Freescale's comms processors match PHYs for faster Ethernet over legacy cable

October 13, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Freescale says it is the first to demonstrate 2.5G and 5G performance interoperability between SoC and Aquantia AQrate Copper PHY technology (see below) for embedded networking applications

Freescale's 28-nm QorIQ T1 family of multicore communications processors are the first embedded System on Chips (SoCs) to demonstrate interoperability with the recently-releases Aquantia AQrate 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet PHY products.

Achieving this Ethernet performance over existing Category 5e twisted pair copper cabling means customers for next generation Ethernet switches and appliances, WLAN access points, wireless LAN controllers, small cells and other applications will not incur the added cost of installing updated cable or using multiple twisted pair links to support increased network traffic demands that are pushing data rates beyond today's 1 Gbps network uplinks.

“It’s clear the demand for higher speed Ethernet will boom over the next several years. For example, in 2015 the market for new 802.11ac enabled access will take off, driving wireless access point backhaul bandwidth well above 1 Gbps. And by 2018, we expect to see more than 20 million new 802.11ac access points shipping each year,” said Matthias Machowinski, Directing Analyst for Enterprise Networks at Infonetics Research. “New technologies such as the 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet that Freescale and Aquantia have demonstrated will help network managers bridge the gap between wired and wireless access network performance.”

Freescale’s QorIQ T1 family processors integrate between one and four cores and are designed to deliver two to four times the performance of existing, similar-class devices for 5 to 8 Gbps IP forwarding, all within a low power envelope and housed in cost-effective packaging. These QorIQ T1 series multicore processors offer options supporting 1G, 2.5G, 5G and 10G interfaces, as well as a protocol-offload engine that delivers the higher bandwidth encrypted tunnels that enterprise and wireless customers require.

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