Freescale debuts ARM-based QorIQ LS network engines

October 21, 2013

Bernard Cole-October 21, 2013

In yet another move away its reliance on the Power Architecture in its QorIQ network processing family, Freescale Semiconductor has just introduced its QorIQ LS1 family of ARM Cortex-A7 core designs using its core-agnostic, software-aware Layerscape system architecture to pave the way.

Sample quantities of the QorIQ LS1 processors are planned for Q1 2014.

Each of the three new QorIQ LS1 family processors features two reliability-optimized ARM Cortex-A7 cores. These high-efficiency cores – typically used in battery-powered applications such as smartphones – have beefed-up for its new job with error detection and correction technology.

According to Tareq Bustami, vice president of Product Management for Freescale’s Digital Networking business, pre-silicon analysis by its designers indicates the dual Cortex-A7 cores should achieve over 6,000 CoreMarks of performance at 1 GHz, with typical power at less than 3 W for the entire SoC.

“Market demand is growing for high-performance solutions suitable for fanless, sub-3 W designs,” he said, and this move could extend the reach of QorIQ platforms into new and expanding markets.”

Aside from its power efficient design, Bustami said the QorIQ LS1 family pushes the limit for integration of this kind of processor power in a sub-3 W power envelope, he said the LS1 family incorporates an optimized blend of peripherals and features for fanless embedded applications, including: LCD controller, ECC protection of all SRAM for maximum reliability, support for both DDR3L and DDR4 memory, virtualization support, QUICC Engine technology, SATA3 and USB 3.0 with integrated PHY, all packed into a small 19x19mm SoC footprint.

The pin- and software-compatible LS1 family includes three products:

*the QorIQ LS1020A processor for fanless enterprise and consumer networking applications, such as enterprise access points, multi-protocol IoT gateways and security appliances;

* the QorIQ LS1021A processor, with integrated display controller and industrial interfaces, targeted at factory/building automation, M2M, printing and defense/aerospace applications; and

* the QorIQ LS1022A processor, aimed at high-reliability performance for the most power-sensitive industrial applications with extremely aggressive power envelopes.

Bustami said the QorIQ LS1 family will be supported by Freescale’s Tower System modular development platform, featuring an integrated on-board probe for further cost savings, as well as a number of third-party platforms, he said. Evaluation kits for the devices include a Linux3.12 BSP with optimized drivers to support peripherals, and a six-month evaluation license for CodeWarrior development tools.

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