Freescale Improves MSC8144 DSP, Adds Security Features

As the transformation toward converged all-IP (Internet Protocol) networks continues, OEMs face new challenges in creating trusted networks and devices. To address these challenges, Freescale Semiconductor announces integrated security acceleration and an innovative code protection mechanism for the MSC8144, which is the industry’s highest performance programmable DSP platform.

The new MSC8144E device provides hardware acceleration of broadly used security protocols for fixed and mobile access networks, and the new MSC8144EC is designed to provide protection for OEM software and intellectual property by helping to prevent the copying or cloning of embedded software. Sampling for the new MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices is scheduled for Q2 2007.

Meanwhile, the MSC8144 DSP has reached the general rollout phase after thousands of alpha samples were shipped to multiple customers over the last seven months.

“The flexibility, low power envelope and ultra-high performance of the MSC8144 is proving to be extremely attractive, and customer demand continues to be very positive,” said Jeff Timbs, marketing director for Freescale’s Networking Systems Division. “Marketplace feedback indicates that the device is well suited to address the needs and challenges that manufacturers of high capacity infrastructure equipment face today.”

The MSC8144, MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices dramatically improve system densities for media gateways, base stations and transcoding applications for wireline and wireless infrastructure systems. The devices also provide an optimal DSP solution for wireline infrastructure applications such as carrier-class trunking, infrastructure VoIP media gateways, and high-end enterprise IPBX and video conferencing servers. Wireless applications served by the MSC8144 include wireless baseband cards for 3G WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and WiMAX base stations, wireless voice transcoding, IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) gateways and Layer 2 processing in radio network controllers.

“Freescale has again demonstrated its commitment to the digital infrastructure market with the announcement of the new MSC8144E and MSC8144EC multi-core DSP devices with advanced security features for all-IP networks,” said Will Strauss, president of Forward Concepts. “Advancements in both 3.5G and 4G wireless and carrier wireline equipment will require all-IP capabilities and Freescale is now ahead of the curve.”

About the MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices
All-IP networks require significant infrastructure changes to protect voice and data calls through support of new standards-based security features. The onboard security capabilities of the MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices address infrastructure applications that demand the performance of multiple high-speed and power-optimized DSP cores together with data encryption. Integrated security engine technology provides high throughput and strict real-time operation by handling intensive security algorithms without taxing the DSP cores. Performing the security algorithms within the MSC8144E enables system scalability and eliminates the need for expensive external logic to perform these tasks.

The embedded security engine in the MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices is based on Freescale’s security coprocessor product line. It offers efficient and seamless support for all four high-performance embedded DSP cores, as well as the ability to perform single-pass encryption and authentication as required by widely used security protocols. The security engine supports the DES, 3DES, Kasumi-F8, MD-5, SHA-1/2, AES 128-256, HMAC and ARC-4 data encryption algorithms, and it offers a public key exchange (PKE) and random number generator (RNG). A CodeWarrior tool suite is available to fully support the security extensions.

In addition to data encryption, the MSC8144EC enables a code protection mechanism implemented in hardware with a dedicated encrypted key for OEMs. This feature helps to prevent OEM software programs from executing on unauthorized devices, or from being copied or modified by unauthorized entities.

The MSC8144E and MSC8144EC are pin and package compatible with the existing MSC8144, enabling existing customers to easily upgrade their systems. Based on Freescale’s advanced 90-nm SOI (silicon on insulator) process technology, the devices embed four StarCore SC3400 DSP cores each running at up to 1GHz, generating equivalent performance to a 4GHz single core DSP. The MSC8144, MSC8144E and MSC8144EC integrate an embedded memory of 10.5Mbytes, dual-RISC QUICCEngine(TM) technology and high speed packet interfaces such as Serial RapidIO(R), Utopia/ATM and dual Gigabit Ethernet while maintaining a highly competitive cost and power-per-channel envelope.

Pricing and availability
Samples of the MSC8144E and MSC8144EC devices are expected to be available in 2Q 2007. MSC8144 samples are widely available now in 800MHz and 1GHz versions housed in 783 pin, 29 x 29 mm FC-PBGA (flip-chip plastic ball grid array) packaging. The device features a set of enablement software and hardware including development tools, optimized voice codecs, a royalty-free operating system, peripheral device drivers, a development system, and reference design boards. Suggested resale pricing for the MSC8144 in 10,000-unit quantities starts at $180 (USD).

About StarCore DSPs from Freescale
StarCore DSP technology from Freescale is the driving force behind some of the most sophisticated, flexible and powerful digital signal processing devices in the industry. It enables the creation of highly advanced DSP products uniquely suited to address current and emerging market requirements. StarCore technology runs more applications with less – less power, fewer components and lower cost. Freescale Semiconductor is actively charting the course for future generations of StarCore architectures.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with 2006 sales of $6.4 billion (USD).

Freescale(TM) and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.