With the continued growth of broadband services, cable TV companies and traditional telecom carriers now can offer consumers triple-play service–Internet access, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone connections, and television–all covered by one bill. Quality of Service (QoS) is the key to success in triple-play products, though. Companies have to provide timely, uninterrupted service despite heavy traffic loads on the system.
PMC-Sierra is addressing this opportunity for residential gateway makers with an enhanced platform. While most consumers will only take advantage of the TV, phone, and Internet services, this platform can accommodate many other potential devices in the home, like home network storage drives, Internet-connected home appliances, home automation, security, streaming audio, and personal video recorders and DVD players.
This solution is based on PMC-Sierra s new family of VoIP-enabled multiservice processors (MSPs). The MSP7120 is designed for the newer ADSL2+ broad-band lines, while the MSP7130 targets passive optical networks (PONs) and VDSL lines.
These chips provide 180,000-packet/s IP forwarding performance. They also permit the co-existence of QoS-sensitive services like VoIP and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV). And, they provide enhanced control for remote carrier management and diagnostics.
Current home network equipment can t support lucrative advanced services like IPTV that require near-zero packet loss, low packet jitter, and latency. The PMC-Sierra products offer a multithreaded datapath that dramatically improves packet throughput with carrier-class QoS, integrated VoIP, and superior security.
The MSP7120 has a built-in ADSL2+ modem (see the figure). But it also requires an analog front-end (AFE). The modem is compatible with T1.413, G.992.1, G.992.3, and G.992.5 ITU standards. The host interface is a PCI bus (version 2.3) that can be used with external Wi-Fi chip sets to provide wireless networking in the home.
The PCM interface is a standard time-division multiplexing (TDM) voice inter-face designed to connect directly to an external subscriber-line interface circuit/subscriber-line access controller (SLIC/SLAC) and direct-access-arrangement (DAA) devices.
The main processor is PMC-Sierra s MIPS532 400-MHz, 64-bit, multithreaded core with DSP extensions. It communicates through a four-way switch and an internal, multiservice, 32-bit, 166-MHz bus that offers up to 5.3-Gbit/s throughput. DDR1 and DDR2 controller inter-faces are provided. A separate security engine features hardware acceleration of the IPSec protocol.
Other interfaces include dual 10/100 media access controllers (MACs) with media-independent/reduced-media-independent interfaces (MII/RMII), a full USB 2.0 bus, two standard UARTs, serial-peripheral and menu-port interfaces (SPIs and MPIs), a two-wire interface, 20 general-purpose I/O lines, and eight lines dedicated to interrupts. A JTAG port is included. The device operates from a 1.0-V core with 3.3-V I/O. The chip comes in a 416-pin package.
PMC-Sierra s MSP7100 development kit speeds up and simplifies new gateway designs. Based on the Linux 2.6 operating system, it includes a multithreaded networking software solution package (SSP) and a high-performance networking stack. The stack has QoS features and a management framework SSP that enables rapid integration of various management clients into the multithreaded networking SSP. Samples of the chips and the development kit are available now.