Mindspeed introduces multi-core ARM Cortex-A CPU-based communications processor family

June 11, 2012 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Mindspeed Technologies has announced the introduction of the Comcerto® 2000 family of multi-core ARM® Cortex™-A CPU-based communications processors.

Bringing software defined networking (SDN) to the edge of the network, the processors enable a new generation of products for switching, routing, security, multi-service gateways, enterprise class wireless access points and controllers, network attached storage and voice-over-IP (VoIP) applications for residential, enterprise and networking equipment for small and medium businesses. This processor family is ideally suited for either control processors or for mixed control and data plane applications.

The first two devices in the series are Comcerto C2100 and C2200 with single-core and dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 MPCore™ processors, respectively, with symmetric multi-processing (SMP), coherent level two cache and ARM TrustZone® security. Both devices include Mindspeed’s OPAL™ (Open Packet Acceleration Logic) engine, a wire rate gigabit-speed programmable data-path acceleration engine and a comprehensive set of I/O and peripherals, as well as support for DDR3 with ECC. This enables a new class of cost-effective products that support new protocols and higher speeds with lower power consumption. Silicon, carrier-grade software and Linux software design kits (SDK) are sampling now.

In addition to the high-performance ARM IP-based subsystem, OPAL is a collection of fully-programmable wire speed network accelerators, which include powerful engines for IPv6 packet forwarding / network address translation (NAT), firewall/VPN, IPSec/SSL security processing, deep packet inspection (DPI), quality of service (QoS) and storage network processing. Through intelligent offloading, the Comcerto C2000 range supports wire rate Gigabit-per-second IPv6 NAT and firewall applications without utilizing the ARM Cortex processors, keeping them fully available to run value-added applications from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or service providers. This process will allow customers to differentiate and monetize their services. For example, in wireless enterprise access points for dual-band, multi-radio 802.11 ac, the system can offload Wi-Fi and protocol packet processing, while ARM Cortex processors are available to run enterprise class services such as policy, authentication and roaming.

The Comcerto 2000 can be used as a control and management processor or as an integrated control and data