Electronic Design

Network Processor Delivers 1 Gbit/s At Very Low Power

The 1-Gbit/s ML7240 network processor from OKI Electric Industry Co. targets network equipment like home and small office/home office (SOHO) routers and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gateway equipment. Its main claim to fame is its very low power consumption.

The ML7240’s ARM926EJ-S RISC processor runs at 400 MHz. It also features a quality of service (QoS) accelerator and IPsec security processor for secure communication, a voice engine, and two Gigabit Ethernet media access controllers (MACs). Peripheral interfaces include a DDR2 SDRAM controller, USB 2.0 host controller, PCI 2.2 host/device controller, SPI, I2C, UART, GPIO, and a timer. Power consumption is 1.5 W during normal operation.

The IP protocol engine takes care of all the core network processes, such as routing and other protocol activities. An embedded proprietary DSP handles voice-related functionality such as voice compression, echo cancellation, and tone generation/detection all as part of VoIP operations. All of this distributed task-sharing architecture means less load on the ARM CPU, allowing more of it to be used for applications.

This chip is provided in a 27- by 27-mm, 544-pin, ball-grid array package. Samples are available now with production volume to come in March 2009. OKI plans to offer the drivers necessary to configure network equipment and other software such as middleware, which should help users shorten the development time for products using the ML7240. An evaluation board is now available.



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