Freescale's ARM-based QorIQ communications processors target the Internet of Things

October 17, 2013 // By Nick Flaherty
Freescale Semiconductor has launched its first ARM-based QorIQ communications processors, making use of its core-agnostic, software-aware Layerscape system architecture for gateways in the Internet of Things.

The new QorIQ LS1 family of products are aimed at a broad range of power-sensitive networking applications, as well as additional product categories including Internet of Things gateways and industrial automation and control equipment. Previous QorIQ devices were based around the PowerPC architecture.
Each of the three new QorIQ LS1 family processors features two reliability-optimised ARM Cortex-A7 cores, enhanced with error detection and correction technology. Pre-silicon analysis by Freescale indicates the dual Cortex-A7 cores should achieve over 6,000 CoreMarks of performance at 1 GHz, with typical power at under 3W for the entire SoC.
“Market demand is growing for high-performance solutions suitable for fanless, sub-3 W designs," said Tareq Bustami, vice president of Product Management for Freescale’s Digital Networking business.

The LS1 family incorporates peripherals and features for fanless embedded applications under 3W, including: LCD controller, ECC protection of all SRAM for maximum reliability, support for both DDR3L and DDR4 memory, virtualisation support, QUICC Engine technology, SATA3 and USB 3.0 with integrated PHY, all in a 19 x 19 mm SoC footprint.
The pin- and software-compatible LS1 family includes the highly integrated LS1020A processor for fanless enterprise and consumer networking applications, such as enterprise access points, multi-protocol IoT gateways and security appliances, the LS1021A, which adds integrated display controller and industrial interfaces for use in factory/building automation, M2M, printing and defence/aerospace applications and the cost-optimised LS1022A for power-sensitive industrial applications with extremely aggressive power envelopes.
The QorIQ LS1 family is supported by Freescale’s Tower System modular development platform, featuring an integrated on-board probe for further cost savings, along with third-party platforms developed by Freescale’s embedded board solutions partners.
Evaluation kits include a Linux 3.12 BSP with optimised drivers to support peripherals, and a six-month evaluation license for CodeWarrior development tools. Freescale’s VortiQa software provides complete software stacks for enterprise and SMB networking applications, including gateways, security appliances and cloud equipment. All QorIQ LS series devices are also supported by Freescale’s