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New QorIQ SoCs feature datapath acceleration

Aug 24, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Freescale Semiconductor announced three new Linux-ready, PowerPC-based QorIQ system-on-chips (SoCs) incorporating the company's Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) technology. The single-core 800MHz P1017, dual-core 800MHz P1023, and quad-core 1.2GHz P2040 processors all offer the DPAA programming model, which is said to accelerate packet parsing, classification, and distribution, says the company.

Previously available on higher-end QorIQ SoCs such as the eight-core, 1.5GHz P4080, as well as the new QorIQ P3 and P5 families, the Data Path Acceleration Architecture (DPAA) speeds up packet parsing, classification, and distribution in networking applications, says Freescale (see farther below for more details).

By extending the DPAA architecture across all QorIQ processors, customers can develop code for one QorIQ processor and more easily scale it up or down throughout the entire QorIQ family, says Freescale. The enhancement is said to shorten development cycles, while easing the development of a variety of similar products offering a broad range of cost and performance points.

P1023 and P1017

The dual-core P1023 and single-core P1017 appear to be DPAA-enhanced versions of the original QorIQ dual-core P1022 and single-core P1013 processors, respectively. These QorIQ SoCs were intended as next-generation heirs to the PowerQUICC II Pro line of processors.

Last December, Freescale announced similar QorIQ P1012 and dual-core P1021 versions, which add the company's microcode programming QUICC engine to the original designs, helping to support legacy multi-protocol interfaces.

The P1023 and P1017 are ideally suited for 802.11n wireless LAN access points, SMB gateways, and low-end fixed routers, says Freescale. Low power consumption helps the SoCs meet Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) requirements, the company adds.

P1023/P1017 features are said to include three PCI Express (PCIe) controllers to support three different radio technologies, and a security co-processor that offloads protocol processing for encryption algorithms. The SoCs also provide datapath offload for optimized performance of enterprise WLAN access points, says Freescale.

P1023/1017 features are said to include:

  • Dual (P1023) and single (P1017) e500 Power Architecture cores running at up to 800MHz
  • 32-bit DDR3
  • Open-PIC interrupt controller
  • 16-bit enhanced local bus
  • Supports booting from NAND flash memory
  • USB 2.0 controllers Host/Device support via ULPI
  • SPI controller supporting booting from SPI serial flash memory
  • PCIe
  • DPAA
  • 45nm SOI process for low power implementation
  • 457-pin WB TePBGA 1, 19 x 19mm package


The 1.2GHz P2040 appears to be a DPAA-enhanced, quad-core spin-off of the original dual-core P2020. Freescale also offers a quad-core P4040 that clocks to 1.5GHz, and it recently announced a new quad-core, 1.5GHz QorIQ P3041 that uses only 12 Watts. Both the P4040 and P3041 SoCs already offer DPAA.

The P2040 is designed for fixed routers, Long Term Evolution (LTE) channel cards, and enterprise security applications, says Freescale. In addition to integrating DPAA for offloading common packet-handling tasks, the P2040 supports flexible SerDes configurations to minimize glue logic required, says the company.

The SoC is also said to include embedded hypervisor technology, which enables each core to run its own operating system independent of the other cores. This enables hardware partitioning and virtualization applications, says the company.

P2040 features are said to include:

  • Quad e500mc Power Architecture cores running up to 1.2GHz
  • 1MB shared CoreNet platform cache w/ECC
  • DDR3/3L SDRAM memory controller with ECC support running up to 1.2GHz
  • 3 x PCIe
  • Serial RapidIO (1.3 + 2.1) with Type 9 and 11 messaging
  • 2 x SATA 2.0
  • CoreNet Switch Fabric
  • Five Ethernet controllers
  • DPAA
  • 45nm SOI process for low power implementation
  • 783-pin package, 23 x 23mm, 0.8mm pitch package

Background on DPAA

The DPAA technology integrated in the P1023, P1017, and P2040 provides queue management for scheduling, packet sequencing, and congestion management, says the company. In addition, the technology is said to provide buffer allocation and de-allocation, as well as SEC 4.0 encryption and PME 2.0 RegEx pattern matching. The DPAA engine can achieve near-linear scaling as additional cores are applied to a task, claims Freescale.

The DPAA technology incorporates the following major components:

  • Frame Manager — implements policing, classification, and scheduling over Ethernet ports
  • Queue Manager — performs queuing, congestion control, workload distribution, and packet ordering
  • Buffer Manager — assigns packets to buffers to minimize memory consumption
  • Security Block — implements crypto algorithms, and integrates a Pattern Matching Engine that searches for text strings in packets for unified threat management

A single application programming interface (API) is available for accessing the DPAA engine across different QorIQ platforms, says Freescale. Common GUI-based configuration tools are also supplied, as are example framework applications that set up the DPAA infrastructure, says Freescale.

Linux development tools

As with other QorIQ processors, the P1023, P1017, and P2040 support Linux. Complete hardware and software development kits are planned for the portfolio, including a Linux BSP (board support package), a software development kit, and CodeWarrior enablement technologies. Freescale plans to announce a series of reference designs based on the new products in Q1 and Q2 of 2011.

Stated Preet Virk, director of strategic marketing for Freescale's Networking Processor Division, "Extending DPAA across all QorIQ product levels gives our customers the flexibility, scalability and performance required to manage rising IP traffic rates while keeping price points extremely competitive."


The P1023 and P1017 are planned for sampling in Q1 2011, and the P2040 alpha samples are also planned for Q1 2011, says Freescale. More information on the P1023/1017 and P2040 processors may be found at Freescale's QorIQ site, here.

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