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

May 09, 2011 // By Paul Buckley
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.

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 EnSilica’s Windows and new Linux-based toolchain to underpin the development process.

Posedge’s 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 EnSilica’s 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 Posedge’s choice of the eSi-3250 for its Residential and SMB Gateway processor – performance, code density, silicon area, ease of integration and EnSilica’s 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 Posedge’s target 40 nm process. The eSi-3250’s high code densityis also well-suited to Posedge’s application, with the benefits of its high code density being multiplied by the seven cores used. The eSi-3250’s high code density is achieved