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Ikanos processors suit fibre-to-the-home apps

Posted: 27 Apr 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:residential gateways  FTTH architecture  home networks 

Ikanos Communications Inc. has introduced two versions of the Fusiv processor that follow Vx160 reference design. Suitable for residential gateways based on fibre-to-the-home architectures and very high-speed DSL (VDSL2), the new Fusiv processor versions?Vx170 and Vx180?were acquired from Analog Devices Inc. in early 2006.

Dean Westman, VP and general manager of the gateway products division at Ikanos, said the common thread unifying both new chips is a 500MHz RISC control engine combined with hard-wired datapath functions and specialised application processors for security and voice. Such architecture scales better for network access applications than either multi-core integer or DSPs, he said.

The Vx170 has an aggregate 2.7GHz of processing power and offers dedicated wire-speed support for QoS prioritisation. The security processor supports the Data Encryption Standard (DES), Triple-DES and the Advanced Encryption Standard, as well as hashing algorithms such as SHA-1 and MD5. In addition, the voice engine is bundled with software support for codecs such as G.726, G.723, G.729 and G.722.

Smaller application processors include dual Ethernet MAC accelerators, a bus manager and a PCI controller. The PCI interface and dual USB 2.0 hosts allow the processor to link with home networks such as 802.11n, MoCA and Home PNA.

The Vx180 offers a data pump optimised for VDSL2. Since VDSL2 often is used as a "last quarter-mile" feeder for passive optical networks (PON), Westman said some carriers may deploy a mix of Vx170 and Vx180 systems, depending on whether fibre extends to the home or to a VDSL2 neighbourhood pedestal. The Vx180 will support 802.11n home network speeds of up to 150Mbps, with a dedicated WLAN accelerator processor.

A typical reference design using the Vx180 would add an integrated front end for VDSL2 support, a PON chip, PCM codecs for analogue phones, an Ethernet switch, a WLAN MAC and external DDRAM and flash memory. The company also offers a range of Linux kernel services and application software to support residential gateways based on Linux.

- Loring Wirbel
EE Times

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