Broadcom BCM5862X Takes On Network Storage

June 19, 2013
Broadcom’s BCM5862X has a dual core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 architecture but it also incorporates the FlexSPARX containing an ARM Cortex-R5 that is used to offload storage chores.

Broadcom’s new StrataGX BCM5862X series targets network gateways and NAS storage devices. It is built around a pair of 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A9 cores but it adds Broadcom’s FlexSPARX, FlexSPARX is based on an ARM Cortex-R5 (see the figure). It allows the core to offload storage chores from the main CPUs. It even has its own local memory.

Figure 1. Broadcom's StrataGX BCM5862X runs dual ARM Cortex-A9 cores and a Cortex-R5 for storage peripheral management.

The chip has dual 6 Gbit/s SATA III ports, USB 3.0 ports and PCI Express support. The latter provides access to 5G WiFi services. The Gigabit Ethernet support includes a five port switch. RAID and cryptographic accelerators also reduce the load on the main processors while improving performance and security.

Developers can take advantage of Broadcom’s software and APIs to provide gateway and storage support or they can create their own custom software. The APIs provide support for RAID and flash caching on the storage side. There is a common Linux Development Kit (LDK) available for the StrataGX family. The chips are also pin-compatible with previous generations.

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