Freescale Semiconductor today introduced the centrepiece of its third-generation QorIQ portfolio – the new Layerscape system architecture. This core-agnostic, software-aware framework addresses the increasing flexibility and scalability required by network infrastructure OEMs as they adapt to a profusion of connected devices, massive datasets, more stringent security needs, real-time service provisioning and increasingly unpredictable network traffic patterns. The Layerscape architecture is a fundamental new approach to networking system architectures – one that puts software and programmability at the forefront. It modularizes packet acceleration and forwarding operations from high-level routing decisions; streamlines interaction between the layers; leverages a synchronous run-to-completion model; and supports a consistent programming framework across the architecture using standard C/C++ languages. The extreme programming flexibility and scale of the architecture enable real-time, ‘soft’ control over the network, preserve software investments and help to ensure continued evolution.
Leveraging and building upon Freescale’s expansive networking IP portfolio, the Layerscape architecture evolves and extends the QorIQ Data Path Acceleration Architecture. Taking a holistic view of the full system architecture, it is designed for optimal programmability, which enables breakthrough packet processing efficiency and associated performance gains. The Layerscape architecture is the foundation of a broad array of forthcoming QorIQ multicore processors, from many-core data path devices delivering up to 100 Gbps of performance to highly integrated, cost- and energy-efficient products operating at less than 3W, leveraging Power Architecture® and ARM® technologies as appropriate. The modular Layerscape architecture consists of three independent, scalable layers, allowing Freescale to design QorIQ devices with expanded, reduced or removed layers as needed, providing the optimal solution for a given application.
The first two QorIQ product families based on the Layerscape architecture are the LS-1 and LS-2. Highlights of the families include dual ARM Cortex processor cores, virtualization support, advanced security, an array of advanced interconnects, a common ISA and software- and pin-compatibility for simple and smooth application migration between the two families. The outstanding performance-per-watt and advanced integration of the LS-1 and LS-2 product families open the QorIQ portfolio to additional markets, including applications with novel form factors and entirely new product categories.
The LS-1 family features two ARM Cortex-A7 cores running at up to 1.2 GHz, with one of the highest levels of integration ever offered in a sub-3W embedded processor. The LS-2 family features two ARM Cortex-A15 cores running at up to 1.5 GHz and under 5W total power. Targeted applications for the LS-1 and LS-2 families include residential gateways, enterprise access points, smart energy systems, industrial communications, line cards and robotics.