Electronic Design
Multicore CPU/DSP Combo Targets LTE Basestations

Multicore CPU/DSP Combo Targets LTE Basestations

Freescale is targeting LTE applications with a new multicore processor family called QorIQ Qonverge. The 45nm QorIQ Qonverge combines an e500 Power core with a StarCore DSP along with additional hardware acceleration. The first two members of the family include the PSC9130/31 Femto SoC (Fig. 1) and the PSC9132 Pico/Enterprise Femto SoC (Fig. 2).

The PSC9130/31 Femto SoC targets systems that can handle 8-16 users using WCDMA, LTE, or CDMA2K with simultaneous multimode support. It will typically have a 2x2 MiMO antenna system. The dual core chips have one e500 Power core and one SC3850 StarCore DSP. It also includes a MAPLE-B2F acceleration subsystem. There is USB 2.0 support and a pair of RGMII (Reduced Gigabit Media Independent Interface) interfaces.

The PSC9132 Pico/Enterprise Femto SoC targets higher end systems that handle 32-64 users using WCDMA or LTE. It also has simultaneous multimode support and would drive a 2x4 MiMO system. This chip doubles the number of processing cores to two e500 cores and two SC3850 cores. The acceleration subsystem is the heftier MAPLE-B2P unit. It adds a MiMO equalizer. The chip also has two 64-bit DDR3 memory controllers and adds PCI Express support. The chip has SMGII (Serial Gigabit Media Independent Interface) Gigabit Ethernet interfaces.

Both chips include a security engine. The MAPLE baseband accelerator includes features such as a Turbo/Viterbi decoder, a Turbo Encoder with rate match, a Fourier transform acceleration and chip rate acceleration. The MAPLE-B2P adds a MiMO equalizer.

Freescale's Vortiqa software (see Security Secrets Aren’t So Secret) is the key to the success of these hardware platforms. Vortiqa provides the networking middleware that takes advantage of the underlying hardware allowing developers to work at a much higher level. It can handle chores such as firewall, IPsec, VPN, IPS, anti-virus and anti-spam support and it can address unified threat management (UTM).

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