LSI is a company that has been through a lot of changes over the years. I can remember when they had their own fabs, did custom design for their customers, and had their own suite of design tools. In short, they were a complete vertically integrated ASIC house. They have evolved many times and become fabless, transitioned to semi-custom design and today is building standard parts for markets such as storage and wireless networking.
The other day we learned about another big change in LSI future and it all has to do with their Axxia line of communications processors. Take a look at the block diagram for the AXM2502 product. It was powered by a pair of PowerPC processors connected to custom accelerators using their Virtual Pipeline technology. This is a 28nm product.
This week, LSI introduced the Axxia 5500 product family of communication processors designed to accelerate performance and increase power efficiency for multi-radio base stations and 4G/LTE-capable wireless networks. The LSI Axxia 5500 product family features 12 or 16 ARM cores.
This switch in processing core brings about a 4X control plane performance improvement and 2,5X data plane improvement and reduced power – something that is becoming important for all applications from battery powered handhelds to datacenters.
This chip not only makes advances for LSI, but ARM also. The two companies partnered to create this 16 core solution utilizing ARMs new CoreLink CCN-504 interconnect. CoreLink CCN-504 can deliver up to one Terabit of system bandwidth per second.
LSI also provides much of the software necessary to power this chip including high-performance layer two through four software packages that provide a complete wireless transport solution for networking OEMs.
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