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Posedge selects EnSilica's eSi-3250 processor to perform wire-speed routing at multi-gigabit rates

May 09, 2011 | Paul Buckley | 222901932
Posedge selects EnSilica's eSi-3250 processor to perform wire-speed routing at multi-gigabit rates Posedge, a semiconductor intellectual property and solutions provider based in Sunnyvale (California, USA), has licensed EnSilica'sa high-performance eSi-3250 32-bit processor core for an innovative, new Residential and SMB Gateway solution that performs Wire-Speed Routing at multi-gigabit rates.
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Posedge will initially use its next generation Residential and SMB Gateway processor in a 40 nm SoC project it is currently developing for a customer. Posedge is using both EnSilicas Windows and new Linux-based toolchain to underpin the development process.

Posedges new Residential and SMB Gateway processor is an innovative, 7-core design that utilises six eSi-3250 cores as identical datapath processors performing such functions as packet classification and packet editing, and another as a utility processor implementing high level functions, IPSec software and TCP offload. Posedge chose the eSi-3250, the top-end core in EnSilicas eSi-RISC family of processors, following an extensive evaluation of three different CPU cores, as it exhibited the best cost/performance metrics.

Of the three processors that we evaluated, the eSi-3250 was a clear winner, proving extremely conducive to the implementation of multicore SoCs, said Chakra Parvathaneni, Vice-President of Marketing for Posedge. EnSilica has provided us with an extremely flexible set of cores in the configurations required to deliver the functionality we need within a single SoC. The eSi-3250 is also backed by a toolchain capable of supporting multicore debug and validation. We are now actively looking to use the eSi-RISC family in other solutions we are developing, including a new 802.11 WLAN MAC/PHY solution.

Several key factors were crucial to Posedges choice of the eSi-3250 for its Residential and SMB Gateway processor performance, code density, silicon area, ease of integration and EnSilicas flexible licensing model.

Performance is critical to Packet Processing applications and especially in this target application to achieve a line rate at 2 Gbps. With performance typically measured in terms of DMIPS, the eSi-3250 delivers 1.2 DMIPS per MHz with a core speed of 500 MHz in Posedges target 40 nm process. The eSi-3250s high code densityis also well-suited to Posedges application, with the benefits of its high code density being multiplied by the seven cores used. The eSi-3250s high code density is achieved through the ability to intermix 16-bit and 32-bit instructions, with all of the commonly used instructions encoded in 16-bits. The eSi-3250 also reduces the silicon area in Posedges design. As the cores were configured to Posedges precise requirements, with unwanted features optimized out of each core, significant silicon area savings were achieved in its 7-core design.

EnSilicas cost-effective and flexible licensing model has also given Posedge a distinct commercial advantage in the market. It uniquely allows them to include multiple instances of the full-featured eSi-3250 in the licensable Residential and SMB Gateway IP it sells to other semiconductor companies in the PON, Cable and DSL markets, without their customers requiring a separate license for third party processor cores. The eSi-3250s AXI interface and the proven eSi-RISC toolchain have also eased integration, enabling a rapid and smooth transition to EnSilicas eSi-RISC family of cores.

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