The TMS320C66x (C667x) series (see the figure) of multicore chips from Texas Instruments targets wireless applications and other apps used in such envelope-pushing, mission-critical areas as medical imaging, high-performance computing, test and automation, broadband, and smart grids.
The series includes the TMS320C6672, the TMS320C6674, and the TMS320C78, which are two-, four-, and eight-core versions, respectively. Offering up to 10-GHz throughput, the chips run at 1.25 or 1 GHz and can deliver up to 320 GMACs or 160 GFLOPS of fixed- and floating-point performance on a single device. (The floating-point mode runs at fixed-point speed).
The series uses TI’s KeyStone multicore architecture, which maximizes the throughput of on-chip data flows to eliminate potential bottlenecks. The architecture features TeraNet, a packet-based fabric of non-blocking channels that helps deliver up to 2 Tbits/s of throughput. The Multicore Navigator enables direct communications between cores and memory access. There are also coprocessor accelerators for packet acceleration and the crypto engine.
The input/output capability of these DSP chips is extensive. There are two lanes of PCI Express Gen II at 2.5 or 5 Gbits/s, four lanes of 5-Gbit/s full duplex serial RapidIO V2.1, two 10/100-Mbit/s Ethernet ports, an Ethernet switch, and four lanes of Hyperlink bus at 12.5 Gbits/s for inter-chip communications or links to FPGAs. There’s also a Telecom Serial Interface Port (TSIP), UART, I2C, SPI, GPIO, a 16-bit External Memory Interface (EMIF-16), and a DDR3-1600 (64b) memory interface.
The C667x chips are pin-compatible and fully backwards compatible with TI’s previous C6000 series of DSPs. Power consumption is less than 10 W at 1 GHz. An extensive line of software and support tools is available. Evaluation modules available for $399 feature TI’s Code Composer Studio software and a suite of application demo codes. Pricing starts at $99 for 1Ku.
A special version of the C667x, the TMS320TC16616 wireless basestation system-on-a-chip (SoC), can tackle 3G or 4G wireless technology including Long-Term Evolution (LTE), WiMAX, and TD-SCDMA. This four-core SoC is a full software-defined radio (SDR) on a chip. It has internal coprocessors for FFT/DFT, turbo encode and decode, Viterbi decode, a rake-search accelerator, WCDMA spreading and dispreading, and IPSec encryption and decryption. These effectively eliminate the need for external FPGAs or ASICs.
Additional features include two 10/100/1000 Ethernet media access controllers (MACs), a management data input/output (MDIO) module, a packet coprocessor that delivers L2 to L4 classification, and a fast Ethernet switch. Other I/O capabilities are similar to those of the C667x versions previously described.