As cloud computing provides processing capabilities for a growing number of popular services targeting consumers and businesses, the world’s public and private data centers are evolving quickly to keep up with demand. Virtualization and other processing advancements have helped data center servers keep pace with performance requirements, while complementary embedded multicore communications processors have begun playing a larger role due to their ability to help manage, classify and service the enormous amounts of data flowing across and within the cloud.
Worldwide communications processing leader Freescale Semiconductor is helping to evolve the world’s data centers with the T4240 and T4160 embedded multicore processors from its QorIQ Advanced Multiprocessing (AMP) series. Featuring 24 virtual cores and based on Freescale’s dual threaded e6500 Power Architecture® core, the previously announced T4240 processor has achieved the highest CoreMark benchmark performance-per-watt profile and overall performance score ever recorded for an embedded processor. In addition, Freescale today unveils its new software- and pin-compatible QorIQ AMP series T4160 processor featuring 16 virtual cores achieving 1.8 GHz within a 25W power envelope.
The T4240 and T4160 products deliver a compelling combination of hardware acceleration, fabric-based interconnect technology, high speed I/O, hardware-assisted virtualization and next-generation 64-bit Power Architecture cores for applications in the data center, as well as other networking and industrial segments. Both products will be manufactured using 28nm process technology.
To meet stringent data center power efficiency requirements, AMP series products also utilize cascading power management technology, which is an advanced approach that reduces energy consumption using a variable-mode power switch, allowing customers to modulate the power of the cores and other processing units with independence and precision.
The T4240 and T4160 processors incorporate a broad array of highly advanced technologies ideally suited for data center applications including:
- Dual threaded, 64-bit Power Architecture e6500 cores with 40-bit real address memory and one Terabyte of physical address memory;
- Second generation hardware-based hypervisor technology designed to simplify development and enable the safe and autonomous operation of multiple individual operating systems, allowing them to share system resources, including processor cores, accelerators, memory, interconnects and other on-chip functions;
- 50 Gbps of packet parse, classify and distribute acceleration;
- Support for both 10G and 1G Ethernet, allowing the flexibility for multiple 10G and 1G Ethernet interfaces;
- 20 Gbps of IPSEC forwarding performance, including a crypto acceleration engine (SEC) with 40 Gbps of performance for SSL and other security protocols;
- A new 20 Gbps data compression engine (DCE), as well as a regular expression pattern matching engine for application recognition and data loss prevention;
- New functions supporting quality of service including data center bridging (DCB) and egress traffic shaping, designed to eliminate loss due to queue overflow and accommodate efficient allocation of bandwidth on link;
- System interconnect technologies including PCIe rev 3.0 with SR-IOV to facilitate high-speed peripheral expansion.
“Data center technology is evolving at remarkable speed, and many of our customers are rapidly adding bandwidth while battling latency by flattening the data center network,” said Brett Butler, vice president of Freescale’s Networking Processor Division. “Interestingly, the data center of the future is beginning to mirror the architecture of our embedded SoCs, driven by the same requirement to deliver the highest network and content processing performance at the lowest cost of ownership. The technology demands associated with this trend are Freescale’s traditional communications processing strengths.”
Samples of the T4240 and T4160 are planned for mid-2012. The devices are also part of the Freescale Product Longevity program, with 10 years of assured supply.