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Processor family optimises power management

Posted: 15 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:processors  SoC  dual core  embedded 

Applied Micro Circuits Corp. debuts the first members of its PacketPro SoC family, the Mamba single and dual-core embedded processing devices that offer the choice of one or two 1.5GHz PowerPC 465 cores.

They are optimised for power management, security and concurrency targeting applications such as multi-function printers, enterprise control planes, consumer network-attached storage systems, wireless access points and industrial applications.

The SoCs are enabled by AppliedMicro's Scalable Lightweight Intelligent Management Processor (SLIMpro), which provides power management, true Asymmetric Multi-Processing (AMP), inline packet processing, look aside hardware offloads, tamper detection and response circuitry for applications demanding low-power operation, end-to-end security and RTOS concurrency.

The power management features of the Mamba devices let developers reduce operating power based on usage models and specific application needs to meet Energy Star compliance, POE standards, and other low-power design requirements. SLIMpro manages multiple power islands on the SoC and regulates peripherals with Wake on LAN, Wake on USB2.0, Wake on general purpose I/O and Wake on RTC. The devices can also scale down the frequency of one or both cores into "doze," "nap," "sleep" and "deep sleep" states. In "sleep" state, device operating power can be reduced to less than 1W and "deep sleep" state can cut power to as little as 200mW.

"Over the next five years, many embedded applications will switch from single-core to dual-core processors to achieve greater performance within existing power budgets," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst for The Linley Group. "To satisfy this ongoing transition, AppliedMicro enters the market with its PacketPro family of single and dual-core devices with the first PowerPC processors manufactured in TSMC's 40nm low-power process. The power-management features of PacketPro offer the flexibility and control of SoC power consumption which designers require in order to raise their systems' energy efficiency."

The Mamba devices offer the ability to provide true asymmetric multi-processing where partitions are created on each processing core to run multiple OS independently. Each partition has its own on-chip resources for I/O, memory and processing bandwidth and is protected from interference from other partitions. If a partition crashes, recovering reboot starts while other partitions continue to operate normally. The concurrency features of Mamba also offer failover and redundancy within a system by leveraging active and standby modes of operation.

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