for passive-optical interface, PCM codecs for analog phones, an Ethernet switch, a WLAN MAC, and external DDR DRAM and flash.
Ikanos' earlier, Vx160 processor and reference design employed its VDSL2 chip set on a separate daughtercard. The Vx170 and Vx180 deliver on Ikanos' vow to integrate the Fusiv processors with its VDSL chips.
The company offers a range of Linux kernel services and Linux application software to support residential gateways based on Linux.