Freescale Unveils Next-Generation QorIQ Platform for Smarter Networks Based on Industry’s First Software-Aware System Architecture

New, core-agnostic Layerscape architecture built for full software leverage; first processors based on the architecture redefine integration and power efficiency for embedded processing   

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 19, 2012-- Following the success and strong market acceptance of its first two generations of QorIQ embedded multicore processors, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) today introduced the centerpiece 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.   

“To address the need for more intelligent, dynamic networks, Freescale has taken our QorIQ platform a significant step further with the new software-aware Layerscape architecture,” said Tom Deitrich , senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Networking & Multimedia Solutions Group. “Unlike our competitors, we’ve made software awareness  an integral part of our new architecture instead of an afterthought. With innovations including core-agnostic compatibility, independent, highly efficient packet processing and real-time visualization capability, we’re accelerating the network’s IQ.”   

Leveraging and building upon Freescale’s expansive networking IP portfolio, the Layerscape architecture evolves and extends the QorIQ  Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA). 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 three layers are:   

Bringing true programmability and software-awareness to embedded multicore

      The Layerscape architecture takes ease-of-use to a new level with a full complement of developer technologies that help customers efficiently deploy, configure, tune and manage systems based on the Layerscape architecture, including:   

Initial products based on the Layerscape architecture

      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.   

      Future QorIQ processors based on the Layerscape architecture will leverage Power Architecture technology. Freescale continues to enhance and invest in its industry-leading Power Architecture e6500 core, which will be among the highest-performance cores featured in the new portfolio.   


      Initial samples of the first products based on the Layerscape architecture are expected in mid-2013.   

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