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Reference platforms target Linux-based VoIP devices

Feb 7, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Renesas Technology and Arcturus Networks have teamed up on a pair of reference platforms aimed at companies developing “VoIP end-point devices.” The reference designs are based on the Renesas SH7710 SuperH processor, along with an Arcturus Linux-based session initiation protocol (SIP) based VoIP (voice-over-IP) telephony middleware stack.

Reference platform hardware

Two VoIP platforms are being offered — a VoIP gateway, and a compact VoIP adapter. Both are designed for develop end-point products ranging from portable “road warrior” adapters and IP handsets, to CPE (customer premises equipment) and residential gateways. They are described as follows:

  • SH7710 VoIP Router / Gateway — this compact reference platform (shown below) features four auto-sensing 10/100BaseT Ethernet LAN ports along with one auto-sensing 10/100BaseT WAN port. It also supports Dual FXS voice channels terminating at standard RJ11 connectors; in addition, a third PSTN FXO fail-over port is provided for call routing purposes, or for migration from existing legacy phone lines.

    SH7710 VoIP Router / Gateway

  • SH7710 SiP Adapter / Personal Gateway — this tiny reference platform (shown below) is based on a system-on-chip (SoC) version of the SH7710 that combines the SH7710 processor along with 4MB Flash and 8MB SDRAM, resulting in a design that reduces PCB footprint, EMF interference, and procurement hassles, according to Renesas. The adapter design supports dual auto-sensing 10/100BaseT Ethernet LAN/WAN ports and dual FXS voice channels.

    SH7710 SiP Adapter / Personal Gateway

The SH7710 dual-core processor

The SH7710 dual-core RISC/DSP chip, introduced last year, can process VoIP with enough overhead to simultaneously run a firewall and security algorithms, according to Renesas. It targets VoIP ATAs (analog telephone adapters), routers, home gateway servers, and secure routers. Additionally, Renesas says the SH7710 can encode or decode up to four channels of voice while simultaneously running an operating system, SIP (session initiation protocol), and other networking protocol stacks. According to Renesas, the chip's DSP unit can also be used for multimedia processing, such as MPEG computations, in addition to VoIP processing.

The SH7710 is based on an SH3-DSP core clocked at 200MHz, with 32KB of mixed instruction/data cache and 16KB of X/Y memory. The core is based on the SuperH architecture, and has a built-in DSP (digital signal processor). Additional on-chip peripherals include an IPSec accelerator, two Ethernet controllers, an Ethernet DMAC, six general purpose DMACs, a pair of FIFO serial interfaces, two serial com interface channels, and a real-time clock with three channel timer.

Reference platform software

Both platforms are supported by “standards-based” software, which is built on top of an embedded Linux operating system, “to ensure robust networking, product extensibility and access to the OS,” according to Arcturus.

Additionally, Arcturus says it provides “value-add firmware” that can be customized to meet the requirements of any service provider or manufacturer and allows better management capabilities. The firmware allows granular access to virtually every control point in a device through a variety of interfaces such as Web, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Interactive Voice Response (IVR), or a configuration file upload, the company adds.

In addition to the management capabilities, Arcturus says that it provides a complete and robust SIP signaling and RTP stack that includes all of the telephony applications required to develop a VoIP product including call progress tones, calling features and quality of service (QoS).

Consumer VoIP set to take off

“Consumer VoIP is set to take off,” said Keith Nissen, Sr. Analyst at In-Stat, according to a joint statement released by Renesas and Arcturus. “We are forecasting the IP Telephony market will grow in 2005 by over 40 percent worldwide and approximately 150 percent in the US.”

“The platforms give manufacturers an edge by helping them deliver feature rich CPE [customer premises equipment] VoIP products capable of seamlessly integrating into service provider networks.” said Rich Larsen COO Arcturus Networks. “Our partnerships with softswitch vendors and service providers, coupled with our telephony software means that ODMs and OEMs can quickly deliver devices that are already Service Provider compatible.”

Brian Davis, director of Renesas Technology's advanced solutions group, said that the reference platforms “[offer] a solution capable of supporting multiple simultaneous voice channels and high-quality voice codecs with high throughput routing performance. It also allows communication processing in a highly secure environment including support for 3DES (triple data encryption standard) and VPN.”


For pricing and availability contact either Renesas or Arcturus.

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